Note on Licensure
The Walden University Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to practice as a licensed school counselor in many states. However, the requirements for licensure as a school counselor vary greatly from state to state. Each state board that is responsible for regulating the practice of school counseling has its own academic requirements and issues its own license to practice as a school counselor in that state.
Walden University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which may be a requirement to become licensed or certified as a school counselor in some states. The Walden MS in School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which may also be a requirement to become a licensed or certified school counselor in some states.
Walden MS in School Counseling graduates may apply for licensure as a school counselor in most states, as the MS in School Counseling program is approved in both Minnesota and Ohio. Graduates in some states will be eligible for licensure based on completion of a state-approved program, where they can apply directly to their state educator board (“direct apply”). Other states have a separate application and process for someone completing an out-of-state approved preparation program (“license-in-hand pathway”), where in order for a graduate to be eligible for licensure or certification, he or she must first obtain a license in an approved state (Minnesota or Ohio) prior to applying for licensure in his or her state of residence.
Prospective students must research their state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program to be eligible to apply directly to their state board, (2) if they need to obtain a license from the state where the program has been approved (Minnesota or Ohio) prior to applying in the state they reside, and (3) any additional requirements the student will need to complete prior to their state granting the license. Students residing in Minnesota and Ohio are eligible to apply directly to their state board, as Walden’s MS in School Counseling is approved by both state boards. Additionally, some states require school counselors to hold an existing teaching license or certificate, and/or obtain teaching experience, in order to be eligible for a school counseling certificate or license.
Each state issues its own credential for an individual to be permitted to practice as a licensed school counselor in that state. While Walden enrollment specialists can provide general information relating to the state-by-state educational requirements for school counseling licensure or certification, it remains the student’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to field education experiences, licensing or certification, authorization, or endorsement for the state in which she or he resides. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure, certification, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. Licensure eligibility determinations are ultimately determined by the appropriate state board that issues the credential to practice.
Prospective students enrolling in licensure-leading programs are advised that relocation to another state may impact the student’s ability to complete field experiences and/or to obtain professional licensure, certification, or other credential in another state. Prospective students are advised to carefully review, evaluate, and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.