How to Become a School Counselor in California

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 California.

Academics: Requirements for the Clear Credential

Candidates must meet all of the following requirements:

1. Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
2. Finish post-bachelor’s degree study consisting of a minimum of 48-semester units in a commission-sanctioned professional preparation program, including a practicum with school-aged kids.
3. Obtain the recommendation of a California institution with a commission-sanctioned student personnel services program concentrating on school counseling. This process will result in the institution submitting the recommendation online.
4. Finish the basic skills requirement.
5. Finish the Live Scan fingerprint process (form 41-LS).
6. Pay the application processing fee once the recommendation has been submitted by the college or university. Candidates will be notified via e-mail that the application has been submitted and is awaiting payment in a secured database. CL-606C 12/15 Page 2 of 4

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Licensure: Individuals possessing certification issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Early Childhood to Young Adulthood – School Counseling may apply to the commission for the clear credential. Candidates applying under this route are exempt from the basic skills requirement and all other credential requirements. Candidates can apply by submitting the following items by mail:

1. Photocopy of National Board Certification
2. Finished application (form 41-4) and, if not previously submitted to the commission, a completed Live Scan receipt (form 41-LS). Out-of-state residents must submit 2 fingerprint cards (FD-258) instead of a Live Scan receipt. If submitting fingerprint cards, fingerprint processing fees should be submitted in the application packet.
3. Application processing fee

Out-of-State Prepared requirements

Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)California Department of Education

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