Hawaii School Counselor Certification

There are over 179,000 students in Hawaii, who attend schools in seven districts located across the state. Applicants to Hawaiian public schools should be willing to interview with potential employers located on any of the islands.

Performance standards for school counselors in Hawaii align with the American School Counselor Association. Counselors are evaluated based on their performance in program implementation, program evaluation, and professionalism.

For more information about the performance expectations of all school counselors in Hawaii, visit the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board website.

Skip down to find information relevant to your situation:

Initial Hawaii School Counselor Certification

There are two kinds of certificates issued to applicants for initial certification in Hawaii: Professional Certification and Provisional Certification. Requirements for both types of certification follow.

The initial school counseling license is a Standard License and is valid for five (5) years. There are four license field options for which you can apply:

Kindergarten – grade 6
Grades 6 – 8
Grades 6 – 12
Kindergarten – grade 12

Step 1: Education Requirements

  • Master’s degree in school counseling and guidance from a regionally accredited college/university, such as the following schools:
  • Supervised experience (e.g., practicum) in a school setting, as part of the degree process

To verify that you have completed a preparation program that meets the minimum standards for Hawaiian licensure, visit this website.

Step 2: Submit to a Criminal Background Check

Fingerprinting and criminal background checking is completed at the school district level once the hiring school submits materials for hire. There is not a pre-application background check process.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

To obtain school counseling certification in Hawaii, you must earn a score of 156 or greater on the Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421). For more information about this exam, or to register for a test date, visit the Praxis website.

Step 4: Organize Your Application Materials

Your complete application is submitted online and includes the following materials:

  • Complete your profile and application through the Department of Education website, located here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • Proof of passing score for the Professional School Counseling exam (ETS 5421)

Step 5: Submit Your Application

Your application for Hawaii School Counselor license is submitted online at the Department of Education website.

If you prefer to submit a paper application, send a 9″ x 12″ self-addressed stamped envelope to:

State of Hawaii
Department of Education
Office of Human Resources
Teacher Recruitment Unit
P.O. Box 2360
Honolulu HI 96804

Additional Information

If you need additional assistance with your standard school counselor license, you can call the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board at 808-586-2600 between the hours of 7:45 AM and 4:30 PM (HST). You can also email a specialist at htsb@hawaii.gov.

Hawaii School Counselor Certification Renewal

The standard school counselor license is renewable every five (5) years between January and June of the renewal year. You will receive renewal instructions via email to the address listed in your account with Hawaii Teacher Standards Board in January of your renewal year.

Renewal materials include:

As of February 2020, there is no renewal application fee.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your renewal application, the best way to contact the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board is to login to your account here and use the Contact HTSB tab to send a message to the licensure department.

Hawaii School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

The state of Hawaii will review out-of-state applicants who hold a current, valid license. To submit an application for consideration of reciprocity licensure, your application materials will include:

  • Completed profile and application through the Department of Education website
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. Your school counselor preparation program should include a supervised internship/practicum experience and be verifiable as an approved program for the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board. For more information, download this PDF
  • Proof of passing score for the Professional School Counseling exam (ETS 5421) or proof of passing scores from an equivalent exam approved from the licensing state
  • Copy of your current, valid license

As of February 2020, there is no application fee for the standard school counselor license.

Additional Assistance

If you need additional assistance with your reciprocity license application, you can email a specialist at htsb@hawaii.gov or call the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board at 808-586-2600. Licensure representatives are available between the hours of 7:45 AM and 4:30 PM (HST).

Hawaii 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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