How to Become a Virginia School Counselor
Where are you on your quest to become a Virginia School Counselor?
Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Virginia. 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 Virginia Department of Education licensing department at (804) 225-2022.
- 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 researchin the Virginia school counseling career, you will find few among your peer group showing the same motivation and maturity. However, as there are few with your motivation, there is no shortage of opportunities and resources to learn more about the Virginia educational system and to learn more about yourself.
Below are recommended steps to help you learn how to begin advancing you current level of education as well as learn whether a career as a Virginia 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 Virginia:
- Virginia Mentoring Partnership
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia
- Virginia list of school districts and their 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 afraid to get out there and use the above information. Your research is only as valuable as what you do with it. So, stay motivated and learn whether the Virginia school counseling 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 Virginia:
Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:
- 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 Virginia here.
You will need to fulfill the Virginia school counselor experience requirements through one of the following two ways:
- Complete at least 100 clock hours of supervised clinical experience with preK-6 grade levels and 100 clock hours with 7-12 grade levels. The clinical experience should be completed through your preparatory organization.
- Or, you can complete the experience requirements with two years of teaching experience. Two years of guidance or counseling experience can satisfy the experience requirements as well.
On this VDOE webpage, download the initial licensure application. You will find instructions for the application procedure from requesting transcripts to application processing fees.
If you have further questions for you particular situation, call the VDOE at the following number: (804) 225-2022
In addition, for more information about the school counseling career in Virginia, explore the VDOE School Counseling and Guidance page
I’m a certified counselor from another state…
If you are a school counselor from another state, you may be eligible for a Virginia school counselor certification through reciprocity agreements. However, you will still need to complete an application and have the VDOE evaluate your credentials.
You can download the application as well as find procedures for applying for certification on the following VDOE webpage.
For further questions and information about earning your certification through reciprocity agreements, call the VDOE at (804) 225-2022.