School Counselor Licensure in Vermont

Vermont school counselors are licensed by the state’s Agency of Education. The credential authorizes service with students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

There are two levels of licensure. Both require a graduate degree. Level 2 licensing requires additional professional experience.

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Educational Requirements for Level 1 Licensing

Vermont school counselors have education at the master's level. Prospective school counselors must either pursue a concentration in school counseling or have equivalent education. They must complete supervised internships of at least 600 hours; the 600 hours must include at least 60 hours at the elementary level (Prek - 6) and at least 60 at the junior high/ high school level (7 - 12). The internship supervisor is to be a licensed school counselor.

School counselors are to have knowledge of the following:

  • Human development
  • Developmental guidance
  • Counseling
  • Career exploration and post-secondary transitions
  • Assessment
  • Professional issues
  • Consultation and collaboration

School counselor standards begin on page 115 of the 2014 edition of the endorsements handbook (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-Rule-5440_Supplement_A_Licensing_Endorsements.pdf).

Prospective Vermont educators have two educational pathways: to complete an approved program and secure a recommendation from the preparing institution or go through a peer review process.

Examination Requirements for Level 1 Licensing

As educators, school counselors must demonstrate competency in academic skills. The Core Academic Skills for Educators has replaced the Praxis I. The Vermont Department of Education will accept alternative examinations for the Praxis I, but not for the Core. This means that prospective educators who did not pass another qualifying examination by August 31, 2014 will need to register for the Core.

The Agency of Education will accept ACT math and verbal scores of 22, provided the examination was taken by the qualifying date (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-Licensing-PRAXIS-I-Transition_Plan.pdf). The AOE will accept combined verbal and quantitative scores of 300 on GRE examinations taken between August 1, 2011 and August 31, 2014, provided that the verbal score is at least 153 and the quantitative score at least 144. The minimum combined score on the earlier version of the GRE is 1100 with verbal and quantitative scores each at least 500. The minimum SAT score for individuals testing before the cut-off is 1100 in combined critical reading and math, with scores in each of these two subtests at least 500; for tests taken prior to April 1, 1995, a combined score of 1000 is acceptable if verbal is at least 420 and math at least 470.

Individuals who took the Praxis I before the transition are expected to have scored 177 in reading, 175 in math, and 174 in writing. In some cases, a composite score of 526 may be accepted.

Students who need to take the Core can access information and register online (http://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates). The Core is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is available by appointment on an ongoing basis. There is currently one assessment center in Vermont: at the Prometric Center in Williston. Individuals who test in Vermont can expect their scores to be reported automatically. Those who opt for testing centers in other states will need to enter the code for the Vermont Agency of Education (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-Licensing_Praxis_I_and_II_Testing_Brochure.pdf).

The current threshold scores for the Core are 156 in reading, 150 in math, and 162 in writing.

ETS can be reached by telephone at 1-800-772-9476.

The Application Process

Applications can be filed online. The Agency of Education has published an instruction manual. (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-Initial_License_Application_Online.pdf). Transcripts and score reports are to be sent directly to the Agency of Education; they should be requested beforehand. Some applicants will need to furnish additional information based on answers to disclosure questions.

The nonrefundable application fee is $40.

Applicants who encounter problems while using the system may call the Agency of Education; they should be prepared to describe the issue and leave call-back information.

Status inquiries can be made after 30 days.

The Background Check Process

In most cases, first-time applicants must have criminal background checks. An exception can be made for those who have already been fingerprinted by their Vermont school district.

Online applicants will receive instructions and forms for meeting the background check requirement.

The background check fee is $16.50.

Applicants should be aware that an FBI background check can take as long as 90 business days.

Experience Requirement for Level 2 Licensing

Vermont educators can achieve Level 2 licensing after three years of practice. The AOE also mandates professional development. An educator who is currently working in the field will complete a self-assessment and provide documentation that he or she is performing at a professional level (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/educ_5100_licensing_regulations.pdf).

Out-of-State School Counselors

Vermont grants reciprocity to out-of-state school counselors (http://www.counseling.org/PublicPolicy/SchoolCounselingRegs2012.pdf). However, the method of review will not necessarily be the same as it is for classroom teachers. The Agency of Education notes that Vermont did not sign the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement in the area of instructional support. However, individuals who hold licenses in areas not covered under the NASDTEC agreement are still invited to send their application materials for review. The Agency has provided a list of frequently asked questions about the reciprocity process (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU_Licensing_FAQ_Reciprocity.pdf). Individuals who have unanswered questions are invited to call the Licensing Office help line.

International applicants may also be considered for licensure.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available on the website of the Vermont Agency of Education (http://education.vermont.gov/educator-quality). The Licensing Office can be reached at 'AOE.LicensingInfo at state.vt.us'. Licensing staff are available at (802) 479 - 1700 on weekdays between 7:45 and 4:30.

The Vermont School Counselor Association is not involved with the licensing process but serves as an additional professional resource (http://vtsca.cloverpad.org).

You may also be interested in the Vermont Counselor license requirements.

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