A State by State Counselor Guide

Requirements for Counselor Licensure in Michigan

Licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) in Michigan requires graduate level education, passing scores on a licensing examination, and a clean background check. In order to achieve full professional licensure, you’ll need to work under supervision for a period of at least one to two years.

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Northwestern's Top-12 Ranked CACREP Accredited Online M.A. in Counseling program offers both full and part time options that allow you to earn a degree on your own schedule. GRE scores are not required for this program. Request information.

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Education Requirements

You must complete a graduate degree that includes at least 48 semester hours (or 72 quarter hours) of coursework. Your degree may be in counseling or in student personnel work. Learn more about selecting a Master's in Counseling program here. You will need to complete coursework in each of the following areas:

  • Counseling techniques
  • Consulting
  • Career development
  • Counseling philosophy
  • Professional ethics
  • Group techniques
  • Research methodology
  • Testing procedures
  • Counseling theories

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)

In addition to the above requirements, you must also have a practicum and an internship of at least 600 hours. (http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_63294_27529_27536---,00.html)

Supervised Practice Hours

You will need to work under supervision before you can get your professional license. You must attain limited licensure status before you begin accruing professional experience hours.

The number of hours you need depends on your educational level. If you have a master’s plus 30 additional semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) of counseling coursework, you’ll need 1,500 hours, completed over a period of at least one year. If you have just a master’s, the requirement is 3,000 hours, completed over a two year period. You will be supervised by someone who has training in supervision. If your experience requirement is 3,000 hours, your supervision requirement is 100; you must have do at least 100 hours with a supervisor in the immediate vicinity. If your requirement is 1,500 hours, your direct supervision requirement is 50 hours.

Examination

You may take the National Counselor Examination or the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification

Examination (http://www.michigan.gov/lara/).

The NCE is for candidates with degrees in counseling and related fields. It is the most widely used professional counseling licensing examination in the United States. If you opt for the NCE, you can download the registration form from either the NBCC site or the Michigan board site. A registration form is included in the application package.

You will obtain an original sealed copy of your graduate transcript from your university. It must include the date your degree was conferred. You will send it along with the signed registration form and $195 fee to the NBCC Assessment Dept. , PO Box 7407, Greensboro, NC 27417-0407.

You will need to allow the NBCC four weeks to process your materials and send you approval. Then you will schedule an exam through AMP (www.goAMP.com). There are three exam sites in Michigan. They are in Flint, in the greater Detroit area, and in the Grand Rapids area. You may choose a testing site in another state if you prefer. All sites have exams Monday through Friday; some have them on Saturday as well. Testing sessions are available the first two weeks of the month, but you should schedule in advance as they do fill. If you have questions, you may email examinations@nbcc.org.

The CRC exam is designed especially for rehabilitation counselors, though counselors with degrees in related fields are also eligible (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/applicants/14.php). There are three testing windows each year. You will need to turn in your application approximately four to five months in advance. The organization will review your credentials and screen your legal and professional background. If you are found eligible, and you pass the examination, you can be certified as a rehabilitation counselor. The application must be accompanied by a $385 fee. Upcoming deadlines are available on the website (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/crc_exam_schedule/83.php). The exam is scheduled through Prometric; there are more than 300 sites in the U.S and Canada. For more information, you may email info@crccertification.com. Whichever exam you opt for, you will have your score report sent directly to the Michigan board.

The Application Process for Counselors in Michigan

Your application package will include several supplement forms. Before you can be licensed, you will need to have your fingerprints done. You may choose L-1 Identity Solutions or Cogent Systems. Make sure to include the code 71734k. You will need to bring the request form that’s included in your applicant packet.

You should have your school(s) send transcripts directly to the Michigan board.

You will also have your certification of counseling education form sent directly to the board.

You must complete your professional disclosure form, which you will provide to your counseling clients. The disclosure form includes your education, experience, practice, and fees. It also includes contact information for the regulatory department of the Michigan board. (You can find a sample disclosure statement on the site of the Michigan Counseling Association.)

If you are applying for limited licensure, your disclosure statement will include the name of your supervisor and a statement that s/he has agreed to supervise you.

Approximately three weeks after you submit your application, you will get a customer number. You may track your application online at www.michigan.gov/healthlicense.

Currently, the fee is $115 for professional licensure and $85 for limited licensure.

*Click Here for the application form you will need.

The Process for Out of State Applicants

You must send a Verification of Licensure or Registration form to any state where you have held permanent licensure. States may charge a fee for verification, so make sure you find out the amount and include it with your request.

If you have been practicing counseling for at least five years, you can apply for full licensure by reciprocity. Your application is good for two years. During the two year period, you must finish completing requirements (Check out the requirements here. *This is a PDF file).

Current disciplinary sanction, including fines, will disqualify you for Michigan licensure. If you have had sanctions in the past, you may still be eligible.

If you are getting your fingerprints done out of state, you should select an agency that will do them on either an FBI card or the official card of that state (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch_couns_full_licpkt_83585_7.pdf). You will make a money order or business check out to L-1 Identity Solutions and submit it, along with the Livescan Fingerprint Request Form to L-1 Enrollment Services/ Livescan Processing Unit, 1650 Wabash Ave. Suite D, Springfield, Illinois, 62704.

License Maintenance

Your initial license expires on the next expiration date – that means it’s good for a period of not over one year. Thereafter, the renewal period is three years.

You will renew your license online at http://www.michigan.gov/elicense.

There is currently no continuing education mandate for professional counselors (http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-27417_27529_27536-178897--,00.html).

Additional Information

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 Michigan.

Michigan Counseling Association

You can contact the board at Board of Counseling, P.O. Box 30670, Lansing, MI 48909.

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