School Counselor Licensure in Indiana

Indiana school counselors are issued school services licenses, valid from kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are three levels of licensure. Initial licensure is based on education. School counselors move from initial practitioner to practitioner licensure after successful work experience. Some eventually attain accomplished practitioner status.

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School Counselor Educational Requirements

In order to attain the initial credential, a school counselor must earn a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/school-services-licensure-school-counselor-and-school-psychologist). The Department of Education has provided a list of approved in-state programs that offer school counseling programs (https://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/student-assistance/school-counselor-education-programs-indiana-2018.pdf).

An out-of-state applicant will need to document, at minimum, 1) a degree from an institution accredited to offer education programs or 2) a degree from a regionally accredited institution and completion of all educational requirements necessary for licensure in the home state. The Department of Education notes meeting the stated minimums ensures that the education will be reviewed but does not guarantee that it will be found to meet Indiana standards. Coursework in school services standards is among Indiana’s requirements.

The prospective school counselor must also meet state-specific non-academic training requirements. Requirements include training in suicide and certification in CPR, the automated external defibrillator (AED), and the Heimlich Maneuver (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/prospective-educators CPR). The CPR and Heimlich Maneuver training may utilize online delivery but must include demonstration with a mannequin. The Department of Education has provided a list of approved providers (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/cpr-heimlich-maneuver-aed-certification).

The Department of Education has also provided resources for suicide prevention training (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/suicide-prevention-training).

The Application Process

Educators can apply online using the Licensing Verification and Information System (LVIS). They will first create an account, then follow the instructions for school services personnel (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/application-instructions-step-step). Some applicants will need to submit supporting documentation. The Department of Education has produced webinars to help applicants use the online system (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/lvis).

If the school is located in Indiana, it will appear as an option, and the applicant can select it. In-state applications are processed by the school’s licensing advisor. The Department of Education has provided a list (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/licensing-advisors-contact-page).

Out of State School Counselor Candidates

Out-of-state applicants will enter the name of the recommending institution. They must submit transcripts documenting all coursework and all institutions attended. They will need to include an “Areas for Evaluation” form with “school counselor” checked. Those who hold, or have held, licensing are instructed to include a copy of the credential.

Out-of-state experience can be verified by a letter signed by an administrator. The most recent administrator is authorized to verify previous experience. The Indiana Department of Education will need to know the school’s accreditation as well as the dates of employment and the positions held.

The candidate will upload the application and then pay the $35 application fee (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/prospective-educators). A separate $35 licensing fee will be assessed later.

In some cases, an out-of-state educator may be issued a reciprocal license with deficiencies.

Converting from Initial Practitioner Licensing to Practitioner Licensing

The initial license is issued for two years. Once requirements have been met, an educator can convert it to a standard five year license.

School service personnel will use one of two conversion methods (https://www.doe.in.gov/licensing). One is the Indiana Mentor and Assessment Program (IMAP). The year 2 IMAP evaluation includes seven school service personnel standards.

The other method involves two years of service and completion of a Professional Growth Plan (PGP). A contact hour of qualifying professional development is worth one PGP point. A professional will need 40 PGP points; these must be verified by an administrator. PGP points can be earned for participation in curriculum development committees or school improvement plans as well as for coursework, workshops, and conferences.

Conversion can be handled through the online system. Before a currently counselor can covert a license based on PGP, the administrator must verify completion of the required professional development. The school counselor can upload the two year experience letter.

A school counselor converting on the basis of IMAP will upload the IMAP completion letter.

Attaining Accomplished Practitioner Licensing

In order to attain the accomplished practitioner license, the school counselor must complete a degree at the educational specialist level or higher. An educational specialist degree signifies additional coursework beyond the master's level. In order to be qualifying, the degree must be in a counseling-related field. It will not necessarily be in school counseling per se. If the additional work is in mental health counseling, the school counselor may also qualify for a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) license through the Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.

In order to be granted the accomplished practitioner license by the Department of Education, the school counselor will need the recommendation of the license advisor.

A school counselor is not eligible to move up to accomplished practitioner status until he or she has been licensed at least five years at the proficient level.

The accomplished practitioner license is valid for ten years.

Emergency Permits

An emergency permit may be issued at school district request to an educator who is not yet licensed as a school counselor but is committed to earning the credential (http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/emergency-permits). No more than two renewals may be granted. Renewal is contingent on coursework completion.

Additional Information

The Indiana Department of Education (http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/student-assistance/school-counselor-licensure) can be reached by telephone at (317) 232-9010 or by email at 'licensinghelp at doe.in.gov'.

The Indiana School Counselors Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.indianaschoolcounselor.org). The Indiana School Counselors Association does not handle the licensing process, but has provided links to credentialing resources.

Indiana Professional Counselor license requirements

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