Rehabilitation Counselor License Requirements in Wyoming

Wyoming rehabilitation counselors hold Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensing. Licensure is granted on the basis of graduate education, supervised experience, and examination. Individuals who have completed qualifying degrees may be issued Provisional Professional Counselor licenses.

Counselors who are licensed in good standing in other states may be licensed by reciprocity in Wyoming, provided the requirements were at least substantially equivalent.

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LPC Educational Requirements

An LPC must hold a degree at the master’s or doctoral level (https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/wyoming-mental-health-professions-licensing-board/rules-and-regulations). Coursework must be completed through an accredited institution. The Board refers prospective licensees to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA); accrediting agencies that are recognized by CHEA are also recognized by the Wyoming Board.

Programmatic accreditation is less fundamental. Programs accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) are accepted as meeting requirements. Other programs can be accepted if they meet Board standards. The minimum number of semester hours is determined by graduation date. For those who graduate after July 1, 2013, the requirement is 60 semester hours.

Programs are to include the following coursework:

  • Human growth and development
  • Social and cultural diversity
  • Helping relationships
  • Career development
  • Group work
  • Assessment
  • Research and program evaluation
  • Ethical practice and professional counseling orientation

The practicum is to be at least 100 hours; the internship, at least 600 hours, with no fewer than 240 hours spent in direct service provision. Instructor qualifications and supervision standards should be comparable to those of CACREP-accredited programs.

The licensing agency can accept coursework that was completed as part of a master’s or doctoral program or that was completed subsequent to the degree.

Educational requirements are to be completed before provisional license (https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/wyoming-mental-health-professions-licensing-board/rules-and-regulations). However, a provisional license may be granted to an individual with up to six semester hours of deficiencies. The individual must have had practicum and internship and taken a course in professional orientation.

LPC Supervised Practice Requirement

The graduate must fulfill a supervised practice requirement. The prospective LPC will accrue no fewer than 3,000 post-degree hours. At least 1,200 hours are to be spent in direct service. Activities that support client work (for example, preparation, charting, and training) may be credited toward the remaining hours.

Hours are accrued under provisional licensing. During this time, the counselor will have a Designated Qualified Clinical Supervisor (DQCS). He or she will need at least 100 supervision hours.

LPC Examination Requirement

The counselor will need to pass a national examination before he or she can achieve full licensure as an LPC. The Wyoming Board has approved three examinations, offered by two national certifying agencies. They are as follows:

*The Commission on Rehabilitation Certification: Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Examination

*The National Board for Certified Counselors: National Counselor Examination (NCE) or National Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE)

The CCR is the examination that has traditionally been taken by rehabilitation counselors; it also confers a rehabilitation counseling certification that is recognized by many agencies around the nation. There are multiple pathways to examination eligibility (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php). Some candidates will need to complete a work experience requirement. Others can be approved on the basis of just a CRC-supervised rehabilitation counseling internship; this is the case with master's students who complete CORE-accredited programs or doctoral students, regardless of programmatic accreditation.

If a master's level rehabilitation counseling student completes the requisite CRC-supervised 600-hour internship but the program did not hold CORE accreditation, the experience can be accrued in as little as one year. If the program is in rehabilitation counseling but does not include the requisite internship, the requirement is two years.

Eligibility materials must be submitted more than four months before the intended examination date. Some materials must be completed by third parties. Typically, they can be uploaded to the online system (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/application___fees/70.php). Currently, the examination is available during three eight-day testing windows.

The NCE, a generalist counseling examination, is another licensing option. Wyoming candidates will need authorization before registration. Once approved, they will submit registration materials along with a $200 fee. An ATT will be issued in about four weeks' time. This allows the candidate to register at his or her choice of Pearson VUE assessment centers: either at the Wyoming site in Casper or at any of more than 400 other sites around the nation. Additional information can be found on the 'Wyoming page of the NBCC website (http://www.nbcc.org/Search/StateBoardDirectory/Wyoming).

The License Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the website of the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board (https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/wyoming-mental-health-professions-licensing-board/professionals-1/Provisional-Applications). Applicants are asked to read the regulations before applying.

In general, third party documents are to come straight from the source.

Official score verification is be transmitted by the NBCC or CRCC.

Official transcripts may be requested or submitted in sealed, stamped envelopes.

The Board will require three professional references. Those applying at the provisional level are advised not to seek a reference from the individual who will be providing clinical supervision; the supervisor will later provide an evaluation.

An individual applying at the provisional level will need a supervision agreement. He or she first writes a professional disclosure statement at the provisional stage; the statement will be revised at the professional stage.

Provisional licenses are issued for three years. The Board may grant an extension of up to three years to a candidate who has met examination requirements but not experience requirements or six months to a candidate who has met experience requirements but not examination requirements.

The application fee is $150 at the provisional level, $350 at the professional level. The fee for Wyoming counselors who are ‘completing provisional’ is $200.

Additional Information

The Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board (http://mentalhealth.wyo.gov/) can be reached by email at 'WyoMHPLB at wyo.gov'. The Licensing Specialist can be reached by phone at (307) 777-3628.

Civil service positions may expect CRC certification of professionals who have more than a few years of experience. Information on job specifications is available from the State of Wyoming Human Resources Division (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/wyoming/default.cfm?action=agencyspecs).

The Wyoming Counseling Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.wyomingcounselingassociation.com).

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