The department faculty believes that attainment of professional credentials (i.e., licenses and certifications) for which a person is eligible is an important aspect of professionalism. Therefore, the department encourages students in programs in the department to plan their programs so that they will be eligible for appropriate professional credentials and also encourages program graduates to seek professional credentials for which they are eligible.
State Licensing Boards
For information related to licensure in New Jersey (e.g., applications, statutes, and regulations), please refer to the following licensing Board websites:
- Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC)
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
National Certification Information:
A “certification” is a professional credential awarded by a certifying agency to persons who have applied for the certification and who have met the eligibility criteria for the certification. Most professional certifying agencies are national (or international) in origin and scope and thus are distinguished from state-level certifying agencies such as state departments of education; graduates of programs in the department may be eligible for several professional certifications.
The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC) is the professional certifying agency for counselors. Professionals who attain certification by the NBCC may refer to themselves as National Certified Counselors (NCCs). The NCC designation reflects a “generic” certification. That is, this certification is available to counselors who have met what are considered to be the general, minimum academic and experiential preparation standards appropriate for all persons who refer to themselves as “counselors,” regardless of individual professional specializations.
As part of the requirements to obtain NBCC certification applicants must take the NBCC’s National Counselor Examination (NCE). To assist our students in the certification process our department administers the NCE each year to eligible students. The exam is generally offered in April, a few weeks after the TCNJ comprehensive exam. Students who will be graduating in that Spring semester are generally able to qualify for the exam. Information about the NCE is distributed to eligible students during their clinical year. Importantly, in addition to being the exam to pass for the NCC credential, the NCE is also the state licensing exam for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The NBCC also provides specialty, “high level” national certifications for professionals specializing in addiction counseling (the Master Addictions Counselor or “MAC”), clinical mental health counseling (the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor or “CCMHC”) and school counseling (the National Certified School Counselor or “NCSC”). Professionals seeking these designations must have first attained the NCC designation.
Information on the certifications offered through the NBCC are available at the following link or from the NBCC headquarters 3-D Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403:
NBCC also provides a brief synopsis related to the differences between certification and licensure at the following link:
Certification in School Counseling:
In order to be a practicing school counselor in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you must become certified by the State Department of Education (DOE) Division of Certification in your registered state (Note that certification by the state is distinctly different from national certifications). As a CACREP approved school counseling program, the Department of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey fully prepares students for New Jersey school counseling certification. In addition to fulfilling their degree program, those seeking school counseling certification in Pennsylvania must present evidence of their successfully passing the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Test (20420) and a series of Pre Professional Skills Tests (PPST) in Reading (0710), Writing (0270), and Math (0730), all of which are administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Note: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers two levels of certification in school counseling, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level, and separate applications exist for each level.
Prior to the completion of your Master’s degree program you will be advised of the processing procedures for New Jersey school counseling certification, and provided with appropriate application materials and instructions on applying for certification in New Jersey. With regard to PA school certification, the TCNJ Certification Office can fill out the requisite certification form PDE 338A, but you will be required to submit your completed application yourself.
Pennsylvania school counseling certification forms may be obtained from the PA Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation and/or downloaded from their website. Click on “Certification Application Forms” then on “Out of State Graduates.”
Pennsylvania Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
(717) 787-2967 or (717) 787-3356
Further information on PA school counselor certification testing may also be obtained from:
Educational Testing Service (The Praxis Series)
www.ets.org and click on ETS store
The certification office is located in Forcina Hall 141. The telephone number is 609-771-2396.