How to Become a School Counselor in Kansas

According to May 2018 data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kansas houses approximately 2,500 school counselor positions. These 2,500 counselors brought home an average annual salary of around $50,000. The field continues to grow in both Kansas and nationwide, as the BLS projects a 13% increase in school counselor positions nationwide by the year 2026. That 13% represents a growth rate faster than the national average for all careers.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Kansas

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Education and Experience Requirements

Students curious about how to become school counselors in Kansas must first complete several education and experience requirements. Below, we delve into deeper detail about those requirements, covering topics such as typical coursework, required degrees, and the necessary amount of supervised hours.

Education and Coursework

Students do not need a bachelor's degrees in a particular field to qualify for school counselor licensure in Kansas. However, each licensure applicant must complete a master's degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited school with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25. Furthermore, a licensure candidate must have completed at least eight credits toward a master's degree within the past six years. Each licensure candidate must also earn a recommendation from their program. Otherwise, they may not apply for licensure.

licensure applicant must complete a master's degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited school with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25

In most cases, a master's in school counseling curriculum consists of 36-54 credits. Some of the more popular online options require students to complete a 48-credit curriculum before graduating. The Kansas Department of Education does not list any required coursework topics for school counselors applying for licensure. Most master's programs in school counseling require between 18 (full-time) and 54 (part-time) months to complete.

To learn more about counseling education and postgraduate careers, please visit the counseling hub page on this website.


Interested in pursuing an education in school counseling? Check out the following pages to explore available academic programs by level:


Practicum and Internship

Before becoming certified in Kansas, each school counselor must complete a one-year supervised internship in a school while they hold their provisional license. They can also complete this requirement during their master's programs. In most cases, a counselor must also hold a valid Kansas professional teaching license to pursue school counseling licensure, although the state department of education also offers an alternate certification pathway for non-teachers.

Application and Exam Requirements for Kansas School Counselors

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) oversees all procedures related to school counselor licensure in the Sunflower State. Beyond transcripts demonstrating a master's degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited university and an institutional recommendation, licensure applicants must each pass a criminal background check, submit fingerprints to the KSDE, and pass the PRAXIS II in school counseling with a minimum score of 600.

The process for school counselor licensure differs greatly from the process for other types of counseling licensure, as the KSDE only deals with school counselors. Students can find all of the applications they need and pay all of the requisite licensure fees through the KSDE website. All applicants should arrange to submit their official college transcripts either electronically or by mail directly to the KSDE. Licensure candidates can arrange to complete the PRAXIS II in school counseling in their own communities through the Educational Testing Service website.

Out-of-State School Counselor Candidates

Kansas does not maintain reciprocity agreements with other states, so all licensure applicants who hold certification in other states must meet the Sunflower State's initial licensure requirements to transfer their credentials. Those requirements include the following:

  • A minimum score of 600 on the PRAXIS II: School Counseling.
  • A master's degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.25.
  • A one-year counseling internship in a school.

School Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

In Kansas, each school counselor license lasts for five years, regardless of each individual's level of professional experience. To renew their licenses, Kansas guidance counselors must meet one of the following sets of requirements during each renewal period:

  • Six credits of additional college-level school counseling coursework
  • 120 Kansas professional development/inservice points or three years of active practice, additional professional experience (Note: Counselors may only use this renewal method twice during their career, and this method is only open to professionals who earned their degrees before 2003.)

In Kansas, each school counselor license lasts for five years

Resources and Organizations for School Counselors in Kansas

This section provides several resources and professional organizations that can help future school counselors in Kansas find their feet in the field. These resources and organizations provide services like professional development and networking opportunities.

  • American Counseling Association The nation's principal professional organization in the counseling field, the ACA provides many services to its members, including professional development, continuing education, publications, advocacy, and a job board.
  • American School Counselor Association As the primary nationwide professional organization for school counselors, the ASCA maintains a national presence and state chapters, as well. The national organization provides professional development and access to scholarly publications.
  • ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors The ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors establish "knowledge, skills, and attitudes" that students must demonstrate to thrive in each stage of their schooling. Familiarity with these standards can help counselors of all kinds.
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs This organization vets and oversees different collegiate-level counseling programs across the nation. Prospective counseling students can check the website to determine the accreditation status of their chosen program.
  • DrugRehab.com DrugRehab.com provides many articles regarding drug-related topics, including rehabilitation, causes of addiction, and treatment. The knowledge that the website offers can come in handy for high school counselors.
  • Kansas School Counselor Association The Kansas School Counselor Association is a state branch of the American School Counselor Association. The KSCA provides awards, advocacy, and networking events to its local members.
  • Kansas State Department of Education School Counseling Resources The Kansas State Department of Education provides this list of resources for school counselors in the form of a webpage. It provides local and national standards and information.
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling The National Association for College Admission Counseling strives to keep its members up to date on the best practices in college counseling. Membership in the association can benefit high school counselors, in particular.
  • National Board for Certified Counselors The National Board for Certified Counselors focuses exclusively on providing certificate and badge programs that can help currently practicing school counselors advance their careers and develop professionally.

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