How to Become a Connecticut School Counselor
Where are you on your quest to become a Connecticut School Counselor?
Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Connecticut. 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 Connecticut Department of Education licensing department at (860) 713-6969.
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I’m a High School Graduate…
While currently holding a high school diploma, you are in a great position to begin your career in education. You will need to first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college (preferably in a field related to counseling, psychology or education). As soon as you complete your bachelor’s degree, you will need to move into a Connecticut school counseling master’s programs.
We know this may seem a long way off, but all you need to worry about is taking the first step. The beauty of your situation is you will have many opportunities to test the waters of education and decide later whether you really want to be a school counselor in Connecticut.
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.
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 Connecticut:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nutmeg Connecticut
- Mentoring is a great way to begin developing your skills working with the younger generations. You can also find information at the BBBS of Southwestern CT.
- Connecticut School District Database
- Find school district contact information for schools near you and find out if there are any volunteer opportunities at these schools for someone like you to participate in.
Finally, do not be afraid to get your feet wet. It is the only way to find out if a career in education is truly for you. So, don’t just sit there! Take that next step and get involved!
I have already earned a college degree…
The following are the steps necessary for earning your school counseling certification in Connecticut:
Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:
- Earn a Master’s degree in School Counseling
- Or find more school counseling programs in Connecticut here.
You will need to fulfill the experience requirements of successfully completing a practicum and laboratory in school counseling. The practicum is typically something offered through your graduate degree program in school counseling.
You will need to complete a minimum of 30 clock hours of supervised, direct service work in individual and group counseling with early childhood (elementary) and secondary school students. This step is usually coordinated by your school counseling program college advisor.
You will also need one of the two experience requirements to be completed:
- Complete 30 months of successful teaching experience while holding a valid teaching certification (this option is typically for teachers who are making a career change to become a Connecticut school counselor)
- Or, complete a 10 month full-time, supervised school counseling internship (usually coordinated through your school counseling graduate degree program)
You must pass the content area assessment for your certification through the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) and II examinations. For more information, call (860) 713-6969
As a Connecticut school counselor, you will need to earn a special services certification. The code for this certification is 120. More information about the certification process can be found here.
Eventually you will need to complete a background check. However, this is not usually done until the point of hire. Of course if you have already been a teacher in Connecticut, you have already completed this process.
Contact the Connecticut Department of Education for further information at the following number: (860) 713-6969
I’m a teacher in Connecticut and wish to become a school counselor…
If you are already a teacher in Connecticut, you will not have to complete the typically mandatory 10 month internship. However, you must have been a teacher for at least 30 months prior to applying for a Special Services Certification.
As a Connecticut educator, you most likely have already completed a background check as well. Therefore, that step is also eliminated.
You can find more facts on the following webpage about requirements for certification as a school counselor in Connecticut.
The rest of the requirements for certification can typically be completed through your graduate program in school counseling. The following are links to information request forms for schools who offer Master’s degree programs in School Counseling:
- Capella University Master of Science (MS) in Human Services – School Counseling Specialization – CACREP and State Approved **
- New York University (NYU) Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance – School Counseling and Bilingual School Counseling – MPCAC Accredited
- UMass Online (Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling – NEASC and State-Approved program)
In order to make sure you are taking care of all prerequisites for Connecticut School Counseling Certification, you should contact a Connecticut Department of Education certification representative at the following number: (860) 713-6969
I’m a certified counselor from another state…
The Connecticut Department of Education has very specific requirements for educators coming from other states. You will need to eventually have all documentation such as your current certification, transcripts and referrals sent to the CDE.
However, in the meantime, follow the instructions under the Obtaining Connecticut Educator Certification link on the following webpage.