School Counselor Placement and Staffing
Ensuring that an appropriately prepared and endorsed teacher is assigned to teach in Michigan’s classrooms is critical to student achievement. The State Board of Education (SBE) has Specialty Program Standards for preparing teachers in each endorsement area. The research is clear that there is a positive correlation between increased student achievement and having access to school counseling programs staffed by fully credentialed school counselors. Michigan schools are strongly encouraged to provide all students with comprehensive school counseling programs led by one of the following properly certified, endorsed, or credentialed individuals:
- Michigan Teaching Certificate with the School Counselor (NT) endorsement
- Temporary School Counselor License (TSCL)
- Preliminary School Counselor Credential (PSCC)
- School Counselor License (SCL)
Teachers with the School Counselor (NT) endorsement on a Michigan teaching certificate are eligible to be assigned to serve in the dual capacity of a teacher of record and as a school counselor. These teachers can provide direct instruction to students based on an appropriate grade level assignment in the following types of courses:
- Career Exploration
- Career Choices
- Group Analysis
- Post-Secondary Options
- Crisis Intervention
- Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling
- College and Career Readiness
Those who have been issued the PSCC are permitted to provide instruction, as well. Individuals who have not been issued an NT endorsement on a Michigan teaching certificate nor a PSCC, but hold a TSCL or SCL, can perform the duties of a school counselor. Those credentialed with the TSCL or the SCL cannot be assigned to instruct courses as the teacher of record. These educators can otherwise serve in the full capacity of a school counselor.
Additional Staffing Options
When an individual with the above specified credentials is not available for the assignment, the following options are available to districts:
Option 1: Elementary Endorsed Teacher
A teacher who holds the K-5 all subjects endorsement can be assigned as a school counselor in a K-5 setting regardless of the structure and programming. A teacher assigned to a 6-8 self-contained classroom may also perform the duties of a school counselor within that classroom.
Option 2: Non-Certified Support Staff
Non-certified staff (e.g. Career Specialist, Career Navigator) may support a K-5 all subjects or 6-8 self-contained endorsed teacher in the work of guidance and counseling in the K-8 grade range. In 6-12 departmentalized settings, non-certified staff may support a licensed School Counselor or a teacher holding the (NT) School Counselor endorsement in the work of guidance and counseling. Students receiving support from a non-certified individual must be under the supervision of a properly endorsed classroom teacher who monitors and guides the support according to the specifics outlined in the Utilization of Non-Certified Personnel guidance.
Option 3: Properly Permitted Teachers
Districts can obtain a permit for a non-credentialed individual or a non-endorsed teacher to be placed in a guidance and counseling course assignment or to fulfill the role of a school counselor. Districts can use the permit system in conjunction with an education preparation provider to develop, grown and establish a solid school counselor program.
Option 4: Partnerships with Community Members/Organizations
Districts that choose to partner with community members or organizations to provide specific counseling services and/or career guidance should consider the counselor as a guest. While individuals from the community may have specific knowledge and expertise regarding a topic or career, they are not certified teachers and cannot be the teacher of record hence provide instruction. Students must remain under the supervision of a certified teacher or properly credentialed school counselor.