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Licensure and Certification Applications

 

Counseling Licensure

A counseling license allows a counseling professional with the proper education, experience, and supervision to offer counseling services to children, adolescents and adults in Illinois. A counseling license is required to work in a community agency setting and K-12 schools. Licensure is not always required, but is highly recommended, for individuals working higher education settings. There are two types of general counseling license in Illinois. The first level license is called The Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The second level license is called the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Illinois School Counselors are Licensed with a Professional Educators Licence (PEL) through the Illinois Board of Education.

Licensed Professional Counselor

An LPC is a protected title license. As a LPC, you can work as a counselor offering professional counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults. You may work in a community agency, school or higher education setting. You must work under the supervision of a licensed clinical counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. However, as a LPC, you cannot work in independent practice. This means that you must always receive supervision when you work with clients. It means that you cannot work in a private practice setting.

What do I do to become a LPC?

In order to obtain an LPC license, you must:

-Have a master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent. This means a 48 hour program with at least 1 course in each 13 counseling areas. Each course must be 3 credits. CACREP accredited programs automatically meet this education requirement.

-Pass the National Counselors Examination (NCE). There are several ways to apply to take the NCE examination. You can apply for this examination during your last semester in NIU's counseling program. A faculty member will attend your internship class to register you for the NCE, if you wish to take it at NIU. Or you can wait until after you graduate and register to take the NCE when you apply for your LPC license.

-Apply to the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for a license. Whether you take the NCE through Northern or wait until after you graduate to take the NCE, you must apply to IDFPR for your license. Applications can be found at www.idfpr.com. Click on professional counselor to download an application.

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

A LCPC is a clinical level license with both title and service protections. As a LCPC, you can work as a clinical counselor offering professional clinical counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults. You may work in a community agency, school, higher education, or in a private practice setting.

What do I do to become a LCPC?

In order to obtain an LCPC license, you must:

-Have a Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent. This means a 48 hour program with at least 1 course in 13 counseling areas. Each course must be 3 credits. **CACREP accredited programs automatically meet this education requirement.

-Pass the National Counselors Examination. Many applicants for the LCPC license already have their LPC license, so they have previously taken and passed the NCE. If you have not taken and passed this examination, you must pass it in order to obtain your LCPC license.

-Have 3360 hours of supervised professional counseling work experience and one hour per week of supervision with a qualified supervisor. You must work under the supervision of a licensed clinical counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. This is the equivalent of two years full-time counseling work.

-Pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMCHE). When you complete your work experience and apply to IDFPR for your license, IDFPR will register you for the NCMCHE.

-Apply to the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for a license. Applications can be found at www.idfpr.com. Click on clinical professional counselor to download an application.

Professional Educator License: School Counselor

To work as a school counselor in a school setting, students must be licensed with a Educator License through the Illinois State Board of Education. The lisensure program provided by Northern Illinois University is certified by the Illnois State Board of Education and is designed to assure candidates meet all state laws and regulations.

Upon completion of the 60-semester hour program in school counseling, students are eligible to apply for Educator Lisensure. An Educator License allows students to work as a K-12 counselor in a school setting.

How to obtain a School Counselor Educator License:

1.) Licensure with a Teaching Certificate
2.) Licensure without a Teaching Certificate
  • Students must complete 9-additional credit hours in graduate or undergraduate level courses in order to qualify for Educator Licensure. The following classes listed below are approved to fulfill this requirement.
    • TLCI 500 Curriculum, Instruction, and the Community
    • EPS 550 Classroom Management
    • SESE 557 or TLSE 557 Systems for Integrating the Exceptional Student in the Regular Classroom
      • Note: Additional courses may be substituted for the classes above. Advisor approval must occur before registration.
  • Register and Pass Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) Exam
  • Register and Pass School Counselor (181) content area Exam
  • Complete Educator Licensure Process

National Certified Counselor

Visit the National Board of Certified Counselors for current and complete information regarding national certification.

Approved Clinical Supervisor

Visit the Center for Credentialing and Education for current and complete information regarding Approved Clinical Supervisor certification.