Rhode Island School Counselor Certification

There are 150,000 students in Rhode Island who attend one of 304 schools across the state. School counselors in Rhode Island serve children in prekindergarten through grade 12 as leaders, advocates, and collaborators. They prioritize assisting all students in three developmental domains: academic, social, and career, by designing comprehensive programming for every school campus.

If you would like more information about the Rhode Island School Counseling Framework, download this PDF.

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

Initial Rhode Island School Counselor Certification

Rhode Island offers a school counselor certificate that validates an assignment in prekindergarten through grade 12. The initial certificate is valid for three (3) years.

Step 1: Education Requirements

  • Advanced degree from an approved(*) school counseling preparation program, such as the following programs:
  • Completion of a 300-hour internship program

* If you have not earned your degree from an approved school counseling program, you can request a credential review. For more information about this pathway to certification, visit this webpage.

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

Rhode Island laws stipulate that employees who receive a “conditional offer of employment” must apply for national and state criminal records checks prior to or within one week of employment. There is not a pre-application requirement for background checking.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

To obtain school counseling certification in Rhode Island, 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 initial full certification application fee is $100, payable online with a credit card or by mailing a check payable to General Treasurer- State of Rhode Island along with your paper application.

Step 5: Application Materials Checklist

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application through the RIDEmap portal or via paper application, downloadable here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree and degree conferral date
  • Proof of passing score for the Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421)
  • $100 initial application fee

Step 6: Submit Your Application

The Rhode Island application for school counseling credential is submitted online via the RIDEmap portal.

You may also submit a paper application, application fee, and supporting documentation to the Department of Education. The application, instructions, and mailing address to submit your fees and paperwork, are downloadable here.

Additional Information

If you have questions about your application for school counselor certification, call the certification office at 401-222-8893. You can also contact a specialist via email at EQAC@ride.ri.gov.

Rhode Island School Counselor Certification Renewal

The initial school counseling certificate is valid for three (3) years, and can be renewed any time after January 1 of the expiration year. The renewal certificate is entitled “Full Certification 5 Year Professional” and is valid for five (5) years.

Your renewal application includes the following materials, and is submitted online or via mail – download the application here.

  • Completed renewal application submitted online or via paper application
  • $200 application renewal fee
  • Completion of 20 Professional Learning Units (PLUs)

Additional Assistance

If you need additional information about renewing your Rhode Island school counseling certificate, call the certification office at 401-222-8893 during normal business hours.

Rhode Island School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Rhode Island offers a reciprocity process for applicants who earned out-of-state credentials, including education and licensure. To apply for a Rhode Island school counseling certificate through reciprocity, you will submit application materials via online.

Required application materials include:

  • Completed application for initial certification
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree and degree conferral date
  • Proof of passing score for the Professional School Counselor Exam (ETS Test Code 5421) or passing scores from equivalent exam
  • Copy of current, valid school counseling credential
  • $100 initial application fee

For more information about the reciprocity process in Rhode Island, visit this webpage.

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about reciprocity, you can email the certification office at EQAC@ride.ri.gov or call 401-222-8893 during normal business hours.

Rhode Island 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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