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Certification: School Counselor

An educator with a School Counselor Education Specialist Certificate is eligible to be a school counselor in an education setting from early childhood through grade twelve.

South Dakota Codified Law 13-10-17:
School Counselors. If a school district employs a school counselor, on either a full-time or part-time basis, or contracts for the services of a school counselor through an educational cooperative of other entity, that school counselor shall be certified in accordance with the standards established by the South Dakota of Education pursuant to §13-1-12.1.

As of July 1, 2017, there are two ways to obtain a School Counselor Education Specialist Endorsement (§24:28:27:02):

  1. Complete a preschool - grade 12 school counselor preparation program according to §24:53:09:01
  2. Those with a master's degree or higher in counseling:
    • Pass the 5421 Professional School Counselor state-designated text with a score of 164 or higher (accepted through August 31, 2023) or 5422 School Counselor state-designated test with a score of 159 or higher AND
    • Complete one year of supervision by a mentor school counselor who meets the requirements of §24:28:27:07.

View the School Counselor Education Specialist Endorsement fact sheet.

Mentor School Counselor

A person with a Mentor School Counselor Endorsement is able to provide supervision for an individual with a master’s degree or higher in counseling who is pursuing school counselor certification.

Mentor School Counselor Specialist Endorsement Requirements:

  • Three or more years of experience as a school counselor
  • Completion of a School Counselor Endorsement
View the Mentor School Counselor Education Specialist Endorsement fact sheet at:

Upon completion of one year of supervision by a mentor school counselor, the School Counselor Mentor Sign-Off Form needs to be completed. Visit the Educator Certification Forms webpage to access the form under “Experience and Proficiency Verification”.

School Counselor Mentorship Program

Not related to school counseling certification, the South Dakota School Counselor Association (SDSCA) has a mentor program as a membership benefit for school counselors who are in their first five years of employment or are new to South Dakota. For information on SDSCA membership and the mentoring program, visit

Visit the Educator Certification webpage for information on certificate applications.