North Dakota School Counselor Certification

School counselors in North Dakota are highly qualified educators who hold both a valid teaching license and school counseling credential. Counselors work to support each student’s developmental potential by implementing comprehensive counseling services that promote the knowledge, skills, and attitudes students need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.

There are over 100,000 students in North Dakota who benefit from a smaller-than-national-average educator to student ratio. If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference in North Dakota, visit the ND School Counseling Association website.

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

Initial North Dakota School Counselor Certification

The school counseling credential in North Dakota (SC03) allows counselors to serve students in prekindergarten through grade 12. All applicants for the SC03 must have a master’s degree or higher.

Step 1: Education Requirements

  • Master’s degree in counseling, education, or a related discipline from a state-approved school counseling program with the following coursework:
    • Elementary school counseling
    • Secondary school counseling
    • Counseling program management
    • Counseling theories
    • Assessment techniques
    • Group counseling
    • Career counseling and assessment
    • Social and multicultural counseling
    • Ethics and law
    • Counseling techniques
  • Some available programs:
  • Completion of a supervised school counseling internship with a minimum of 450 contact hours of at least 150 contact hours at each the elementary and secondary level

School counselors in North Dakota must also hold a valid North Dakota educator’s professional license. For information about how to obtain a teaching license in North Dakota, call the Education Standards and Practices Board at 701-328-9641 or visit their website.

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

In order to obtain a North Dakota school counselor credential, you must complete a criminal background check. To meet this requirement, print the Fingerprinting Instructions and Form, downloadable here.

Complete the form and submit, along with the $44.50 processing fee and two completed fingerprint cards, in a sealed envelope that is signed by the fingerprint technician to:

North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board
2718 Gateway Ave, Suite 204
Bismarck ND 58503

Step 3: Examination Requirements

To obtain a School Counselor license in North Dakota, 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: Know the Fees

The CPL application fee is $30 (plus $5 maintenance charge), payable through the ND Teach online education portal.

Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application through the through the North Dakota ND Teach portal
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. For detailed information about submitting transcripts for review, visit this webpage
  • Proof of passing score for the Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421)
  • $30 initial application fee, plus $5 maintenance charge

Step 6: Submit Your Application

The North Dakota application for school counseling credential is submitted online via the North Dakota ND Teach portal.

Additional Information

If you have question about your application for a school counseling credential, complete the contact form, located here.

You can also call the Education Standards and Practices Board at 701-328-9641. Specialists are available Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 5 PM and Friday 8 AM to 4 PM CST.

North Dakota School Counselor Certification Renewal

The school counselor credential is renewed every five (5) years, and may be renewed up to six (6) months prior to the expiration date. To renew your school counselor credential, you will complete the renewal application via ND Teach, located here.

Because North Dakota requires that school counselors hold both a teaching license, you will renew each license at the same time.

Renewal requirements include:

  • Six semester hours of credit, at least two of which focus on topics related to school counseling. Two semester hours of counseling coursework may be substituted with thirty clock-hours of continuing education units.
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts or official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree
  • License renewal fee, which varies based on the type of credential you hold. For a detailed list of licensing fees, visit this webpage

Additional Assistance

If you need additional information about renewing your North Dakota school counselor credential, call the Education Standards and Practices Board at 701-328-9641.

Hours of Operation

M – Th
8 AM to 5 PM CST
Friday
8 AM to 4 PM CST

North Dakota School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Because school counselors in North Dakota hold both a teaching license and a school counselor credential, the state does not offer reciprocity.

Applicants for a school counseling credential must meet all requirements for the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, including:

  • Completed profile and application through the through the North Dakota ND Teach education portal, located here
  • Submission of official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree. For detailed information about submitting transcripts for review, visit this webpage
  • Proof of passing score for the Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421)
  • Completion of a master’s degree in counseling, education, or a related discipline from a state-approved school counseling program with the following coursework:
    • Elementary school counseling
    • Secondary school counseling
    • Counseling program management
    • Counseling theories
    • Assessment techniques
    • Group counseling
    • Career counseling and assessment
    • Social and multicultural counseling
    • Ethics and law
    • Counseling techniques
  • Completion of a supervised school counseling internship with a minimum of 450 contact hours of at least 150 contact hours at each the elementary and secondary level
  • Hold a current, valid teaching license. For more information about this requirement, visit this webpage
  • $30 initial application fee, plus $5 maintenance charge

Additional Assistance

If you have question about your application for a school counseling credential, call the Education Standards and Practices Board at 701-328-9641. Specialists are available Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 5 PM and Friday 8 AM to 4 PM CST.

You can also inquire with a credentialing specialist by completing a contact form, located here.

North Dakota 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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