How to Become a New Mexico School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in New Mexico. 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 New Mexico Department of Education licensing department at (505) 827-6104.

I’m a High School Graduate…

You are well ahead of the curve being a high school graduate and already researching the New Mexico School Counseling career! Your early interest in your future career show motivation and maturity that will help you in many facets of life. However, as you have begun the process of career investigation, don’t stop now!

The following are recommended steps that will help you gain the education you need in order to eventually qualify for New Mexico school counselor certification, and steps that will help you learn more about working with school-aged pupils.

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.

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 New Mexico:

Finally, now that you have some direction, get the ball rolling! Start earning your associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and start volunteering or working in an educational environment. Learn whether a career as a New Mexico 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 New Mexico:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

  1. Earn a Master’s degree in School Counseling
  2. Earn a Master’s degree in a discipline other than school counseling
    from a regionally accredited school and then separately complete 36-42 semester hours of graduate credit in school counseling.

Step Two:

You will need to complete a 300 hour practicum in a New Mexico school counseling setting. This practicum must be supervised by a professional school counselor.

Step Three:

You will need to successfully complete the appropriate New Mexico Teacher Assessment requirement for school counselors: New Mexico School Counselor Assessment

Step Four:

Finally, you will need to complete a criminal background check. You can follow instructions for acquiring fingerprint cards and additional procedures and required materials for New Mexico School Counselor Certification on the New Mexico First Time Application Packet.

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I’m a certified counselor from another state…

The New Mexico Department of Education does not provide school counseling certification strictly on the basis of reciprocity agreements; however, if you have completed a school counseling programs outside of New Mexico that meets all New Mexico certification requirements, you will be awarded a school counselor certification in New Mexico.

The New Mexico First Time Application Packet provides information about the certification process and the materials necessary to complete your certification application process.

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**Some states require completion of a state-approved School Counselor preparation program from a regionally accredited institution in order to be licensed as a school counselor. Capella University is regionally accredited and their School Counseling specialization is state-approved by the Arizona Department of Education. We recommend that you follow up with your state Department of Education (DOE) to determine whether Capella’s Arizona- approved School Counseling specialization meets your state’s licensure requirements.