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

Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute

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

Illinois Administrative Code 23-25.225 Endorsement for School Counselors

a) Each applicant for the school support personnel endorsement for school counselor shall hold a master's or higher degree awarded by a regionally accredited institution of higher education in school counseling, another counseling or related field (e.g., social work or psychology), or an educational field.

b) Each applicant shall have completed an Illinois program approved for the preparation of school counselors pursuant to Subpart C or a comparable approved program in another state or country or hold a comparable certificate or license issued by another state or country (see Section 25.425).

c) Each candidate shall have completed a supervised counseling practicum of at least 100 clock hours that provided interaction with individuals and groups of school age and included at least 40 hours of direct service work. Except as provided in subsection (e), each applicant shall have completed a structured and supervised internship that is part of an approved program.

  • 1) The internship shall be of a length that is determined by the approved program to be adequate to enable candidates to meet the standards set forth at 23 Ill. Adm. Code 23.110 but shall entail at least 600 hours and last no less than one semester, during which the candidate shall engage in the performance of various aspects of the counseling role and shall be gradually introduced to the full range of responsibilities associated with that role. However, the internship for an individual with at least two years of teaching experience may, at the discretion of the institution offering the approved program, consist of no fewer than 400 hours. In each case at least 240 hours of the internship shall involve direct service work with individuals and groups of school age.
  • 2) The internship shall occur in a school setting except that, at the discretion of the institution, a maximum of one-third of the hours required may be credited for experiences in other related settings such as hospitals or day care settings that, in the judgment of the institution, expose the candidate to the needs of school-aged children and prepare the candidate to function as a school counselor.

d) Except as provided in subsections (e) and (f), each applicant shall either:

  • 1) hold or be qualified to hold a professional educator license endorsed for teaching; or
  • 2) have completed, as part of an approved program, coursework addressing:
    • A) the structure, organization and operation of the educational system, with emphasis on P-12 schools;
    • B) the growth and development of children and youth, and their implications for counseling in schools;
    • C) the diversity of Illinois students and the laws and programs that have been designed to meet their unique needs; and
    • D) effective management of the classroom and the learning process.

Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-5-10-22.24a. School counselor.

To employ school counselors. A school counselor is a qualified specialist who holds a School Service Personnel certificate endorsed in school counseling issued pursuant to Section 21-25 [105 ILCS 5/21-25] of this Code and who either (i) holds or is qualified for an elementary, secondary, special K-12, or special preschool-age 21 certificate issued pursuant to Section 21-2 or 21-4 of this Code [105 ILCS 5/21-2 or 105 ILCS 5/21-4] or (ii) in lieu of holding or qualifying for a teaching certificate, has fulfilled such other requirements as the State Board of Education and the State Teacher Certification Board may by rule establish. An individual who has completed an approved program in another state may apply for a School Service Personnel certificate endorsed in school counseling and shall receive such a certificate if a review of his or her credentials indicates that he or she meets the additional requirements of this Section.

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