How to Become a School Counselor in Pennsylvania
In America, today’s school counselors do a lot more than their predecessors. It may be hard to tell from the outside looking in, but they help teachers and staff handle various issues, counsel parents, and sometimes play a crucial part in shaping education policy. They are a pivotal part of the student success equation, and they help schools create supportive and safe environments for students.
Want to become a school counselor in the United States, but want to know how? Don’t worry; the Edvocate has your back. Check out this guide that we created explaining how to become a school counselor in Pennsylvania.
Academics: Completion of a sanctioned program in school counseling;
Necessary Courses: Supervised counseling practicum experiences before and separate from the field experience, providing service with people and groups (60 clock hours)
Experience Requirements: A minimum of 300 clock hours of supervised field experiences include teaching experience and at least 70 hours (elementary) OR 75 hours (secondary) of service with individual and group clients.
Assessment: Must score 173 on Praxis Mathematics, 172 on Praxis Reading, and 173 on Praxis Writing. Must score at least 590 on the Praxis II School Guidance and Counseling.
Is an Institutional Recommendation Needed?: Yes, required for certification
Licensure: (1) Elementary – grades K-6; or (2) Secondary – grades 7-12
Licensure Reciprocity: No, but PA has signed an Interstate Agreement with 45 other states based upon the mutually agreed-upon conditions of that contract. However, it should be noted that candidates for Pennsylvania certification must complete the Praxis tests required by Pennsylvania in all cases.
Criminal Background Investigation: Yes, for employment and have ethical behavior and professional conduct.