Certification and Licensure

Students who graduate from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and College Counseling programs will be eligible to pursue licensure as a Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Graduates in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling will have fully met the licensure educational requirement for 60  graduate semester hours (PA Codes 49.1 and 49.2). College Counseling graduates will need to complete an additional 12 graduate semester hours before applying for licensure (these can be completed post-master’s). Additional post-master’s licensure requirements for graduates of all programs include, but are not limited to: satisfactory passing score on one of the approved licensure exams (e.g., the National Counselor Exam), successful completion of 3600 hours of supervised practice, and attestation of good moral and legal standing. Pennsylvania state licensure requirements are detailed and may have been amended since the publication of this information. For current and detailed licensure information, please visit  the webpage of the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/

As a CACREP-accredited program, students are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) in the last semester of their program of study. This exam is accepted by the Pennsylvania licensure board and also by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Graduating students with passing scores may apply directly to the NBCC for the designation of National Certified Counselor (NCC).

National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) - The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) developed the first general practice counseling credential that was national in scope. NBCC began credentialing National Certified Counselors (NCCs) in 1983. Currently, approximately 40,000 mental health professionals throughout the United States and in over 40 other countries hold this voluntary professional credential. Although the NCC credential isn't required for independent practice and is not a substitute for the legislated state credentials, those who hold the credential appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met national standards developed by counselors, not legislators.

Licensed Professional Counselor General Information - List of frequently used websites!

The National Counseling Exam (NCE) 

This FAQs page for the Department of Counseling & CSP at Shippensburg University.

School Counseling Certification - Application Instructions

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is now requiring all certification applications be submitted through an online application process. The website address is www.pa-tims.com - Teacher Information Management System. 

Students will complete their application online and pay with a credit card. It is important to remember that Certification is granted through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and is separate from your graduation from Shippensburg University.   The certification process is a very important step for your future. 

The online application will assure that your application is in PDE's system immediately.   ALL parts of the online application must be completed. Make sure you include your affiliation with Shippensburg University and include that you have graduated (or will be graduating) from an educator preparation program at our University.

 Any questions regarding your application status should be directed to PDE as only they can make corrections, assist you with errors and give you status updates. Shippensburg's role is twofold:   1) to verify that you completed an educator preparation program and are eligible for certification 2) to recommend you for a teaching certificate based on your good moral character. This will be done once degrees are conferred, which could take several weeks after graduation. The PDE certification office phone number is 717-787-3356. The new Call Center hours will be Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Additional information on applying for certification can be found on PDE's website at http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pa_certification/8635