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License Requirements

SCHOOL COUNSELOR PREK-8/5-12

State requirement for initial license merrimack college school counseling component
1. Possession of a master’s degree with major in counseling 1. Upon completion of the Merrimack College program, students will receive a Master of Education in School Counseling
2. Possession of a bachelor’s degree 2. Admissions requirement prior to program – Met on admissions
3. Achieve a passing score on the communications and literacy skills test (MTEL) 3. Admissions requirement prior to program – Met on admissions
4. A practicum of 450 hours in an educational setting. 4. Merrimack College school counseling majors complete a minimum of 575 hours of field experience including a full year practicum monitored through a School Counseling Candidate Assessment of Performance (SC-CAP) mirroring the expectations they will encounter as a licensed counselor
SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE (SMK) EXPECTATIONS
State requirement for initial license merrimack college school counseling component

a. Familiarity with the Curriculum Frameworks and their use in the advising responsibilities of the guidance counsel

a. 12-credits in education specific areas including special education, English as a second language and critical issues.

b. Understanding and interpretation of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and other academic test results to students, teachers, and parents

b. 8-credits in school specific counseling including data driven delivery models, parent engagement and collaborative practice.

c. Psychology of learning

 c. 4-credits in advanced psychology of learning involving both theory, assessment and interpretation of learning evaluations.

d. Understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of learning and behavior disorders

d. 4-credit course, challenges in learning and development and 25 hour pre-practicum.

e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development

e. 8-credits in Psychopathology and counseling theory.

f. Knowledge of strategies used for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, the spectrum of mental illnesses, and violence in PreK-12 students

f. 2-credits specific to addictions and human development. Training for SOS with certification option, training in

g. Philosophy, principles and practices in school guidance counseling

g. 16-credits school counseling specific course work with 575 hours of field experience

h. Federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations

h. 16-credits of education and school counseling specific content

i. Career counseling

i. 4-credit dedicated course for college and career counseling paired with 250 hour field experience

j. Resources within the school system or the community for referral

j. 8-credit course content linking counseling, community and application integrated with 25 hour field placement.

k. Knowledge of statistics, research design, and research in guidance counseling

k. 4-credit course with research and leadership for school counseling paired with 250 hour field work.

l. Group counseling and group leadership

l. 2 credit dedicated group counseling course

m. Group counseling and group leadership
Development of skills for consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators

m. 575 hours field work guided through the School Counseling Candidate Assessment of Proficiency (SC-CAP) with yearlong 1:1 supervision


Individuals with a master’s degree in Psychology or Counseling may be able to complete a certificate level program of study to meet the above requirements for endorsement for School Counseling.

Professional License For School Counseling

For those currently holding a Massachusetts School Counselor license, you may wish to complete advanced coursework toward your professional license status. These requirements include: 

State requirement for professional license merrimack college school counseling component
1. Possession of an initial license 1. Completed through Merrimack College or another approved institution for School Counseling.
2. Three Years of Employment 2. Candidates must be employed as a school counselor BEFORE applying for professional license status
3. Completion of 60 Graduate Credits (or National Certification) 3. Merrimack College offers advanced course work (can be part of a CAGS in Leadership with a concentration in school counseling) 12 credits – three courses selected from advanced graduate counseling, leadership, community engagement, higher education, criminal justice program offerings. (note this course work will also count toward required professional development as well as masters +15 pay scale requirements offered in a number of school districts).

Take it to the next level - the graduate level - at Merrimack.