How to Become a Pennsylvania School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Pennsylvania. 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 Pennsylvania Department of Education licensing department at (717) 787-3356.

I’m a High School Graduate…

Your a high school graduate and already researching the Pennsylvania school counselor career. Researching professional career options as a high school graduate shows motivation and maturity. These traits will serve you well whether you end up becoming a Pennsylvania school counselor or not. However, research will only do you some good if you act on what you find.

The following are recommended steps to learn how to advance your current level of education and learn more about working in the field of education.

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 Pennsylvania:

As a final thought… go ahead and get out there! Start volunteering, become a mentor and learn whether a career working with student-aged individuals 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 Pennsylvania:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:

Step Two:

You will need to complete Pennsylvania’s experience requirements for school counseling certification.

  • A supervised practicum experience of at least 60 clock hours
  • A supervised internship of at least 300 clock hours

Step Three:

You will need to complete the examination requirements by successfully completing the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) and the Praxis II School Guidance and Counseling exam. You can find more information about when and where these examinations are given on the ETS website.

Step Four:

You can learn more about the specific requirements and application procedures for the Pennsylvania school counselor certification on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

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I’m a certified counselor from another state…

Pennsylvania does recognize the school counselor certification from 45 states through a signed Interstate Agreement. The participating states can be found of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.

However, even with the Interstate Agreement, Pennsylvania school counselor certification candidates will still need to pass Pennsylvania’s required examinations.

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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.