Alabama - School Counseling Staff Qualifications: Staff Qualifications and Professional Development

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State laws recommends minimum certification standards that include advanced coursework and graduate degree requirements for counselors and completion of a practicum or internship.

Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-3-.50 School Counseling.

(5) Requirements for Certification in School Counseling. Readiness to serve as a school counselor shall include:

  • (a) At least a valid Class B Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field, a valid Class A Professional Leadership Certificate, or a valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or in another area of instructional support.
  • (b) An official transcript from a regionally accredited institution documenting an earned master's degree.
  • (c) Meet Rule 290-3-3-.47(4)(b).
  • (d) Satisfactory completion of a State-approved program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses in the Alabama State Board of Education approved program for school counseling. For candidates unconditionally admitted to a Class A school counseling program July 1, 2017, and thereafter, a minimum GPA of 3.25 on all courses in the Alabama State Board of Education approved school counseling program.
  • (e) Practicum. For candidates admitted prior to August 1, 2010, a practicum that includes a minimum of 30 clock hours of supervised, direct service work in individual and group counseling with early childhood/elementary and secondary school students. For candidates admitted on or after August 1, 2010, a practicum of at least 100 clock hours in a school-based setting, including a minimum of 40 clock hours of supervised, direct service work in individual and group counseling with early childhood/elementary and secondary school students.
  • (f) Internship. For candidates admitted prior to August 1, 2010, competence to perform all activities that a school counselor is expected to perform as demonstrated in a supervised elementary and secondary school-based internship of at least 300 clock hours, begun subsequent to completion of the practicum. For candidates admitted on or after August 1, 2010, competence to perform all the activities that a school counselor is expected to perform as demonstrated in a supervised elementary and secondary school-based internship of at least 600 clock, begun subsequent to the completion of the practicum, including a minimum of 240 clock hours in direct service work with early childhood/elementary and secondary school students. Internships in P-12 schools must be supervised by individuals who hold a valid master's level professional educator certificate in school counseling and who are employed as a counselor.

Alabama Code 16-22-18 Annual stipend or supplement for certified counselors.

(a) Public elementary and secondary school counselors who were certified as nationally certified school counselors by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) prior to January 1, 2003, shall receive the same annual stipend or supplement as is provided for public school counselors who have received certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The annual budget act for public education shall contain an appropriation of at least five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each qualified public school counselor certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Nothing in this section shall imply or be interpreted as a right to additional compensation for any prior school year.

(b) Effective in 2013, upon certificate renewal, all public elementary and secondary school counselors meeting the qualifying criteria as set forth in this section shall obtain school counseling certification by the NBPTS or forfeit their annual stipend.
The Alabama Legislature

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