How to Become a Virginia School Counselor

Where are you on your quest to become a Virginia School Counselor?

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Virginia. Some of the information below may be subject to change. In order to make sure you have the most current information, please feel free to contact your school counseling education program advisor or contact the Virginia Department of Education licensing department at (804) 225-2022.

I'm a High School Graduate...

As a high school graduate researchin the Virginia school counseling career, you will find few among your peer group showing the same motivation and maturity. However, as there are few with your motivation, there is no shortage of opportunities and resources to learn more about the Virginia educational system and to learn more about yourself.

Below are recommended steps to help you learn how to begin advancing you current level of education as well as learn whether a career as a Virginia school counselor is right for you.

Step One:

Gather information from schools offering associate degree programs or bachelor degree programs in psychology, counseling or any type of program you are currently interested in. It is not imperative you enroll in a counseling program at this point. The only necessity is that you begin earning your associate's degree or bachelor's degree.

Step Two:

A great way to find out if you are interested in a social service type of career, like school counseling, is to find volunteering organizations who work with children or young adults. The following are links to organizations who can place you in volunteering positions across the state of Virginia:

Finally, don't be afraid to get out there and use the above information. Your research is only as valuable as what you do with it. So, stay motivated and learn whether the Virginia school counseling career is right for you.

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I have already earned a college degree...

The following are the steps necessary for earning your school counseling certification in Virginia:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:

Step Two:

You will need to fulfill the Virginia school counselor experience requirements through one of the following two ways:

  • Complete at least 100 clock hours of supervised clinical experience with preK-6 grade levels and 100 clock hours with 7-12 grade levels. The clinical experience should be completed through your preparatory organization.
  • Or, you can complete the experience requirements with two years of teaching experience. Two years of guidance or counseling experience can satisfy the experience requirements as well.

Step Three:

On this VDOE webpage, download the initial licensure application. You will find instructions for the application procedure from requesting transcripts to application processing fees.

If you have further questions for you particular situation, call the VDOE at the following number: (804) 225-2022

In addition, for more information about the school counseling career in Virginia, explore the VDOE School Counseling and Guidance page

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I'm a certified counselor from another state...

If you are a school counselor from another state, you may be eligible for a Virginia school counselor certification through reciprocity agreements. However, you will still need to complete an application and have the VDOE evaluate your credentials.

You can download the application as well as find procedures for applying for certification on the following VDOE webpage.

For further questions and information about earning your certification through reciprocity agreements, call the VDOE at (804) 225-2022.

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**Some states require completion of a state-approved School Counselor preparation program from a regionally accredited institution in order to be licensed as a school counselor. Capella University is regionally accredited and their School Counseling specialization is state-approved by the Arizona Department of Education. We recommend that you follow up with your state Department of Education (DOE) to determine whether Capella's Arizona- approved School Counseling specialization meets your state's licensure requirements.