How to Become a Wisconsin School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin Department of Education licensing department at (800) 266-1027.

I'm a High School Graduate...

As a high school graduate, you are in a fantastic position to learn more about the Wisconsin school counseling career. You will have many opportunities to volunteer or work in environments either directly related to school counseling or very similar in an educational setting.

Below are some recommended steps to help you begin advancing your level of education as well as learn more about the Wisconsin school counselor career.

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 Wisconsin:

Finally, don't be afraid to get out there and begin working or volunteering. Your research is only as valuable as what you do with it. So, get out there and make new friendships, make job connections and learn whether a career as a Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:

Step Two:

You will need to complete Wisconsin's experience requirements for school counselor certification through one of the three following ways:

  • Complete a 1-year full-time internship in school counseling (this is usually done through the aid of your school counseling preparation program)
  • Or, complete at least two years of teaching experience at the elementary or secondary grade levels. This avenue suggests your are already certified as a teacher.
  • Or, complete at least 2 years of half-time or more as a school counselor. This avenue is for school counselors moving to Wisconsin from another state.

Step Three:

The following Wisconsin Department of Education webpage will provide you with links to download the appropriate application forms, background check and fingerprinting information, application procedures and a checklist to make sure you have all the necessary materials for successful certification application: Wisconsin Educator Application Forms.

For specific information on fingerprinting procedures and criminal background checks, read the following webpage: Wisconsin educator fingerprinting procedures.

For more information pertaining to your particular case, call the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction at (800) 266-1027.

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

Wisconsin does not offer school counseling certification through reciprocity agreements. However, you may be able to qualify for certification by applying for certification and having your current credentials reviewed. If you have completed an accredited school counseling program and have satisfied experience requirements, you may be eligible for Wisconsin school counselor certification.

You will find application procedures and links to download forms on the following WDPI webpage: Wisconsin Educator Application Forms.

For further information, call the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction at (800) 266-1027.

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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.