How to Become an Oregon School Counselor

Where are you on your quest to become an Oregon School Counselor?

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Oregon. 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 Oregon Department of Education licensing department at (503) 378-3586.

I’m a High School Graduate…

As a high school graduate researching the Oregon school counselor career, you are setting yourself up for an easy transition. Whether you are from Portland, Bend, Medford or anywhere else across Oregon, you have many resources and opportunities that will help you gain the qualifications you need while also learning more about whether a career as an Oregon school counselor is right for you.

Below are recommended steps that will help you advance your current level of education as well as learn more about the field of education and the occupation of school counseling.

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 Oregon:

Finally, don’t be afraid to break out of your routine. Whether you live in Portland, Salem, Eugene or anywhere else in Oregon, you can find find opportunities to advance your education and your knowledge of the school counseling career. So, get out there and start earning your associate’s or bachelor’s degree and start volunteering today.

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I have already earned a college degree…

The following are the steps necessary for earning your school counseling certification in Oregon:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

  1. Earn a Master’s degree or higher in counseling, education, or a related behavioral science from a regionally accredited school. In addition, you will need to complete an initial graduate program in school counseling. The link below lists education programs offered in Oregon:
  2. Or earn a Master’s degree in School Counseling

Step Two:

You will also need to complete various other requirements such as evidence of your knowledge of laws prohibiting discrimination, the completion of a criminal background check, experience requirements of a practicum and two years of successful teaching, and certain examination requirements both basic competency exams as well as the Praxis School Guidance and Counseling exam.

You can learn more about these requirements on the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission website

Step Three:

You can download forms with instructions for acquiring fingerprint cards and completing your background check, AND apply on the Oregon eLicensing portal & instructions webpage.

Step Four:

For information about particular Oregon school counselor certification requirements or to make sure you are on the right track, contact an Oregon certification representative at the following number: (503) 378-3586

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I’m a certified counselor from another state…

The Oregon Department of Education do recognize school counseling certifications from other states. You can learn more about the Oregon Reciprocal Teaching License here.

You will still need to complete an application as well as a criminal background check. You will find more information as well as application forms on the following webpage: Oregon eLicensing portal & instructions

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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.