School Counseling - Initial Licensure Preparation Program

Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program


Approved by Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)


The Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program is designed for men and women who desire graduate study and preparation for the school counseling profession who already hold a master's or doctoral degree in a mental health field (e.g., counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology and/or psychiatry).

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • Demonstrate and articulate an identity as professional school counselors that blends the roles of mental health professional and educator
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive developmental school counseling program that aligns with the American School Counseling Association’s National Model and advances the mission of the school
  • Demonstrate skills as educational leaders who can effectively advocate with multicultural sensitivity for all students’ holistic well-being at individual and systemic levels
  • Demonstrate the personal awareness, theoretical knowledge, and clinical skills needed to engage in multi-culturally sensitive individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, collaboration and consultation
  • Demonstrate how to individually and in collaboration with teachers develop and teach engaging guidance-related curriculum that facilitates students’ personal/social, academic and career development
  • Effectively consult and collaborate with parents and guardians, teachers, administrators, and other school and community members
  • Demonstrate reflective and ethical decision making grounded in the knowledge of relevant legal and ethical codes as well as in an examination of personal values
  • Effectively work with data and technology to advocate for all students, to evaluate and improve program effectiveness, and to advocate for the school counseling profession
  • Demonstrate the College of Education Conceptual Framework to Think Critically, Transform Practice, and Promote Justice
  • Articulate how personal faith informs one’s identity and practice as a professional school counselor

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. A grade point average of 3.0 or above is required. The undergraduate degree does not have to be in the field of psychology.
  • Application form completed at
  • $40 non-refundable application fee
  • Résumé of work and/or volunteer experience sent to
  • Written admission statement addressing the question provided in the online application
  • One academic reference form (provided in application packet, or available for download)
  • One professional reference form (provided in application packet, or available for download)
  • An official transcript from each college or university attended
  • Official results from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • School Counseling and School Psychology applicants must also submit passing results from the Praxis I or ORELA EAS (Essential Academic Skills Test) or CBEST. Students with a regionally accredited Masters or Doctoral degree are exempt. Please contact your admissions counselor for more information. 
  • Group interview with the Admissions Committee. An invitation will be extended to those meeting initial program criteria.
The Admissions Committee will consider each application item and the Group Interview as part of the admissions decision. 

Additional requirements for international students are online here

Transcripts of previous graduate work and supportive documentation will be evaluated by the GDC faculty committee to verify completion of the following prerequisite courses:

Prerequisite Coursework (12-13 hours)
GCEP 500 Introduction to Couple and Family Therapy 3
GCEP 504 Child and Adolescent Disorders 3
GCEP 550 Group Theory and Therapy 3
GCEP 554 Addictions or
GCEP 580 Play Therapy: Lifespan Applications
GCEP 587 Interpersonal Neurobiology and Pharmacology 1

Any of the prior courses not taken as part of a master's or doctoral training program in a mental health field will be added to the total hours required to complete the program. Waivers of prerequisite course work* might vary greatly from student to student. In addition to the prerequisite coursework, all students must complete the required 33 semester hours of course work listed below.

*Applicants for the Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program may petition the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) if they are dissatisfied with a denied waiver request. 

Transfer Credit

Transfer of up to 11 hours credit is allowed toward the Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program from accredited graduate schools. Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer. In addition, only courses taken elsewhere within 10 years of the date of matriculation to the Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program will be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

Of the 34 hours required for the Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program, a minimum of 23 credit hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the certificate must be completed within 5 years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Graduate School of Counseling faculty. However, only one such extension may be considered due to special circumstances, such as ill health. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the program. A leave of absence is valid for up to one year after which the student must re-apply to the program.

Course Requirements

The Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program is generally 2 years in length with 34 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 3 are in spiritual integration coursework, 25 in prescribed school counseling core courses (which includes a 200-hour teaching practicum), and 6 internship hours.

Other Program Requirements

Each student must complete a minimum of 20 hours of personal counseling/therapy as part of the MA in School Counseling program. Additionally, an ongoing review process serves as a way to assess the student's fit for the program; fit for the profession; emotional, psychological, and intellectual ability; as well as maturity level for functioning safely as a mental health professional. G​S​C faculty will review students each fall and spring semester. Students must pass the ORELA Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment Examination, and in the final year must pass the ​ ORELA School Counselor Examination.   For more specific information please refer to the student handbook.  

Graduation Requirements

In order to complete the Initial School Counseling Licensure Preparation Program students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 34 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a required course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
  • Complete a minimum of 20 one-hour sessions of personal therapy—individual, couples, and/or group (no more than 10 sessions may be in group therapy)—with a licensed therapist.
  • Complete a minimum of 200 supervised hours in a teaching practicum, including a minimum of 75 clock hours of full responsibility for teaching and classroom management.
  • Complete a minimum of 600 supervised internship hours, of which at least 240 hours must be direct client contact hours.
  • Successfully complete the Clinical Portfolio (reading fees are assessed during the final semester of clinical internship), in which the student articulates his/her current understanding of school counseling and applies the same through an analysis of his/her counseling practice, an evaluation of his/her strengths, and a three-year professional development plan.

Curriculum Plan

Spiritual Integration (3 hours)
GCEP 561 Spirituality and Clinical Praxis 3
School Counseling Core (25 hours)
GCEP 503 Risk and Resilience in Youth 3
GCEP 505 Strategies in School Counseling 3
GCEP 506 Classroom Teaching and Learning 3
GCEP 507 Teaching Practicum 3
GCEP 509 Lifestyle and Career Development 3
GCEP 511 Ethical and Legal Issues 3
GCEP 515 Treatment Planning I 1
GCEP 518 Treatment Planning II 1
GCEP 519 Clinical Portfolio 1
GCEP 566 Research Methods and Statistics 2
GCEP 571 Tests and Assessments 2
Clinical Internship (6 hours)
Students must choose one of the following sequences:
GCEP 512 Internship A: Early Childhood and Elementary Counseling I and 3
GCEP 513 Internship A: Early Childhood and Elementary Counseling II
GCEP 516 Internship B: Middle Level and High School Counseling I and 3
GCEP 517 Internship B: Middle Level and High School Counseling II


  • Students who have previously taken a career counseling and/or ethical and legal issues graduate course may request that the course be reviewed for possible transfer credit. If transfer credit is granted for 2 credits each, for the two courses, they may register for only 1 credit in GCEP 570 Lifestyle and Career Development and/or 1 credit in GCEP 511 Ethical and Legal Issues.
  • The internship can be at either or both of the paired levels: Level 1: Early Childhood and Elementary Counseling, and Level 2: Middle Level and High School. Internship requires a minimum of 600 clock hours of supervised school counseling experience in a public or approved private school per TSPC guidelines.
  • The teaching practicum for school counseling must be supervised and consist of a minimum of 200 clock hours in a regular classroom in a public or approved private school per TSPC guidelines. It must include a minimum of 75 clock hours of full responsibility for teaching and classroom management. Students are required to take: GCEP 506 Classroom Teaching and Learning and GCEP 507 Selected Topics in Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Practicum.
Counseling Course Descriptions
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