Florida School Counselor Certification
School counselors in Florida contribute to successful student progression by focusing on a variety of issues: academic achievement, prevention and intervention activities, advocacy, and social, personal, emotional, and career development. The Department of Education lists the following competencies as core content of school counseling programs for more than 2.7 million public school students in Florida:
- Study skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Career awareness and exploration
- Conflict resolution
For more information about the Florida School Counseling Framework, see the Department of Education’s manual, located on the FLDOE website.
Initial Florida School Counselor Certification
There are two plans to certification in the state of Florida, depending on which master’s degree each applicant has earned. Both plans are explained in the following information.
Step 1: Education Requirements
The following are the educational requirements for applicants who meet criteria for Plan 1 certification:
- Master’s degree or higher, with a graduate major in guidance and counseling or a graduate major in school counseling – offered by schools such as the following:Sponsored SchoolFeatured Programs:
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- You must also have completed a minimum of 600 clock-hours of a supervised internship, providing direct services to school-aged students in a prekindergarten, elementary, or secondary school setting
The following are the educational requirements for applicants who meet criteria for Plan 2 certification:
- Master’s degree or higher, with a graduate major in counseling, other than guidance and counseling or school counseling
- Completion of at least nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit in the following areas:
- Student appraisal and evaluation methods
- College and career planning
- Principles, philosophy, organization, and administration of a comprehensive school counseling program
- Consultation skills and techniques for work with groups (i.e., teachers, parents)
- You must also have completed a minimum of 600 clock-hours of a supervised internship, providing direct services to school-aged students and their families
For more information about the two plans to school counseling certification in Florida, visit the FLDOE website.
Step 2: Submit a Criminal Background Check
If you are applying for a school counseling position in Florida, you will receive assistance in completing the criminal background check process by your potential employer. This assures that your employer will receive the required Florida Professional Certificate, which is issued after an applicant receives results from his or her fingerprint-based background screening.
The Department of Education states that applicants who complete background checks without assistance, may be subjected to repeating the process with their employer and incurring any applicable fees.
Step 3: Examination Requirements
The state of Florida requires that applicants for school counselor certification pass exams that are written and issued by the Florida Department of Education. To discover which exams you will be required to complete, you must first submit an application for certification to the Bureau of Educator Certification.
All applicants must pass the Florida State Certification Examination for School Counselors. For information about this exam, visit this webpage.
For more information about the examination requirements, visit this FLDOE webpage.
For more information about all required exams and the process for exam registration, fees, and other related information, you can contact the Bureau at 800-445-6739.
Step 4: Organize Your Application Materials
Your complete application is submitted online and includes the following materials:
- Completed application form (CG-10), located online here
- Processing fee; visit the fee schedule webpage
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. For more information about official transcript requirements, visit the transcript section of the FLDOE website
- Copies of active and expired certifications, if held in a state other than Florida, must be included with your application, as applicable
Once you submit your application, specialists at the Bureau of Educator Certification will review your materials to determine whether you are eligible for a Florida certificate. If you are eligible for certification, you will receive an Official Statement of Eligibility (SOE), indicating that you are eligible for a school counselor certificate. The SOE is valid for three (3) years, and outlines a customized list of requirements you must complete to be issued a full state certification (e.g., fingerprint-based background screening).
Step 5: Know the Fees
Application Fee $75
The application fee is submitted online along with the complete application packet. The Florida Department of Education application portal accepts VISA or MasterCard debit or credit cards only.
If you are submitting your application through the U.S. Postal Service, you may include a cashier’s check, personal check, or money order.
For additional information about the application fees, visit the following FLDOE webpage.
Step 6: Submit Your Application
Your application for Florida School Counselor certificate is submitted online. To register for an account and begin the application process, visit the FLDOE certification system website.
For more information about how to complete your application using the online licensing service website, visit the application status lookup webpage.
For a paper application, you must visit a Florida public school district office or request an application by mail using the following link: request application materials.
If you need assistance with your Florida School Counselor certification application, please contact the Educator Certification department at the Florida Department of Education.
You can reach an automated inquiry service anytime during the day except between 1 AM and 4 AM. To access this touch-tone assistance service, call 800-445-6739.
You can also email your inquiries by submitting a contact form, located here.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with a specialist in person, you can contact the Educator Certification department at 850-245-9796 during normal business hours. Making an appointment will assure that you will receive assistance when you visit the Bureau of Educator Certification office, located on the second floor of the Turlington Building in Tallahassee during regular office hours.Bureau of Educator Certification
Room 201, Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee GL 32399-0400
Florida School Counselor Certification Renewal
The renewal certification process in Florida includes a completed application, application fee, and proof of professional development activities. Your renewal application is completed online on the FLDOE website.
The renewal fee is $75. Appropriate professional development activities include proof of completion of inservice points in an approved Florida master inservice program or earned college credit. You may also submit proof of your teaching a college level course at an approved institution as part of the professional development criteria for certificate renewal.
If you would like to renew your Florida School Counselor certification, you can access detailed instructions for how to renew online here.
For more information about how to renew your Florida School Counselor license, or to speak with a renewal specialist, contact the Bureau of Bureau of Education Certification office during normal business hours at 850-245-9796.
Florida School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity
Florida offers a reciprocity option for school counselors seeking certification. If you are a licensed or certified school counselor in another state or U.S. territory, you may include copies of the front and back of your valid, endorsing documents with your application. Your application should also include all counseling experience, as applicable.
The fee for certification through reciprocity is $75, made payable when you submit your complete application packet through the Department of Education application portal, located on the FLDOE website.
If you need additional assistance to complete your reciprocity certification application, you may contact the Bureau of Education Certification office during normal business hours at 850-245-9796, or submit a contact form, located here.
Florida School Counseling Certification Resources
For resources to assist you with continuing education and other career development opportunities, see the following websites:
- Florida School Counselor Association
- FSCA Facebook Page
- American School Counselor Association
- National Board of Certified Counselors