Best Counseling Schools in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has many residents who struggle with addiction, trauma poverty, relationships, and numerous other issues. Counselors are one resource that residents have when they need help, and providing help in a counseling capacity can be highly rewarding work. If you’re interested in helping others through counseling, these are the best counseling programs in Wisconsin. Any of them can prepare you well for the work that counseling professionals do.
Many schools offer counseling degree programs in Wisconsin, including both online and traditional programs. Which one is right for you depends on what you personally need and want from a program. Take into account your budget, schedule, career goals, and personal interests as you evaluate the different program options.
Counseling Degree Pathways in Wisconsin
The first decision to make is what type of degree you want to pursue. What degrees are currently available to you depends on whether you've previously earned any degrees. Even if you haven't, though, you can work through the various degree levels until you reach your academic goals. In hierarchical order, the counseling degrees that schools offer are:
- Associate Counseling Degree: A basic two-year program that can be completed immediately after high school. It can help you quickly become qualified for entry-level counseling work.
- Bachelor's Counseling Degree: A standard four-year program that can be completed after high school, or done in two years after an associate degree. It can help you become qualified for counseling work below that of a licensed professional counselor (LPC), and the degree will also qualify you for master's programs.
- Master's Counseling Degree: A standard one to two-year program that requires a bachelor's degree first. It's needed if you want to become an LPC in Wisconsin and will qualify you for most counseling work.
- Doctorate Degree: An advanced three to six-year program that requires a bachelor's degree, and you might need a master's for the more competitive doctoral programs. A Ph.D. will involve extensive counseling research, while a Psy.D. will involve extensive clinical study. Either can qualify you for leadership and other high-level work in counseling.
- Graduate Certificate: A non-degree program that's six to twelve months, and requires a bachelor’s degree. It can help you specialize and may be completed before or after a master's program.
Choose a Counseling Specialty
As a counselor, you can provide general counseling services or more specialized services. Many degree programs have specialization tracks if you want to specialize. For example, Wisconsin schools have specialization tracks in:
- Clinical mental health counseling
- Addiction counseling
- School counseling
- Behavior therapy
- Art therapy
Regardless of degree and/or specialization, any counseling program you apply for should be accredited. An accredited program meets accepted educational requirements.
Only master's degrees by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) meet Wisconsin's licensing requirements. Non-master's programs might alternatively be accredited by another recognized academic body.
Accredited counseling programs are available online and traditionally. Check the available online programs if you have substantial other responsibilities, or need to keep tuition as affordable as possible. Check traditional programs if you want in-classroom discussions.
To work as an LPC in Wisconsin, you must complete a CACREP-accredited master's degree that has a three-semester practicum. You then have to complete 3,000 supervised hours of counseling work, pass the Wisconsin Statutes and Rules Exam, pass the national licensing exam, and pay a fee.
LPC licenses must be renewed by February 28th on odd-numbered years. To renew, you must complete at least 30 continuing education units.
Are you searching for a counseling degree program in Wisconsin? Browse our comprehensive list of schools offering counseling programs, both online and on-campus, and follow the links to learn more about what each program has to offer.
- Master of Science in Professional Counseling Campus
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling Campus
- Master of Science in Counseling Clinical Rehabilitation Campus
- Master of Science in Counseling School Campus
- Trauma Counseling Campus
Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597
River Falls, WI
Stevens Point, WI
- Counseling (MS) Campus
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
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