The ABEC has made changes to its educational requirements for licensure. These changes were primarily enacted to bring ABEC requirements up to national educational standards for professional counselor licensure. They were also enacted to meet the upcoming Interstate Compact requirements.

The following emergency rule, 255-X-3-.01ER, has been certified and enacted. It will expire on Nov. 18, 2022. As it is an emergency rule, it is not shown in the ABEC Administrative Rules on the ABEC webpage. Following that expiration of 255-X-3-.01ER, the standard rule 255-X-3-.01 (that was also approved at the July 2022 Board meeting) will take permanent effect. 

 

ABEC Administrative Rule 255‐X‐3‐.01(2)ER:
(a) Prior to January 1, 2024, a master’s degree in counseling is defined as a single conferred/awarded master’s degree in counseling, consisting of a minimum of forty-eight (48) graduate semester hours, or seventy-two (72) graduate quarter hours at a regionally accredited college or university (e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). The master’s degree must contain and encompass the academic areas specified below in paragraph 2(b).

Beginning January 1, 2024, a master's degree in counseling is defined as a single conferred/awarded master’s degree in counseling from a CACREP accredited program, consisting of a minimum of sixty (60) graduate semester hours, or ninety (90) graduate quarter hours at a regionally accredited college or university (e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). The master’s degree must contain and encompass the academic areas specified below in paragraph 2(b). No less than these hourly requirements and academic areas in a single program will be accepted.

Read the full Educational Requirements here.

 

FAQs

 

I graduated after Jan. 1, 2022. Can I still apply under the old standards?

Perhaps.

The old standards will continue to Jan. 1, 2024 if you graduated from a counseling degree program (clinical psychology, counseling psychology, non-counseling degrees with specializations in counseling or licensure, etc. do not qualify) as shown on your official transcript.

After Jan. 1, 2024 your degree must have been from a CACREP accredited program.

 

I've heard that I have to have graduated from a CACREP degree to be licensed?

No, graduation from a CACREP accredited program is not required at this time. The college/university that the program was housed within must have been a regionally accredited college or university (e.g. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), but specific CACREP or CORE accreditation is not required.

After Jan. 1, 2024 applications must show a degree issued from a CACREP accredited program.

 

I started the program/graduated the degree before the rules were changed, doesn't that change which rules apply to my application?

No, it is not a question of when the degree was started or graduated, but when the application was received by ABEC. All ALC applications received by ABEC after Jan. 1, 2022 must meet the requirements of ABEC Administrative Rule 255-X-3-.01.

 

When was the rule changed and when was everyone notified?

The Board initially approved these changes as an emergency rule at the July 2022 Board meeting and the proposed changes were then made open for public commentary. These proposed changes were posted in the required locations for such regulatory changes, as well as on the ABEC website.