School Counseling in Ohio
If you are passionate about guiding Ohio’s future generations toward academic, emotional, and professional success, pursuing a career as a school counselor in the Buckeye State may be the ideal path for you.
As a school counselor in Ohio, you will have a crucial role in helping students grow and achieve their dreams, just like the Wright brothers or Thomas Edison. In your role as a school counselor, you will be at the forefront of shaping students’ lives in a state that boasts a rich history and a promising future.
This guide will give you a clear roadmap of the steps and requirements needed to become a licensed school counselor in Ohio. You will also learn what it takes to build a rewarding career as a school counselor in Ohio.
What are the Requirements to Become a School Counselor in Ohio?
Pupil Services License (Initial)
Requirements to obtain a Pupil Services License for school counselors in Ohio are:
- Enroll in and complete a state-approved or a traditional master’s degree program in school counseling, which includes a 600-clock-hour internship at a school. This comprehensive program will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively work as a school counselor.
- Achieve a passing score of 220 on the Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) #040. This examination evaluates your understanding of key concepts and principles in the field of school counseling and ensures that you meet the professional standards required for licensure.
- Undergo a criminal background check through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). If you have not lived continuously in Ohio for the past five years, you will also need to pass an FBI background check. These checks ensure that you meet the ethical and legal requirements to work with children and adolescents in a school setting.
- Complete and submit the appropriate licensure application, along with the required fee. This step involves providing necessary personal information, educational background, and other relevant documentation to support your eligibility for licensure.
- If you have completed your school counseling program through an Ohio college or university, you will need to apply for licensure through the institution where you completed the program. The application must be signed by the dean or head of teacher education at the institution, confirming that you have successfully met all the program requirements and are prepared to work as a school counselor.
Temporary Pupil Service License
The Ohio Department of Education offers a one-year temporary pupil service license for individuals who are employed as school counselors but have not yet finished their degree programs.
There are two routes to obtain this temporary license, and both necessitate being employed by a school as a school counselor. A representative from the employing school or district must endorse and sign the temporary license application.
For applicants holding a teaching license, the following requirements must be met:
- Possess a valid and current standard teaching certification;
- Provide proof of enrollment in a state-approved school counselor preparation program; and
- Submit documentation from the college or university demonstrating the applicant’s understanding of professional identity, human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, group work, assessment, research, and program evaluation.
For applicants who hold a counselor’s license, the following criteria must be fulfilled:
- Possess a valid license to practice as a counselor from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board; and
- Provide proof of enrollment in a state-approved school counselor preparation program.
By fulfilling the requirements of either pathway, individuals can obtain a temporary license, allowing them to work as school counselors while they complete their degree programs or await decisions on their professional licensure applications.
Pupil Services License – 5 Year
To renew a Pupil Services License, educators must complete one of the following since the initial license issuance:
- Six semester hours of coursework relevant to school counseling;
- 18 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), equivalent to 180 contact hours; or
- Alternative equivalent activities related to school counseling, as approved by the Local Professional Development Committee of the employing school, district, or agency.
A combination of coursework, CEUs, or other equivalent activities is also acceptable.
Educators must finish all renewal requirements and submit their renewal application before October 1st of the license’s expiration year. If they fail to meet this deadline, the renewal requirement increases to nine semester hours.
Temporary Pupil Services License
For temporary license holders, renewal is possible at the request of an employing Ohio school or district, provided they meet the following conditions:
- Possess a valid license issued by the respective Ohio board; AND
- Complete six additional semester hours of coursework in an approved school licensure program for the requested licensure area.
Temporary license holders must also submit official university transcripts reflecting the completed coursework along with their renewal application.
Ohio does not provide direct reciprocity for school counselor licenses obtained in other states, which means individuals licensed in other states must still adhere to Ohio’s licensing requirements. To convert an out-of-state license or secure a license if trained outside of Ohio, applicants must provide the following:
- A copy of the out-of-state license or a letter of eligibility from the university, written on university letterhead and signed by the dean or program head, indicating the license type the applicant is qualified for in the state where they received their training;
- Proof of a passing score on the licensure exams administered by the applicant’s state of training or a passing score on the Ohio Assessment for Educators #040 School Counselor assessment;
- Confirmation of work experience. The human resources director or superintendent of the applicant’s out-of-state school or district must complete and submit the Work Experience Verification form directly to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE);
- An uploaded scan of the official transcript or arrangements for the official transcript to be sent electronically or mailed directly to the ODE; and
- Completion of both BCI and FBI background checks.
How Long Does it Take to Become a School Counselor in Ohio?
The process of becoming a school counselor in Ohio may take approximately six to eight years, considering the time required to obtain a bachelor’s degree, complete a master’s program in school counseling, pass the necessary exams, and fulfill any work experience requirements.
Do I Need a PhD Degree to Become a School Counselor in Ohio?
No, to become a licensed school counselor in Ohio, you need a master’s degree in school counseling.
What is the Scope of Practice for School Counselors in Ohio?
In Ohio, school counselors play a crucial role in fostering students’ academic, career, and emotional well-being. They work together to create an extensive counseling program that is developmental, preventive, and adaptive, aligning with the school’s objectives and mission.
To accomplish this, school counselors:
- Design a curriculum, facilitate personalized student planning, and offer responsive support to help students acquire and apply knowledge and skills essential for academic, professional, and emotional growth.
- Collaborate and consult with school staff, parents/guardians, community partners, and various agencies/organizations to ensure comprehensive support for all students.
- Participate in an ongoing improvement process, using data to identify requirements, develop and execute programs, assess their effectiveness, and make necessary adjustments.
- Champion initiatives, policies, and practices that contribute to a fair, secure, inclusive, and positive learning atmosphere for every student.
- Follow professional ethical standards, pursue continuous professional development, and refine their practice through reflective analysis.
Ohio school counselors concentrate on developing knowledge and skills in areas such as:
- The different stages of human growth and development, and the associated needs.
- The impact of social development, personality, and social learning theories on students’ academic, professional, and emotional growth.
- The effects of learning styles and theories on academic achievement.
- Efficient counseling and teaching methods.
- Proactive and reactive approaches to addressing challenges.
- Catering to the needs of diverse student populations.
- Cultural sensitivity, competence, and social equity.
- Theories and models of career development.
- Trends and information related to education, training, employment, and the labor market.
- The latest developments and issues in school counseling.
In short, the scope of practice for school counselors in Ohio involves supporting students’ academic, professional, and emotional development through joint program development, responsive assistance, and ongoing professional growth, while advocating for fair and inclusive educational environments.
How Much Does a School Counselor Earn in Ohio?
As of May 2023, the average salary for a school counselor in Ohio is $68,720 per year. More experienced school counselors in Ohio earn over $85,000 each year.
- How to Become a School Counselor in Florida
- How to Become a School Counselor in Georgia
- How to Become a School Counselor in Michigan
- How to Become a School Counselor in Missouri
- How to Become a School Counselor in Oklahoma
- How to Become a School Counselor in Washington State