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Arkansas State University

Becoming a School Counselor in Arkansas

Every state has its own education and certification or licensure requirements for school counselors, and in Arkansas, a master’s degree in counseling or a related field is required. In addition, individuals with a master’s degree in an area of licensure other than guidance and school counseling are required to complete an ADE-approved graduate, non-degree program of study in guidance and school counseling.

Educational Requirements

Before becoming a school counselor in Arkansas, it necessary to complete the following steps:

Bachelor’s Degree: Although a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling or a similar field would prove to be helpful when working toward a master’s degree in school counseling, such a degree is not required to work as a school counselor in Arkansas. No teaching experience is required.

Certification, Exam, Practicum: Most master’s degree programs will prepare you for the various examinations required for certification in guidance and school counseling K-12. In Arkansas, you must pass the Praxis II School Guidance and Counseling Test, designed to test prospective counselors on four categories: foundation, delivery of services, management and accountability. In addition, students must complete 100 clock-hours of supervised practicum experiences over a minimum 10-week academic term.

Internship: Arkansas also has internship requirements for those seeking licensure as school counselors. The 600 clock-hour, supervised internship takes place after successful completion of the practicum, with at least 240 clock-hours of direct service. All of the detailed requirements for Arkansas school counselors can be found in the state certification requirements documentation and on the state’s Division of Elementary & Secondary Education website.

Arkansas does offer reciprocity for those individuals holding guidance counselor certification from another state, provided all of the Arkansas requirements for reciprocity are met before applying for review of transcripts and certification. A background check is also required.

Obtaining the Master’s Degree in School Counseling

Arkansas State University, accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), offers a fully online Master of Science in Education in School Counseling program. The flexibility and affordability of this program as well as the individualized, advanced practical experience make it accessible for recent graduates and working professionals alike.

Courses include the basics and an introduction to school counseling as well as advanced topics such as social and cultural foundations of counseling, theories and techniques, group counseling, crisis counseling, counseling children and adolescents, ethical and legal issues in school counseling and more.

The program also includes the state-required counseling practicum, working with adolescents in a comprehensive developmental counseling program. Once completed, students participate in a state-required supervised internship which provides experience in individual counseling, group work, developmental classroom guidance, consultation, and program coordination activities.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online Master of Science in Education in School Counseling program.


Test Prep Review: Praxis II School Guidance Counselor (5421) Practice Test

Arkansas Department of Education: Guidance and School Counseling

American School Counselor Association: State Certification Requirements

Arkansas Department of Education: Competencies for Guidance and School Counseling, Grades K-12 ADD-ON LICENSURE

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