West Virginia Links
West Virginia School Counselor Certification
Those seeking certification for school counseling in West Virginia need to meet both the educational and examination requirements as spelled out by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and listed below.
Skip down to find information relevant to your situation:
Initial West Virginia School Counselor Certification
Step 1: Education Requirements
Earn your Master’s degree in the field of school counseling through a state-approved and accredited university such as the following:
- 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.
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.
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.
Step 2: Examination Requirements
Complete the Praxis II examination, required for school counseling.
- The Praxis II exam is a 120-question examination that all prospective school counselors in West Virginia must complete and pass.
- You can plan on two full hours to successfully complete this required exam.
- You can find more information about the Praxis exam, testing dates, fees, locations, and registration by going to this site.
Step 3: Submit to West Virginia’s Background Check Process
- A background check through the state of West Virginia is absolutely necessary for all potential school counselors. This includes fingerprinting as well.
- If you’ve never applied for a school counseling license in this state, or have never been certified by the Virginia Department of Education, you must go through their specific process. (Unfortunately, any background checks acquired in other states, or by other agencies outside West Virginia, do not count nor will they be accepted.)
- Please know that you are required to obtain a service code to complete your background check. By submitting you licensure application, you will receive the code to proceed.
- After you’ve completed your information, and have your fingerprint cards ready, be sure to fill out a Hard Card form and include it with your payment. The Hard Card form and instructions can be downloaded at the West Virginia card scan site HERE.
- Send all completed forms, fingerprint cards, and fee to IdentoGo.
- Plan on paying a fixed fee $45.75. If, for any reason you are prompted to pay a different amount, it may be you are selecting the wrong fingerprinting process.
- If you reside in West Virginia, you can schedule an appointment with IdentoGo at (855) 766-7746.
- Or, if you reside outside of West Virginia and cannot appear in person at one of the LiveScan fingerprint locations, you can request fingerprint cards from the LiveScan site.
* Please note: All background checks are non-refundable. Be careful not to select the incorrect process or you will need to be fingerprinted again and also pay necessary fees.
Step 4: Organize and Submit Your Certification Application
- In order to submit an application for school counselor certification in West Virginia, you must first establish a profile on their portal.
- Once in the portal, click Begin Application and find the section to create a New Application. Carefully follow the steps as directed.
- At the end of your application process, carefully review your information. Make all necessary changes prior to submitting. This will prevent unnecessary and unfavorable delays in your school counseling application process.
- Once your completed application is received, you should be sent an email showing they’ve approved your application. You will then be prompted to return to the dashboard to pay all application fees.
* Please note: Here is the West Virginia Department of Education number should you have any questions or concerns regarding your application process. (304)-558-7010.
You are allowed to submit a paper application if preferred. If you choose to do so, please include the following supporting documents.
- A notarized Form 7
- Official transcripts, degrees, endorsements, certificates, etc.
- Your printed and fully-completed application form
Please mail your paper application and supporting documents to the following address:West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Certification
Building 6, Suite 700
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305
West Virginia School Counselor Certification Renewal
Your initial certification as a school counselor in West Virginia will be good for three years. If you’ve shown proficiency in the field, with at least two years of experience, (one being in a West Virginia school district), you can then apply for a professional certificate if you so choose.
Nevertheless, all persons seeking license renewal must add six credits of approved, accredited coursework during the renewal period. Along with the additional credits, applicants must submit all necessary forms including transcripts, school documents, and recommendations. The specified fee must also be included and given to the West Virginia Department of Education.
West Virginia School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity
For out-of-state residents, wanting to obtain school counseling certification, West Virginia does provide the opportunity to acquire certification through a reciprocity agreement. However, you will still need to go through the application process, no matter how much experience you’ve had. All educational credentials must be included and evaluated along with a complete background check.
* Please note: If you have a Professional Certificate from another state, or if you’ve been issued a certificate to work in the public school system already, you may choose Option 2 on the West Virginia Certification Portal and go through the process for certification that way.