Nebraska School Counselor Certification

School counselors in Nebraska provide services to over 300,000 students located in 1,090 campuses across the state. School counselors the American School Counseling Association’s national model for service provision, which includes an emphasis on career development for all students and family engagement that extends beyond the local school and into each community.

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a different in the life of a Nebraska student by joining the state’s counseling profession, visit the Nebraska School Counselor Association website.

Skip down the page to the certification pathway you’re interested in:

Initial Nebraska School Counselor Certification

The Nebraska school counselor endorsement is valid for one of three grade levels: PK-6; 7-12; PK-12. Certificates are valid for five (5) years.

Step 1: Education Requirements

  • Master’s degree in counseling with a specialization in school counseling and a minimum of 36 graduate semester hours, such as the following programs:
  • A minimum of 100 clock hours of school counseling field experiences pre-internship
  • School-based counseling internship with a minimum of 450 clock hours at the desired grade level(s) endorsement
  • A previously earned teaching certificate, or completion of 12 additional semester hours of professional teacher education coursework

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

Applicants for the school counselor license must complete a fingerprint background check. Depending on your place of residence, you will be required to either submit your fingerprints to Livescan or have your prints ink-rolled by Nebraska law enforcement. For detailed instructions about the fingerprinting process, download this PDF.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

To obtain a school counseling credential in Nebraska, you must earn a minimum score of 156 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: Know the Fees

The initial application fee: $55

Step 5: Application Materials Checklist

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application through the Nebraska Department of Education system, located here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. Transcripts can only be sent to the certification office by the Registrar from your college/university. All transcripts should be sent to bethina.garrett@nebraska.gov, or they can be mailed to the following address:
    Nebraska Department of Education
    Teacher Certification
    301 Centennial Mall South
    P.O. Box 94987
    Lincoln, NE 68509
  • Proof of passing score on the Professional School Counselor (ETS 5421) examination
  • $55 application fee, payable online through the application portal

Step 6: Submit Your Application

Your application and required fees are submitted through the Nebraska Department of Education system, located here.

Additional Information

If you need assistance with your school counselor application, you can call the certification office at 402-471-0739 during normal business hours, or email a specialist at nde.tcertweb@nebraska.gov.

Nebraska School Counselor Certification Renewal

The Nebraska school counselor certificate is renewed online and must include proof of six (6) hours of education-related coursework from a college or university. You should contact the Nebraska certification office at 402-471-0739 prior to selecting your courses to confirm that your selection of college credits will meet the continuing education requirements.

The fee to renew your certificate is $55.

Additional Assistance

If you need additional information about renewing your Nebraska School Counselor certificate, you can email a specialist at nde.tcertweb@nebraska.gov or call the certification office at 402-471-0739.

Nebraska School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Nebraska does not have a reciprocity option for out-of-state applicants. To apply for a school counselor endorsement, you must submit all required materials, along with a copy of your current, valid out-of-state license.

Requirements include:

  • Completed profile and application through the Nebraska Department of Education system, located here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. Transcripts can only be sent to the certification office by the Registrar at the college/university. Your educational institution(s) need to send all transcripts to bethina.garrett@nebraska.gov. To have your school Registrar’s office mail transcripts, view this PDF for the correct mailing address and other contact information.
  • Proof of passing score on the Professional School Counselor (ETS 5421) examination, or an equivalent exam required by your licensing state
  • Copy of your current, valid counseling credential
  • Fingerprint background check; for more details, download this PDF
  • $55 application fee, payable online through the application portal

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, contact the certification office at 402-471-0739 during normal business hours.

Nebraska 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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