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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the School Counseling Program

Do you need a teacher's certificate to become a school counselor? In Pennsylvania, you do not need to have a teacher's certificate or an education background to obtain certification as school counselor. Some districts may prefer that school counseling applicants have an education background but many do not.

What are the job prospects for school counselors in Pennsylvania? The job outlook in western Pennsylvania is competitive for school counselors and teachers. If you are willing to relocate to eastern Pennsylvania, or to southern states, such as Maryland, Virginia, or North Carolina, there are many more job opportunities, and our graduates who moved south immediately obtain school counseling positions. If you are looking to remain in western Pennsylvania, you should also consider pursuing licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) which would assist you in working in the mental health field before you are able to obtain a school counseling position.

What does the fieldwork entail? The fieldwork consists of 3 credits of practicum, totaling 100 clock hours, and 6 credits of internship, totaling 600 clock hours. Practicum may be conducted at either a mental health agency or school district, while all 6 credits of internship must be done in a school setting, with 300 clock hours being conducted at the elementary level (K-6), and 300 clock hours being conducted at the secondary level (7-12). Practicum is completed in one semester, and internship may be done in one semester or over several semesters, which many teachers and part-time students elect to do.

What are the admissions requirements? Official Academic Transcripts which must show a quality point average equivalent to a 3.0 or better on a four-point scale overall or 3.0 for the last 48 credits earned including post graduate, graduate and/or undergraduate work. If not 3.0 or better, transcripts must show a quality point average equivalent of a minimum 2.8 on a four-point scale overall including post-graduate, graduate and/or undergraduate courses, AND a minimum score of 396 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

What standardized tests will I have to take to become certified or licensed? To become a certified as an elementary or secondary school counselor in Pennsylvania, students must pass the Praxis II-Professional School Counselor (0421). To become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania students must pass one of four tests, and one most commonly taken by students is the National Counselor Examination (NCE).