How to Become a School Counselor in Michigan

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 Michigan.

Academics: (Option 1) School Counselor Endorsement issued on a standard professional teaching certificate or (Option 2): master’s degree from a sanctioned program in school counseling.

Necessary Courses: In-State Candidates: Candidates enrolled in a school counseling program at a sanctioned educator preparation institution will be evaluated for the Admissibility of a school counselor license by the in-state university licensure officer. An assessment for a school counselor credential may lead to a candidate being recommended for a Preliminary Employment Authorization to be employed as a School Counselor and a school counselor certification. The school counselor license is good for 5 years and is issued to candidates who have fulfilled all Michigan academic requirements, including the following: (1) completion of at least 30 graduate-level semester hours in a sanctioned school counselor program, (2) all program requirements including a practicum of not less than 600 hours based on a sanctioned school counselor program in a district under the supervision of a school counselor or a school counselor. A minimum of 300 of the 600 clock hours shall be in a school setting, (3) completion of the MI Test for Teacher Certification School Counselor examination.

Out-of-State Candidates: Candidates who complete all requirements of a sanctioned, out-of-state school counselor education program and fulfilled other requirements are assessed for a school counselor license by the MDEOP

Preparation Services. This license is good for 5 years and is given to candidates who have met out-of-state institutional and academic requirements applicable to being assessed by MDE for a Michigan school counselor license, including: (1) candidate completed a master’s degree or higher in a school counselor educator program including an internship in a school setting at an out-of-state university or its equivalency, (2) candidate has earned a bachelor’s degree and has worked out of state as a school counselor five out of the preceding seven years, plus possesses a valid school counselor certificate/license issued by another state, (3) candidate passes the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification School Counselor examination.

Experience Requirements: Finish a 600-clock hour internship with students under the supervision of a counselor educator in a sanctioned school counseling prep program. At a minimum, 300 of the 600 clock hours shall be in a school setting. Candidates apply for a license via the Michigan Online Educator Certification Systems. A Michigan district may apply for a permit to allow an eligible person to be hired in the interim.

Assessment: Michigan Test for Teacher Certification – School Counselor (NT) exam.
Is an Institutional Recommendation Needed?: Yes, required for in-state candidates.

Licensure: K-8, 6-12, K-12

Licensure Reciprocity: Yes. Those who finish an out-of-state bachelor’s degree and possess a valid out-of-state school counselor certificate, and have successfully served five out of the last seven years as a school counselor can be evaluated for a school counselor credential.

Criminal Background Investigation: Yes

Michigan Department of Education/school counseling

Michigan Department of Education/out-of-state candidates

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