How to Become a West Virginia School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in West 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 West Virginia Department of Education licensing department at (304) 558-7010.

I'm a High School Graduate...

Whether you are from Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling or anywhere else across the state of West Virginia, you are going to find many opportunities to learn more about the West Virginia school counselor career. As a high school graduate researching the school counseling career, you are showing maturity and motivation that will help you long into the future.

Below are recommended steps to help you learn how to begin advancing you current level of education as well as learn whether the West Virginia school counselor career 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 West Virginia:

Finally, don't be afraid to use the information above to find volunteering opportunities or jobs in public schools. You will find making career decisions is much easier when you have solid research behind your choices. So, get out there and learn whether a career as a West Virginia school counselor 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 West Virginia:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

  1. Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling
  2. Or, earn a Master's degree in Counseling or a related field, and complete a school couseling program separately. You can find campus-based preparatory programs on the following WVDE webpage. The following are schools offering Master's level programs in counseling:

Step Two:

You will need to successfully complete the Praxis II: School Guidance & Counseling examination. You can find information about testing locations, dates and registration on the ETS website.

Step Three:

In order to be considered for West Virginia school counselor certification, you will need to request fingerprint cards for a criminal history background check. You can request fingerprint cards to be sent to you through the following form: Complete West Virginia Fingerprint Requirements.

Step Four:

Follow the process for initial certification in West Virginia shown on the following webpage: West Virginia initial certification procedure.

You will also need to download the appropriate form for West Virginia school counseling certification, which is the Form 20-S (Initial Student Support Certification)

These forms should tell you how to complete the application and where the application should be sent, along with all fees associated with processing.

If you have further questions regarding your particular case, call a licensure representative at the West Virginia Department of Education at the following number: (304) 558-7010

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

West Virginia does provide a certification option through reciprocity agreements. However, you will still need to apply for certification, have your credentials evaluated, complete a criminal history background check, and have a character recommendation form completed from a previous out-of-state superintendent.

You can find information about the certification process on WVDE website: Initial WV certification process. Forms can be downloaded from the previous page as well.

If you have more questions regarding certification, please call the West Virginia department of education at the following number: (304) 558-7010

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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.