School Counseling Program Frequently Asked Questions

If, after reading the FAQs below, you still have questions, please contact Dr. Delia Owens, Program coordinator.

Admission and Attendance

How do I apply to the school counseling program?

Please visit the How to Apply page to find out which forms are needed and where to send them. Please complete each form as required, and return to the appropriate address as directed. Also, for information regarding the BCI, please go the The Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation (BCII) web site, as well as the the Office of Certification & Licensure for further information.

When is a BCII/FBI background check required?

For those without a current teaching license: The background check by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification is required prior to admission to the School Counseling Program.

The background check by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification and the FBI is required for all persons applying for a new type of Ohio teaching certificate, license, or permit (including those who already hold other types of Ohio certificates, etc.). Both the BCII and the FBI require submission of fingerprint impressions.

Do I have to be a teacher in order to become a school counselor in the State of Ohio?

No. Since January 2003, non-teachers have been able to work toward becoming a school counselor in the State of Ohio. You are strongly encouraged to read the recent changes in the state law.

Can I attend part time?

Yes, you can attend part time. However, the program of study must be completed within a 6-year time period.

What is the full-time course load requirement?

The full time course load requirement is a minimum of nine (9) credit hours per semester, typically most students take between nine (9) and a maximum of fifteen (15) credit hours per semester.

When are the classes offered?

All of the fall and spring semester classes are offered in the evening; there are no day-time classes during these semester periods. However, during the summer sessions (1-2-3), classes are offered during the day. Please see the schedule of classes on My Akron for specific time and dates. You may view the courses offered in the Department of Counseling in My Akron.

Practicum and Internship

What is the difference between Practicum and Internship?

Practicum is a prerequisite to the Internship. Practicum is completed on campus at the Clinic for Individual and Family Counseling while Internship is completed in a school setting.

Can I use a previous experience or internship in the place of the required 5600:685 Internship?

No. Internship must be taken after all of the required course work and Practicum are completed. No other experience or internship will be substituted for the required 5600:685 School Internship.

Can I complete my Internship at the school that I'm currently employed at?

Yes. You can complete your Internship at your place of employment after approval from the School Counseling Coordinator. The site supervisor must be a licensed school counselor.

Do I have to quit my job to complete the 600:685 school Internship?

No. You do not have to quit your job to complete Internship. However, if you are unable to perform your job duties and complete the Internship requirements, you may have quit or take a leave of absence.

Can I take two (2) or more years off from the program if necessary?

Yes. However, your student file will become inactive after a two (2) period of absence. You must reactivate your file after the two year period of inactivity/absence.

Required Examinations

Do I have to take the Pearson exam?

Yes. For more information on the Pearson Exam, here is a link to the required Pearson Exam

Do I have to take a comprehensive examination?

All school counseling students are required to pass a comprehensive examination toward the end of the program in order to graduate with the master's degree. The comprehensive examination helps students solidify didactic knowledge, Praxis examination (the National Teacher Exam for School Counselors). The School Counseling Program employs the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) for this purpose. Contact CPCE for cost information. Students are encouraged to prepare in advance for this expense.

When should I register for the comprehensive examination?

You should register with the department secretary one semester in advance of taking the comprehensive examination.

What if I fail the comprehensive examination?

You will be allowed one re-test of the comprehensive examination. A subsequent fail will result in dismissal from the program.


Do I need a license to be a school counselor in the State of Ohio?

Yes. For more information on licensure, here is a link to the Office of Certification & Licensure and the Ohio Department of Education for your information.

What will my license enable me to do?

It will allow you to function as an Ohio school counselor in schools K-12

What if I want to work as a counselor in an agency or private practice?

In order to provide diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in a community (i.e., non-school) setting another mental health license is required. Current school counseling students and graduates interested in seeking an additional Licensed Professional Counseling (LPC) credential should carefully read eligibility, application details and course requirements in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling student handbook found at Specific requirements are mandated and must be adhered to, including specific timeline limits.

How do I earn the five-year school counseling license?

To become a licensed school counselor in Ohio's elementary or secondary schools a person must complete the following:

  • Successfully complete a preparation program at an approved school counseling institution
  • Pass applicable portions of the Praxis exam for school counseling
  • Successfully complete a background check by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Individuals who have completed the above mentioned requirements should complete the prescribed application forms and submit them to Dr. Jaci Wilbanks in Zook Hall 201B. She will send your application along with her recommendation to the Ohio Dept. of Education, Office of Certification/Licensure for issuance of the license. To obtain the application forms, contact Dr. Wilbanks. Individuals without the teaching license are issued a 2-year provisional license. Upon successful completion of one year's experience as a school counselor under the mentorship of a licensed school counselor, the State will issue a 5-year license.

Can I get a temporary School Counseling license?

Yes. A temporary school counselor license may be issued at the request of a school district and is limited to individuals enrolled in the prescribed preparation program who are completing the program internship in the school district making the request. This license is limited to one year and is non-renewable. For further information regarding licensure requirements in Ohio, please go to the Ohio Department of Education web page.