Counseling, Psychological and Social Services

Mississippi Policies Concerning School Counseling Services

 Mississippi School Counselor Law (Mississippi Code 37-9-79)
   School guidance counselors; qualifications; define comprehensive counseling services; code of ethics.

MS Code §37-9-79 (Amended 2014—Senate Bill 2423):
1. Lists the counseling services guidance counselors are required to provide (provided on previous page)
2. Requires school guidance counselors to hold a master's degree in guidance and counseling, or in an emergency situation, an appropriate certification as determined by the Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Licensure and Development.
3. School guidance counselors shall abide by the American School Counselor Association Code of Ethics.
4. The Mississippi Department of Education may adopt regulations regarding the activities of the school guidance counselor.

Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards (Standard 6)
Student support services (appraisal, academic, and/or personal advisement, and educational and/or career planning and referral) are provided in each school by qualified student support personal. (MS Code of 1972, Amended—Sec. 37-9-79) (2014)

Note: Student support personnel may only provide those services and activities in the area(s) that each individual is specifically qualified to provide. All student support personnel will use appropriate job titles that reflect their area of training, expertise, and license. For example, a Social Worker will be referred to as the School Social Worker and may not use the title of or be referred to as the School Guidance Counselor.

Five Year Educator License - Guidance and Counseling (436)
Requirements for Class AA License include:

· Hold a five year educator license
· Complete a master’s degree program in guidance and counseling
· Praxis II (Specialty Area Test for Guidance Counselor)
OR
· Complete an approved master's degree program for guidance and counseling which includes a full year internship
· CORE (Core Academic Skills for Educators)
· Praxis II (Specialty Area Test for Guidance Counselor)
OR
· Hold National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) credential issued by National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)

Requirements for School Psychologists
The minimum requirements for a five year educator license as a school psychologist, a candidate must have completed an approved specialist degree program in school psychology, passed the Praxis I, and passed the Praxis II specialty area test for school psychology. Details are outlined in Licensure Guidelines (451).

For renewal of a five-year educator license as a school psychologist, 3 semester hours in content area or job/skill related area or 5 continuing education units in the content area or job/skill related area are required. Details are outlined in Licensure Guidelines (451).

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: The Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards (Process Standards 6.2) requires students in elementary schools to have access to qualified student support personnel, which includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, psychometrists and others.

Requirements for School Social Workers 
The state does not have a policy specifically outlining the requirements for a school social worker. For licensure as a social worker in the state, a candidate must: provide verification of a baccalaureate degree in social work from a college or university accredited by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and scored a minimum of 70 on the ASWB basic exam. Social Work Licensing provides further details.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: The Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards (Process Standards 6.2) requires students in elementary schools to have access to qualified student support personnel, which includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, psychometrists and others.

 

Office of Healthy Schools     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-1737     Fax: (601) 576-1417
 

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