How to Become a Tennessee School Counselor
Where are you on your quest to become a Tennessee School Counselor?
Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee Department of Education licensing department at (615) 532-4885.
- Top Picks
Featured Universities with School Counseling Programs
NYU Steinhardt's accredited master of arts program in Counseling and Guidance: School and Bilingual School Counseling. Through this online program, you will gain the skills you need to become a professional Pre-K-12 school counselor, working with children and families in your community to foster academic achievement and success. Click here to contact New York University and request information about their programs.
Become a professional school counselor in K-12 settings with an online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling from top-ranked USC Rossier School of Education. Complete in as few as 20 months. Click here to contact USC Rossier School of Education and request information about their programs.
Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling online from the University of Denver. Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training. No GRE required. Click here to contact University of Denver and request information about their programs.
I’m a High School Graduate…
As a high school graduate, you are making great moves by researching the Tennessee school counselor career. You are showing initiative and maturity, both are virtues that will serve you well throughout your life. However, these virtues are only as valuable as what you are able to do with them. So, don’t stop here!
Below are recommended steps that will help you learn how to advance your current level of education as well as learn more about whether a career as a Tennessee school counselor is right for you.
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.
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 Tennessee:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee (Nashville)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (Knoxville & Kingsport)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarksville, Tennessee
- Tennessee list of school and school district websites
- Use this link to find schools near you as well as each school’s contact information. Contact these schools to find out if there are any volunteer programs you may participate in.
Finally, don’t be nervous to jump into the role of a volunteer or mentor. In order to learn about careers in education, you will need to learn how to take on responsibility and work with others. Working in an educational or counseling environment is difficult, but can be highly rewarding when developing lasting relationships and seeing those you help thrive. So get out there, start volunteering or working in a school environment and find out if the Tennessee school counselor career is right for you.
I have already earned a college degree…
The following are the steps necessary for earning your school counseling certification in Tennessee:
Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:
- Earn a Master’s degree in School Counseling
- Capella University Master of Science (MS) in Human Services – School Counseling Specialization – CACREP and State Approved **
- New York University (NYU) Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance – School Counseling and Bilingual School Counseling – MPCAC Accredited
- Grand Canyon University (GCU) Master of Education (MEd) School Counseling - leads to initial licensure
- Or find more school counseling programs in Tennessee here.
- Or, hold a Master’s degree in community counseling or mental health counseling, be enrolled in a school counseling program with at least 30 hours of the program completed, and be prepared to be supervised by a licensed Tennessee school counselor for at least one hour a week. The following are a few univerisities offering master’s programs in counseling fields:
You will need to fulfill certification experience requirements by completing a one semester supervised internship through your school counseling preparation program. You will also need to complete a one semester orientation as a part of you preparation program as well.
You will need to successfully complete the Praxis II: School Guidance and Counseling examination.
You can find information about test locations, dates and particulars on the ETS website.
Lastly, you should contact the Tennessee Department of Education to make sure you are doing everything you need to be doing in order to gain Tennessee school counselor certification: (615) 532-4885. More information can be found on the Tennessee Department of Education licensing page.
I’m a certified counselor from another state…
Tennessee does offer licensure through reciprocity agreements. You must have a current, valid school counseling certification.
Your credentials will be evaluated and if you have not completed all the Tennessee requirements for school counseling certification, you will be issued an Interim License. You will then need to complete all lacking requirements for proper certification.
You can download an “Out of State application” here.