How to Become a Minnesota School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Minnesota. 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 Minnesota Department of Education licensing department at (651) 582-8691.

I’m a High School Graduate…

As a high school graduate researching the Minnesota school counseling career, you are putting yourself in a fantastic position! You have the ability to learn whether a career in school counseling is right for you long before you need to commit to any one career path.

The following are recommended steps toward advancing your education and learning more about becoming a Minnesota school counselor.

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.

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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 Minnesota:

Finally, now that you have begun your career research, don’t stop! You are in a great position to start earning an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree while learning more about whether a career in education or as a Minnesota 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 Minnesota:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

  • Earn a Master’s in any other field and then separately, complete a Board of Teaching preparation program leading to school counseling certification.

Step Two:

You will need to fulfill experience requirements of a 400 clock hour internship, supervised by a counselor educator from an approved guidance and counseling program.

Step Three:

You will need to complete a criminal history background check by requesting fingerprint cards from the Minnesota Department of Education. You will complete the fingerprinting process at a local police station or designated fingerprinting location.

You can find more information on fingerprinting and the background check on the Minnesota Department of Education website, here.

Step Four:

You will find instructions for the application process and a link to Minnesota’s online application system here.

The application will have a contact phone number for questions, information about all that needs to be included in your application (transcripts, fees, etc.), and an address where the application will need to be sent.

For more information on standards for Minnesota school counselors, follow this link.

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I’m a certified counselor from another state…

Minnesota will need to evaluate your credentials to make sure your qualifications are comparable to the Minnesota school counseling certification requirements.

You will find instructions for the application process here.

You will also have to request Minnesota Department of Education fingerprint cards in order to complete a background check.

For more information, call the Minnesota Department of Education at the following number: (651) 582-8691

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