How to Become a South Dakota School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in South Dakota. 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 South Dakota Department of Education licensing department at (605) 773-3134.

I’m a High School Graduate…

You’re a high school graduate already doing research on the South Dakota school counselor profession. Doing early research will help waste as little time as possible on your way to starting your professional career. However, your research is only valuable if you get out there and make use of it.

Below are recommended steps that will help you advance your current level of education as well as learn more about whether a career as a South Dakota school counselor is right for you.

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 South Dakota:

Finally, don’t hesitate to put yourself out there! The only way to learn what type of career will truly make you happy is to get out there and try them out. So, start volunteering or working in a public school and find out whether the South Dakota school counselor career 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 South Dakota:

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

Step Two:

In order to be considered for South Dakota school counselor certification, you will need to have completed at least 600 clock hours of a supervised internship as a school counselor.

Step Three:

You will also need to complete South Dakota’s examination requirements. You can find more information about the Praxis II testing requirements for South Dakota school counselors as well as testing dates and locations on the ETS website.

Step Four:

For information about application procedures, necessary transcripts and documentation, download the Initial South Dakota application packet.

The packet provides information about all required documentation and the address where your application must be sent. For more information, call the South Dakota Department of Education at the following number: (605) 773-3553

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I’m a certified counselor from another state…

South Dakota does not offer the school counselor certification through reciprocity agreements. However, you can have your current credentials, transcripts and experience qualifications evaluated after completing the Initial South Dakota Certification application. Upon satisfactory completion of the proper requirements and application you will be awarded a South Dakota school counselor certification.

For more information, call the South Dakota Department of Education: (605) 773-3553

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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.