A State by State Counselor Guide

School Counselor Certification in Nevada

Nevada school counselors are licensed by the Nevada Department of Education. They are considered "licensed school personnel". The credential authorizes service with pupils from kindergarten through grade 12. It is awarded on the basis of education and examination. A background check is also required.

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Educational Requirements

Nevada school counselors must have education at the master's level or higher. There are several pathways. The most direct is to earn a degree in school counseling.

It is also possible to achieve school counseling licensure with a master's in counseling. The counseling degree must be awarded by a regionally accredited institution. The program must include state-mandated coursework and field experiences.

A professional who has two years of experience in teaching or school counseling may receive a school counseling endorsement on the strength of a master's degree in a field other than counseling. However, a person who holds their master's in any field other than school counseling must meet Nevada’s coursework and field experience requirements. The Department of Education requires at least 36 graduate semester hours of school counseling and guidance coursework. The following content areas must be addressed:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Child and family counseling
  • Career counseling
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Assessment and testing
  • School counseling program organization and administration
  • Legal and ethical counseling issues

At least two of the following must be covered:

  • Human growth and development
  • Exceptional children
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Technology in education

There must be a school counseling practicum, internship, or field experience of no fewer than 600 hours; the intern may work with students at any grade level(s) from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

As educators, Nevada school counselors must either take coursework in Nevada school law and U.S. and Nevada constitutions or pass examinations in the subject matter. The Department of Education has provided a list of approved providers.

The Nevada Department of Education will also accept school counseling certification issued by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as evidence that educational requirements have been met. However, counselors who do not yet hold school counseling licensure can only achieve the National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) credential after three years of counseling experience (http://www.nbcc.org/Certification/NationalCertifiedSchoolCounselor). Other requirements include completing a 48 semester hour counseling degree, passing an examination, and composing a professional practice statement.

Examination Requirements

Nevada school counselors take the Professional School Counselor Examination; the current version is 5421 of the Praxis series for educators (https://www.ets.org/praxis/nv/requirements). It is a computer-delivered examination and is typically available two weeks out of the month at Prometric sites throughout the nation. Candidates may register online through ETS. They should be prepared to pay a $115 fee. There is a candidate handbook available on the ETS website.

In most cases, individuals who take Praxis examinations in Nevada will have their scores reported automatically to the Nevada Department of Education.

Candidates who have not taken the required Constitution and school law coursework can test out of it. The University of Nevada’s College of Education handles the examination process.

There are three separate examinations: Nevada School Law (0001), Nevada Constitution (0002), and U.S. Constitution (0003). Test takers have the option of taking the examinations through the general examination or special administration process. General exams are offered two to three times a year. The fee is $25 to take one examination, $40 to take two, or $55 to take all three. Special administrations are available twice a month; there is an additional $75 charge.

The Las Vegas and Reno testing sites each offer the examinations 26 times per year; additionally, there is one general examination offered in Elko County.

The University of Nevada notes that test results are not provided directly to the licensing agency in cases where the test taker does not have a license number. Individuals who are not yet licensed are directed to save their score reports. (Additional copies carry a $10 charge.)

Information is available on the website of the University of Nevada-Reno (http://www.unr.edu/education/academic-programs/law/examinations). Candidates who have questions are invited to call (775) 687-9115 or (702) 486-6458 between 1:00 and 4:00 PM.

Criminal Background Check Requirement

Candidates will need to have fingerprints made prior to application. Fingerprinting may be done at any law enforcement agency. The prints should be made on a standard FD-258 card; the Department of Education directs candidates to make sure that the card includes all required information before leaving the agency.

The candidate will include the fingerprint card in the application packet along with a signed authorization form; the form is found in the application packet.

The Application Process

Application materials may be downloaded from the Department of Education website (http://teachers.nv.gov/Apply_for_a_License/).

The applicant must include official transcripts. Transcripts are accepted if they include a university seal and registrar signature or are printed on Scrip-Safe-type paper.

The application form includes an oath that requires notarization.

A candidate who answers "yes" to restricted personal data questions (for example, criminal convictions or actions taken against licenses) must submit a disclosure form along with detailed explanation.

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $161.

It may take up to 30 days to process a complete application. Although applications are generally processed in the order they are received, individuals who have received offers of employment may qualify for priority processing. (They are directed to contact their human resources office before submitting the application package.)

Licenses are sent by email. In cases where the applicant does not qualify, the deficiency notice will come by email.

Out-of-State School Counselors

Nevada extends reciprocity to states that are members of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, or NASDTEC (https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/careers-roles/state-certification-requirements).

Candidates should include the following in their application packets: official transcripts, original score reports, and copies of out-of-state licenses.

Temporary School Counseling Authorization

A licensed educator who has not yet met all requirements for the school counseling endorsement may be granted a temporary authorization under certain circumstances. The professional must already hold a master's or advanced degree. He or she must have completed at least 24 hours of qualifying school counseling coursework. The Department of Education has also set an experience requirement. A professional can qualify on the basis of teaching experience or school counseling experience. An individual who does not have qualifying professional experience must complete additional internship.

Additional Information

Educator Licensure (http://teachers.nv.gov) maintains Las Vegas and Carson City offices. The Las Vegas office can be reached at 702-486-6458. The Carson City office can be reached at 775-687-9115. Office hours are 8:00 to 5:00. Applicants may also use email contact form to direct inquiries (http://teachers.nv.gov/Contact_Us/Educator_License_Inquiry/).

The Nevada School Counselor Association is an additional professional resource, but is not involved with the licensing process (http://www.nvsca.org/).

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