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This program prepares counselors for Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification in K-12 settings, public and private. Whenever possible, internships are done at schools that students choose, usually at schools where they teach, enabling them to continue working while completing the internship. Teacher certification is favored by many school districts for employment as a school counselor, though not required by most. Teacher certification requires at least one additional year of full-time study, including student teaching. Additionally, students will participate in mental health and addictions studies curricula.
Persons serving as education staff associates in public schools shall hold certificates authorized by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) for service in these roles as required by statute or rules of the PESB. The university recommends a student who has successfully completed an approved program to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction which issues the School Counselor Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Certification. This certification program is included in the master's degree in school counseling described below.