Like all states, Oklahoma regulates the professional counseling profession. Oklahoma has one level of licensure, Licensed Professional Counselor. You will not actually achieve this status until you have completed two years of supervised work experience. The Oklahoma Professional Counselor Licensing Division will, however, be supervising your training long before this.
You will submit most of your application materials at the onset of practice. Before you begin accruing your experience, you will need to meet a number of requirements, including education and documentation of acceptable professional and legal background.
This guide is intended to provide an easy to navigate path to completing the LPC requirements in Oklahoma. If at any point you have questions or just want to assure that you are on the right path, contact Oklahoma’s Professional Counselor Licensing Division (Website)
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You will need to complete a graduate degree in counseling from a regionally accredited school. You must have at least 60 semester hours, or 90 quarter hours, of coursework.
When you submit your application, you will need to document coursework in each of the following areas:
You will need at least two courses in the appraisal/ assessment and theories and methods categories. You will need at least one course in each of the other content areas. Your practicum must be at least 300 clock hours.
Additionally, you will need to document five elective courses, drawn from the following areas:
The application will also ask you to list the additional courses in your degree program and code them by category.
Oklahoma does not require that counseling programs be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). However, CACREP accreditation will ensure that the program meets the educational requirements of most states in the country. Oklahoma has multiple accredited programs, one is at Oklahoma State University. It is also possible to enroll CACREP-accredited programs that are offered primarily online.
Antioch University offers a new Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program that is in the CACREP accreditation process and mirrors the CACREP-accredited program delivered on campus. Specializations in: Substance Abuse and Addictions Counseling (SAAC) and Counseling Military Service Personnel and their Families (MSPF). Click here to contact Antioch University and request information about their programs. Antioch is a private, not-for-profit university. (*This program is NOT available to students in CA, IL, IA, KS, MO, NH, ND)
Generally, you will need to work under supervision for three full years. However, your supervised work experience may be reduced if you have post-master's education in counseling. You may receive credit for one year of supervised experience if you have 30 additional semester hours in counseling. You can receive credit for two years if you have 60 semester hours. All candidates are required to have at least one year of supervised experience, no matter how much education they have completed.
You are considered full-time if you are putting in at least 20 hours a week; 1,000 hours is considered a year for licensing purposes. You may work at a slower pace, and spend more than three years completing the requirements, but you will need to complete your supervised work experience within a five year period.
At least 350 hours out of each 1,000 will need to be face-to-face client care.
You will need a board-approved supervisor to review your practice data and assist in your professional development. Your approved supervisor may be a different person than your on-site supervisor. However, you will need to verify to the board that you do indeed have both forms of supervision.
Your approved clinical supervisor will need to do at least two observations during each six month period. These may be taped or live. S/he will also need to consult with your on-site supervisor at least once during the six month time frame.
You should have 45 minutes of direct supervision for every 20 hours you spend on the job.
You and your supervisor will need to submit an Evaluation of Supervised Experience form every six months.
You will need to complete two tests before you can be awarded professional status. The first is a licensing exam, the National Counselor Examination, or NCE, which is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. The second is a jurisprudence exam, the Oklahoma Legal and Ethical Responsibilities Examination, or OLERE.
In order to be approved to take the licensing exam, you will need to submit your licensing application and the required supplemental materials.
You will need to submit your letter of authorization to the NBCC along with your registration form and the requisite $195 fee. You will mail your registration materials to the address listed below:
CCE Assessment Dept.
PO Box 7407
Greensboro, NC 27417-0407
The NCE is administered at Pearson VUE testing sites throughout the country. Oklahoma has testing centers in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. You may visit www.pearsonvue.com or call 866-904-4432 to schedule your examination.
If you do not pass the NCE on a first attempt, the Oklahoma board will continue to allow you to retake the exam during your two year eligibility window. The NBCC does, however, require a 90 day wait time between attempts.
Before attempting the jurisprudence exam, you will need to become familiar with Oklahoma's Licensed Professional Counselor Act and Regulations (http://www.ok.gov/behavioralhealth/Acts_and_Regulations:_Licensed_Professional_Counselor.html).
The examination is offered at multiple sites. There is a $40 fee.
You will need to begin the application process well in advance – the process may take more than six weeks. (Application Packets).
You may request a fingerprint packet by email https://www.ok.gov/behavioralhealth/Making_Application.html. Make sure to leave your name and mailing address in your email.
The application packet contains several supplemental forms. Fingerprint cards and transcripts must accompany your application. The board requests that application materials be sent together in the same envelope, even those that come from third parties.
You will need to request that your college or university send you official transcripts. You will include these in their original sealed envelope and note, on the application form, which university they are from.
You will need to document your practicum(s). You will fill out the top portion of the official form and then have a supervisor or school official verify the information and make a recommendation.
You will need to get three recommendations on official forms.
You will need to sign an affidavit that you are a citizen or lawful alien.
You will need to document your practicum or internship.
You should include a check or money order in the amount of $145.00 made out to the LPC Revolving Fund.
Application materials should be sent to the following address:
State Board of Behavioral Health Licensure (BBHL)
3815 N. Santa Fe, Ste. 110
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
The board recommends that you make photocopies of your documents and that you send your application packet by certified mail.
As an out-of-state applicant, you may be a candidate for licensure by endorsement, provided your state has comparable standards.
There are two separate application packets for endorsement candidates: one for those who have been licensed five or more years, another for those who have been licensed less. (Licensure by Endorsement Application Packet).
You will need to get license verification from your licensing agency. You should procure a letter that your license is in good standing.
Professionals in some closely related fields may be eligible for licensure. According to the American Art Therapy Association (2009), art therapists can be licensed as counselors.
Dance and movement therapy is officially recognized as a branch of counseling by the National Board of Certified Counselors; graduates of accredited programs are eligible for licensure in most states.
You will need to do 20 hours of acceptable continuing education each year. At least three must be in ethics.
You will submit a continuing education roster. You should retain continuing education records for two years in case of audit.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, or hold a bachelor's degree, check out suggested steps to take along the path to becoming a counselor in Oklahoma.
If you want to be put on the board's mailing list, you may visit the following page: Mailing List.
You will find a full list of department contacts at Contacts.