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

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

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

Massachusetts General Laws ch 71.38G Certification for certain teaching and administrative positions

No person shall be eligible for employment as a teacher, guidance counselor, director, school psychologist, school adjustment counselor, school social worker, school nurse, library media specialist, school business administrator, principal, supervisor, director, assistant superintendent of school, and superintendent of schools by a school district unless he has been granted by the commissioner a provisional, or standard certificate with respect to the type of position for which he seeks employment; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a school committee from prescribing additional qualifications; and provided further, that a superintendent may upon request be exempt by the commissioner for any one school year from the requirement in this section to employ certified personnel when compliance therewith would in the opinion of the commissioner constitute a great hardship in securing teachers for that school district. During the time that such a waiver is in effect, service of an employee of a school district to whom the waiver applies shall not be counted as service in acquiring professional teacher status or other rights under section forty–one.


603 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 7.11 Professional Support Personnel Licenses

Candidates seeking professional support personnel licenses who have substantial experience and formal education relevant to the license sought but who do not meet all of the specific requirements listed in 603 CMR 7.11 may demonstrate that they meet the requirements, with the exception of a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test, through a Panel Review administered by the Department in accordance with guidelines to be established by the Department. For candidates who were prepared outside Massachusetts, the provisions of 603 CMR 7.04(2)(d) and 7.05(3) apply.

(1) School Counselor (Levels: PreK-8; 5-12).

  • (a) Initial License.

      1. Master's degree with a major in counseling.
      1. Subject Matter Knowledge as outlined in the Subject Matter Knowledge Guidelines.
      1. A practicum of 450 hours in an educational setting.
      1. Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test.
  • (b) Professional License.

      1. Possession of an Initial License.
      1. Three years of employment as a school counselor.
      1. Completion of one of the following:
      • a. A total of 60 credits of graduate coursework that may include credits earned in a master's degree program for the Initial License in a discipline appropriate to the license sought, which includes but is not limited to school counseling, mental health counseling, school psychology, or clinical psychology.

      • b. Achievement and maintenance of certification or licensure from one of the following:

      • i. National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

      • ii. National Board for School Counseling.
        Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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