In Ohio, school counselors are licensed by the Ohio Department of Education. Below is a summary of commonly asked licensure questions. To learn more about school counselor licensure in Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Education for specific details.
What license do I need to practice as a school counselor?
You will need a Professional Pupil Services license specializing in school counseling. The initial license is a 5-year professional license and covers grades K-12.
How do I apply for my license?
Visit the ODE website and create SAFE Account to apply for your license online. ODE no longer accepts paper applications.
What are the requirements for obtaining a school counselor license if I complete a graduate program in Ohio?
If you completed your graduate program from an Ohio university, to obtain your license you must provide:
- Documentation of program completion from university
- Receive a passing score on the Ohio Assessment for Educators #040
- Completion of a BCI/FBI background check
What are the requirements for transitioning an out-of-state license or obtaining a license if I completed a training program outside of Ohio?
Ohio does not offer reciprocity for out of state school counselor licenses, so those licensed elsewhere must still meet Ohio guidelines for a license. To transition an out-of-state license or obtain a license if trained out of state you must submit:
What testing requirements do I have to meet and where can I take that test?
- Copy of out-of-state license
of eligibility from the university on university stationary signed by
the dean or head of program stating the license you are qualified for in
the state you were trained in
- Verification of out-of-state licensure exams (if you began coursework after July 1, 1987, you must take and pass the Ohio Assessment for Educators #040)
- Verification of experience (not required for those seeking initial pupil services license)
- Official transcript mailed directly to ODE
- Completion of a BCI/FBI background check
- Click here to visit the ODE website and learn more about transitioning or applying for an out-of-state license.
Beginning January 2014, the NEW school counselor licensure exam is the OAE (Ohio Assessment for Educators) and no longer the PRAXIS. Click here to visit the Ohio Department of Education for further information about the testing process. Click here to visit the Ohio Assessments for Educators website to register for testing and access preparation materials. Individuals seeking school counselor licensure must take the following OAE test.
How can I obtain a temporary school counselor license?
- OAE School Counselor (Test #040)
- Needed score to pass is a 220.
ODE has provisions for individuals to obtain a one-year temporary pupil service license for those who are hired to work as a school counselor and have not completed their degree programs or are awaiting decisions on professional licensure. There are two pathways for being approved for a temporary license. Both pathways require the individual seeking the temporary license to be currently employed by a school to serve as a school counselor as someone from said school/district must recommend and sign for the temporary license. Beginning January 2014 you will have to apply for a temporary license online using a SAFE account.
- Those with a teaching license must provide the following: 1) current valid standard teaching credential; 2) evidence of enrollment in an approved program of preparation for school counselors; and 3) documentation by the college/university that the applicant demonstrates an understanding of professional identity, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, research and program evaluation
- Those with a counselors license must provide the following: 1) current valid license to practice as a counselor from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board; and 2) evidence of enrollment in an approved program of preparation for school counselors
Where can I get a BCI/FBI background check done?
Click here to learn more about the BCI/FBI background check requirements. It is recommended that you first check with your local school district, then neighboring school districts or your region’s Educational Service Center. If none of these have the ability to electronically complete both background checks, then check with your local law enforcement agencies or use the Ohio Attorney General’s Website to find a convenient location.
ODE requests that both background checks (BCI and FBI) be completed electronically through WebCheck so the fingerprints will be sent immediately to BCI. This allows for a much quicker processing of the prints and results reported to ODE. Please ask the agency you use if they have both Ohio and National WebCheck machines. Everyone in Ohio must use WebCheck unless: the individual lives 75 miles away from the nearest WebCheck facility or the individual has a history of ‘bad quality prints’ that cannot be captured on a WebCheck screen. Licensed educators need to have the results sent to the Ohio Department of Education. Please tell the agency you use to send the results to ODE.
Who do I contact if I have questions about my license?
Office of Educator Licensure / 614-466-3593 / firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a retired school counselor and want to keep my license active? What do I have to do to renew my license?
Once retired, you are no longer employed in an Ohio school/district and under the supervision of an LPDC. In order to renew, you must complete 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of coursework relevant to classroom teaching and/or an area of licensure since your last renewal date. Coursework needs to be completed prior to September 1 of the year of expiration of the license to be renewed or the renewal requirement increases to 9 semester hours or 13.5 quarter hours.