School Counselor Licensure in Hawaii

Hawaii school counselors are licensed by the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board. School counseling is listed as a teaching field. School counseling education takes place at the graduate level

As of July 1, 2015, teaching licenses at the standard level require three years of experience ( New graduates, and professionals with less experience, will be issued licenses at the provisional level.

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School Counselor Educational Requirements

Prospective school counselors must complete state-approved programs. The American School Counselor Association notes that programs may also be accepted based on meeting the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) standards ( Programs are to be housed in accredited institutions.

The Teacher Standards Board has provided a list of in-state schools that have approved educator preparation programs (; prospective students can scroll through the list to find schools that offer school counseling.

Hawaii bases its program standards on widely recognized national ones. Content standards for school counseling programs are based on the 2009 standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or CACREP.

Examination Requirements

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board has adopted assessments from the ETS Praxis series for educators. A Hawaii school counselor may take both academic skills and content assessments en route to licensure. However, some prospective counselors will qualify for exemptions.

The new academic skills assessment is the Core Academic Skills for Educators; this has replaced the Praxis I. There are a number of exemptions ( Prospective educators can be exempted from the reading and mathematics tests based on qualifying SAT or ACT scores.

The school counseling assessment is the Professional School Counselor Examination. It incorporates the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model. The largest portion of the test (45%) covers service delivery. This content category includes individual, group, and school-level services as well as consultation and collaboration. Other content categories include foundations, management, and accountability. Management content focuses on implementing and managing comprehensive school counseling programs.

ETS has provided a study guide that includes content outline and study questions (

Although one may find references to the Principles of Teaching and Learning Examination, it is no longer required of educators who have completed State Approved Teacher Education Programs (SATEPs).

The Examination Process

Praxis examinations are now computer-delivered. They are available at testing sites around the nation. ETS currently boasts testing centers in Hilo, Honolulu and Mililani. In order to accommodate test takers in regions that don’t have established testing centers, ETS sponsors mobile testing events on Neighbor Islands (

Candidates who need to take Praxis examinations but do not have access to testing sites on their own islands may call 609-683-2774 to inquire about travel reimbursement options (

Candidates who test within Hawaii will have scores reported automatically. Those who do not will need to enter the Hawaii State code.

Applicants can visit the ‘Hawaii Requirements’ page of the ETS website for current information about Hawaii’s required exams ( The page is updated to reflect changing requirements.

ETS currently lists the fee for the Professional School Counselor Examination as $115.

ETS/ Praxis can be reached at 800-853-6773 or 443-751-4859.

The Application Process

Candidates submit their applications online ( The system will offer prompts.

Applicants who answer "yes" to any professional fitness questions will receive notification requesting additional documentation (

The Licensing Section can accept transcripts that are mailed directly from the university or sent directly from the university through electronic means.

License fees will not be due until it has been determined that requirements have been met. The one-year fee is $48. Fees can be paid online. Individuals who pay by check will have an administrative fee added. Currently this is $5.80.

Provisional licenses are time-limited. An individual may want to consider the timeframe for applying.

Earning Standard Licenses

Beginning July 1, 2015, a new educator will need three years of successful work experience to move up to standard licensure. Experience earned in other states is creditable; an educator may qualify for initial licensure at the professional level if he or she can document successful full-time work experience during at least three out of the previous five years.

School counselors who work in Hawaii are expected to meet performance standards. Performance standards for school counselors recently changed to more closely reflect the American School Counselor National Model (

Currently, school counselors document performance at the time of renewal. The “forms” section of the Board website includes “Verification of Satisfying the Professional School Counselor Performance Standards” paperwork.

Additional Information

Prospective counselors should be aware that regulations change periodically. Moreover, while school counseling is listed as a teaching field, requirements are different from classroom teaching requirements. Text in some documents may be more applicable to classroom teachers than to school counselors.

There are multiple ways to contact the licensing agency. The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board Licensing Section can be reached by email at Additional contact information is available online ( Options include filling out an email contact form or requesting an appointment by Skype.

All Hawaii public schools (with the exception of charter schools) are part of the same school system. The Department of Education has provided a number of resources for teachers and counselors who are considering applying for positions in Hawaii’s public schools (

The Hawaii School Counselor Association is the state's professional organization. It is a division of the American School Counselor Association (

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