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How to Become a School Counselor In Illinois

School counseling is a rewarding profession that allows you to make a significant impact in the lives of children. A school counselor aids students in the areas of personal and social growth, academic achievement and career development, helping students to grow into successful adults and good citizens.1

Steps to Becoming a School Counselor

To become a school counselor in the state of Illinois, you'll need to complete the following steps:2

1. First, earn an M.S. in Counseling, like the one offered by National Louis University.

2. While completing your master's in school counseling degree, you'll also be required to complete 100 clock hours of interaction with school-aged individuals or groups in a supervised practicum setting.

3. In addition, you also need to complete at least 600 clock hours in an internship setting to fulfill the experience requirements needed to become a school counselor. If you have been a professional teacher for at least two years, you may be able to apply some of that experience toward your internship requirement.

4. After that, you will need to pass the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) exam for school counseling, along with any other required examinations. You can find additional information about examination dates and locations here.

5. Finally, you can review all of the requirements to be certified as a school counselor in Illinois on the ISBE School Service Personnel Certificates website.

If you are already a certified school counselor in another state, keep in mind that Illinois recognizes school counselor certifications from other states. However, before earning your counseling certification in Illinois, you will need to meet the following requirements:3

  • You must currently possess a valid school counseling certification
  • You must have completed at least two years of full-time work experience OR have a teaching certification OR have completed a master's degree program with a practicum and internship experience similar to what is offered in Illinois
  • You must pass the ISBE examination for school counselors
Source References [+]
  1. "Role of the School Counselor."
  2. "How to Become an Illinois School Counselor."
  3. "How to Become an Illinois School Counselor."

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    850 Warrenville Road
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    (888) 658.8632
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    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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