The National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) certification was developed by NBCC in 1990 to establish the highest standards of practice and professionalism for school counselors. Those who have obtained this certification have met stringent requirements for education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethics in school counseling and demonstrated their commitment to excellence.
Like all school counselors, NCSCs can be powerful advocates for children and young adults. In addition to counseling students, they are dedicated to establishing mental health care equity for underserved and never-served youth by developing effective school counseling programs to meet the needs of all students. They are well-versed regarding the best practices for fostering positive outcomes in school, in society, and at home, and are personally invested in the success of their schools and communities.
Earning the NCSC provides a wonderful opportunity for counselors to advance their professional development. It shows potential employers and colleagues that they’ve chosen to go above and beyond meeting state certification and licensure standards required to counsel students and work safely in a school setting, among other distinctions.
Dr. Davina Capik, EdD, NCC, NCSC, LPC, an elementary school counselor in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, says she recommends obtaining the NCSC to her fellow counselors for several reasons.
“An NCSC is someone who holds themself to the highest standards of practice and professionalism in schools,” Dr. Capik says. “By receiving the NCSC, the board acknowledges that you have met stringent education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethical requirements in school counseling. The resources available at your fingertips are so valuable, as well as the networking and connections to help you continue to grow as a school counselor. I appreciate what the NCSC designation provides me both personally and professionally, and I believe that other school counselors would as well.”
Counselors interested in earning the NCSC must currently hold the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification and adhere to NBCC’s Code of Ethics. Those who are not NCCs can learn more about its eligibility requirements here.
The NCSC program requires successful completion of a combination of coursework in areas such as Counseling Consultation and Program Development; Family Counseling; Counseling Children, Adolescents, and/or At-Risk Youth; Addictions Counseling; and Counseling for Trauma, Violence, or Abuse.
Candidates must also have at least 100 hours of postgraduate school counseling supervision and be endorsed by a professional colleague with a master’s degree or higher in a mental health field. In addition, they must have worked as a school counselor for the equivalent of two academic years, or 3,000 hours over a period of at least 20 months, and passed the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).
Learn more about the requirements for obtaining the NCSC and apply here.