Connecticut School Counselor Certification

School counselors in Connecticut are highly qualified, licensed professional educators with a master’s degree in school counseling, or more advanced education. They have a keen understanding of the whole-child perspective and are able to provide culturally responsive strength-based counseling and other services and supports. Connecticut follows standards established by the American School Counselor Association.

Guidance counselors in Connecticut are successful educators. There are three ways you can demonstrate this competency. Your first option is to earn a Connecticut Professional Educator Certificate. For details about this type of endorsement, visit the Connecticut Department of Education website.

Your second option is to either hold or be eligible to hold an Initial Educator Certificate and have thirty (30) months of successful teaching experience. For details about this type of endorsement, visit this webpage.

The third way that you can qualify for a certificate in school counseling is to have completed all of the education requirements (see below) and have successfully completed a ten (10) month full-time supervised school counseling internship.

Skip down to the Connecticut school counselor certification pathway of interest:

Initial Connecticut School Counselor Certification

Step 1: Education Requirements

To apply for an initial educator certificate as a school counselor in Connecticut, you must meet the following educational requirements:

  • Earn a master’s degree or higher, at a regionally accredited college or university:
  • Completion of a minimum thirty (30) semester hours of credit in a planned program in school counseling services, including courses in each of the following areas:
    • Principles and philosophy of developmental guidance counseling
    • Psychological and sociological theory as related to children, youth, and families
    • Career development theory and practice
    • Individual and group counseling procedures
    • Organizational patterns and relationships of pupil personnel services to total school program and community
    • Pupil appraisal and evaluation techniques
    • School-based consultation theory and practice
  • Proof of supervised experiences in counseling and guidance through laboratory and practicum
  • Completed course of study in special education comprised of at least thirty-six (36) clock hours, including study in understanding the growth and development of exceptional children
  • Completion of either thirty (30) months of successful teaching experience as a certified professional educator or completion of a full-time supervised school internship of 10 school months in a school setting (pre-K through Grade 12)

For detailed information about the education requirements, visit this CT state webpage.

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

Applicants are not required to submit fingerprints to the Department of Education. Once an applicant is hired, the new employee will submit necessary materials and fees for a complete background check.

Step 3: Complete Application Checklist

Applications are completed online at the CT State Department of Education website.

You should be prepared to include the following information with your application, including but not limited to:

  • Names and addresses of all colleges/universities you have attended
  • Employment history, including
  • Employer/business names and addresses
  • Supervisors’ names and contact information
  • Dates of employment
  • Reasons for leaving

While the Connecticut Department of Education strongly suggests that the application and application fees are submitted online, the Department does not accept supporting documentation via the portal. You may submit supporting documentation through the U.S. Postal Service to:

Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
P. O. Box 150471
Hartford CT 06115-0471

You may also deliver documentation in person to the Department of Education drop box, located at 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford. The drop box is accessible from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, except holidays. All documents should be submitted in an envelope.

Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended must be mailed with original signatures and enclosed in a sealed envelope to the Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification. They may also be submitted electronically by the institution (not the applicant) to teacher.etransctipt@ct.gov.

Step 4: Know the Fees

Application Fee: $200

Debit cards are not accepted through the online application portal. VISA, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards are the only forms of payment accepted via the application portal.

You may also mail a certified check or money order (no personal checks) to:

Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
P. O. Box 150471
Hartford CT 06115-0471

Step 5: Submit Your Application

The Connecticut Department of Education strongly suggests that you complete your application online, which increases efficiency and timeliness of processing your application. To create an account with the Connecticut Educator Certification System and apply online for a school counseling certificate, visit this webpage.

If you must submit a paper application, visit this webpage.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit the CT SDE FAQ webpage.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your application, contact the Connecticut Department of Education via email teacher.cert@ct.gov or call 860-713-6969, between the hours of 12 PM and 4 PM from Monday through Thursday, to speak with a specialist.

Connecticut School Counselor Certification Renewal

The initial certificate for Connecticut School Counselor is valid for three (3) years from the date of issue and may be renewed anytime within six (6) months of expiration. Professional certificates are valid for five (5) years from the date of issue.

There are no continuing education credits required to renew an initial or professional school counselor certificate in Connecticut. As a local school employee, you will receive at least eighteen (18) hours of professional development each year, provided by your local school administrators.

If you would like to renew your Connecticut School Counselor certificate, you can access the online application portal here.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your renewal certificate, contact the Connecticut Department of Education via email teacher.cert@ct.gov or call 860-713-6969, between the hours of 12 PM and 4 PM from Monday through Thursday, to speak with a specialist.

Connecticut School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Connecticut recognizes the interstate agreement established by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. If you are applying for Connecticut certification as an out-of-state applicant, you may be eligible for a waiver of some application requirements if your experience has been completed within the previous ten (10) years from your application date.

The fee for your application review is $50, and is paid at the time of application. If your certification is approved, you will be billed separately for the certificate fee.

For more information about how to apply for a Connecticut School Counselor certification as an out-of-state applicant, including a detailed checklist and steps to apply online, please visit this webpage.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your application, contact the Connecticut Department of Education via email teacher.cert@ct.gov or call 860-713-6969, between the hours of 12 PM and 4 PM from Monday through Thursday, to speak with a specialist.

Connecticut School Counseling Certification Resources

For resources to assist you with continuing education and other career development opportunities, see the following websites:

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