Chapter 239. Student Services Certificates

Subchapter A. School Counselor Certificate


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter A issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.031(a), 21.040(4), 21.041(b)(1)-(5), 21.044, 21.048(a), 21.054, and 22.0831(f), unless otherwise noted.


239.1. General Provisions.

(a)  Because the school counselor plays a critical role in campus effectiveness and student achievement, the rules adopted by the State Board for Educator Certification in this subchapter ensure that each candidate for the School Counselor Certificate is of the highest caliber and possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state.

(b)  An individual serving as a school counselor is expected to actively participate in professional development activities to continually update his or her knowledge and skills. Currency in best practices and research as related to both campus leadership and student learning is essential.

(c)  The holder of the School Counselor Certificate issued under the provisions of this subchapter may provide counseling services to all students in Prekindergarten-Grade 12.

Source: The provisions of this 239.1 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective July 13, 2004, 29 TexReg 6644; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


239.5. Minimum Requirements for Admission to a School Counselor Preparation Program.

(a)  Prior to admission to an educator preparation program leading to the School Counselor Certificate, an individual must:

(1)  hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education that at the time was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and

(2)  meet the requirements for admission to an educator preparation program under Chapter 227 of this title (relating to Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates).

(b)  An educator preparation program may adopt requirements for admission in addition to those required in subsection (a) of this section.

Source: The provisions of this 239.5 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


239.10. Preparation Program Requirements.

(a)  Structured, field-based training must be focused on actual experiences with each of the standards identified in 239.15 of this title (relating to Standards Required for the School Counselor Certificate) to include experiences with diverse types of students, grade levels, and campuses.

(b)  An educator preparation program must develop and implement specific criteria and procedures that allow a candidate to substitute related professional counselor training and/or experience directly related to the standards identified in 239.15 of this title for part of the preparation coursework or other program requirements.

Source: The provisions of this 239.10 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


239.15. Standards Required for the School Counselor Certificate.

(a)  School Counselor Certificate Standards. The knowledge and skills identified in this section must be used by an educator preparation program in the development of curricula and coursework and by the State Board for Educator Certification as the basis for developing the examination required to obtain the School Counselor Certificate. The standards also serve as the foundation for the professional growth plan and continuing professional education activities required by 239.25 of this title (relating to Requirements to Renew the Standard School Counselor Certificate).

(b)  Standard I. Learner-Centered Knowledge: The certified school counselor has a broad knowledge base. The certified school counselor must know and understand:

(1)  the history of counseling;

(2)  counseling and consultation theories and practices;

(3)  career development theories and practices;

(4)  assessment principles and procedures, including the appropriate use of tests and test results;

(5)  changing societal trends, including demographic, economic, and technological tendencies, and their relevance to school counseling;

(6)  environmental, social, and cultural factors that affect learners' development and the relevance of those factors to guidance and counseling programs;

(7)  learners' developmental characteristics and needs and their relevance to educational and career choices;

(8)  legal and ethical standards, practices, and issues;

(9)  the characteristics and educational needs of special populations;

(10)  theories and techniques in pedagogy and classroom management;

(11)  the integration of the guidance and academic curricula;

(12)  the roles and responsibilities of the counselor in a developmental guidance and counseling program that is responsive to all students; and

(13)  counseling-related research techniques and practices.

(c)  Standard II. Learner-Centered Skills: The certified school counselor applies the knowledge base to promote the educational, personal, social, and career development of the learner. The certified school counselor must:

(1)  develop processes and procedures for planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating a developmental guidance and counseling program;

(2)  provide a proactive, developmental guidance program based on the needs of students;

(3)  counsel individuals and small groups using appropriate counseling theories and techniques in response to students' needs;

(4)  consult with parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, and other individuals as appropriate to enhance their work with students;

(5)  coordinate resources for students within the school and community;

(6)  demonstrate proficiency in teaching small and large groups by actively engaging students in the learning process;

(7)  participate in the selection, use, and interpretation of assessments and assessment results;

(8)  use varied sources of information about students for assessment purposes;

(9)  use counseling-related research techniques and practices to address student needs; and

(10)  advocate for a developmental guidance and counseling program that is responsive to all students.

(d)  Standard III. Learner-Centered Process: The certified school counselor participates in the development, monitoring, and evaluation of a developmental school guidance and counseling program that promotes learners' knowledge, skills, motivation, and personal growth. The certified school counselor must:

(1)  collaborate with others in the school and community to implement a guidance curriculum that promotes learners' development in all domains, including cognitive, social, and emotional areas;

(2)  facilitate learners' ability to achieve their potential by helping them set and attain challenging educational, career, and personal/social goals based on various types of information;

(3)  use both preventive and intervening strategies to address the concerns of learners and to help them clarify problems and situations, set goals, explore options, and implement change;

(4)  implement effective referral procedures to facilitate the use of special programs and services; and

(5)  act as a consultant and/or coordinator to help learners achieve success inside and outside of school.

(e)  Standard IV. Learner-Centered Equity and Excellence for All Learners: The certified school counselor promotes academic success for all learners by acknowledging, respecting, and responding to diversity while building on similarities that bond all people. The certified school counselor must:

(1)  understand learner differences, including those related to cultural background, gender, ethnicity, and learning styles, and know ways to create and maintain a positive school environment that is responsive to all learners;

(2)  advocate for a school environment in which diversity is acknowledged and respected, resulting in positive interactions across cultures; and

(3)  facilitate learning and achievement for all students, including special populations, by promoting a cooperative, inclusive, and purposeful learning environment.

(f)  Standard V. Learner-Centered Communications: The certified school counselor, an advocate for all students and the school, demonstrates effective professional and interpersonal communication skills. The certified school counselor must:

(1)  demonstrate effective communication through oral, written, and nonverbal expression;

(2)  use knowledge of group dynamics and productive group interaction;

(3)  support responsive interventions by effectively communicating with parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, and community members;

(4)  facilitate learners' access to community resources;

(5)  develop and implement strategies for effective internal and external communications;

(6)  facilitate parent/guardian involvement in their children's education;

(7)  develop partnerships with parents/guardians, businesses, and other groups in the community to facilitate learning; and

(8)  work effectively as a team member to promote positive change for individuals, groups, and the school community.

(g)  Standard VI. Learner-Centered Professional Development: The certified school counselor continues professional development, demonstrating a commitment to learn, to improve the profession, and to model professional ethics and personal integrity. The certified school counselor must:

(1)  use reflection, self-assessment, and interactions with colleagues to promote personal professional development;

(2)  use counseling-related research techniques and practices as well as technology and other resources to facilitate continued professional growth;

(3)  strive toward the highest level of professionalism by adhering to and modeling professional, ethical, and legal standards;

(4)  apply research-based practice to improve the school guidance and counseling program; and

(5)  continue professional development to improve the school guidance and counseling program.

Source: The provisions of this 239.15 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


239.20. Requirements for the Issuance of the Standard School Counselor Certificate.

To be eligible to receive the standard School Counselor Certificate, a candidate must:

(1)  successfully complete a school counselor preparation program that meets the requirements of 239.10 of this title (relating to Preparation Program Requirements) and 239.15 of this title (relating to Standards Required for the School Counselor Certificate);

(2)  successfully complete the examination based on the standards identified in 239.15 of this title;

(3)  hold, at a minimum, a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education that at the time was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and

(4)  have two creditable years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher, as defined in Chapter 153, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules on Creditable Years of Service) and the Texas Education Code, 5.001(2).

Source: The provisions of this 239.20 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


239.25. Requirements to Renew the Standard School Counselor Certificate.

(a)  An individual issued a standard counselor certificate under this title from September 1, 1999, to August 31, 2000, is subject to Chapter 232, Subchapter B, of this title (relating to Certificate Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Requirements), except that only 150 clock-hours of continuing professional education must be completed during the first five-year renewal period. During subsequent renewal periods, the holder of such an active standard counselor certificate must satisfy the most current requirements for renewal.

(b)  An individual issued the standard School Counselor Certificate on or after September 1, 2000, is subject to Chapter 232, Subchapter B, of this title.

(c)  An individual who holds a valid Texas counselor certificate issued prior to September 1, 1999, may voluntarily comply with the requirements of this section under procedures implemented by the Texas Education Agency staff under 232.810 of this title (relating to Voluntary Renewal of Current Texas Educators).

Source: The provisions of this 239.25 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


239.30. Transition and Implementation Dates.

(a)  Section 239.20 of this title (relating to Requirements for the Issuance of the Standard School Counselor Certificate) shall be implemented September 1, 2002, and shall supersede all conflicting provisions in this title on September 1, 2003. All other sections of this subchapter shall take effect pursuant to the Texas Government Code, 2001.036.

(b)  Not later than September 1, 2003, the following provisions shall no longer apply to the School Counselor Certificate:

(1)  Section 245.5(a)(2) of this title (relating to Requirements for Issuance of a Texas Certificate Based on Certification from Another Country), as it existed on May 5, 2000; and

(2)  the "teaching practicum" requirement in 245.10(a)(2)(B) of this title (relating to Application Procedures), as it existed on May 5, 2000.

Source: The provisions of this 239.30 adopted to be effective January 23, 2001, 26 TexReg 761; amended to be effective June 9, 2002, 27 TexReg 4701; amended to be effective December 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 9201.


For more information, email sbecrules@tea.texas.gov.