How to Become a Counselor in Kansas - Online Counseling Programs
How to Become a Counselor in Kansas
Counselors in Kansas are known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs)—although those who wish to continue their education and further develop their clinical skills can obtain licensure as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) as well.
The premier professional organization for LPCs and LCPCs in the state is the Kansas Counseling Association, a local branch of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, whose mission is to “enhance the profession of clinical mental health counseling through advocacy, education, and collaboration.”
Licensure for both LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas is managed by the state Behavioral Science Regulatory Board. Licensure requirements for counselors in Kansas, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, renewal, and “licensure through reciprocity,” are examined in further detail below, along with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as public and private scholarships available to aspiring LPCs and LCPCs in the state.
Counselor Education in Kansas
LPC licensure in Kansas requires the completion of a counseling graduate degree of at least 60 graduate semester hours from a regionally accredited institution.
Of those 60 hours, at least two must be in each of the following content areas:
Counseling Theory & Practice
The Helping Relationship
Group Dynamics, Processes, & Counseling Approaches and Techniques
Human Growth & Development
Career Development and Lifestyle Foundations
Appraisal of Individuals
Social and Cultural Foundations
Research & Evaluation
Supervised Practical Experience
Aside from the content areas listed above, 15 hours of the 60 required must be in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. More specifically, two of those 15 hours should be in ethics and another two should be in psychopathology and diagnostic assessment.
LPC licensure in Kansas requires as part of the graduate degree program a supervised practical experience, also sometimes referred to as an internship. This experience should be under the close supervision of the course instructor and on-site supervisor. This requirement is distinct from post-graduate supervision, also a requirement for LPC licensure in Kansas.
“Supervision” is shorthand for post-degree, directed experience in professional counseling under clinical supervision in a work setting. Although Kansas does not require supervision for LPC licensure, it does so for LCPC licensure.
Aspiring LCPCs in Kansas must complete at least 4,000 hours of post-graduate, supervised professional experience. Of those 4,000 hours, at least 50 should be face-to-face, one-on-one individual supervision and at least 100 should be group supervision with up to six supervisees. The supervisor must be an LCPC or be otherwise licensed to practice graduate-level behavioral science in counseling, therapy, or psychotherapy.
After approval from the Behavioral Science Regulatory Board , applicants for licensure as a counselor in Kansas must take a nationally administered written exam.
National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)
The NCE is a 200-question multiple-choice examination administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. It assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities in effective counseling services.
The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Exam
The CRC Exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions across 10 subjects underlying rehabilitation counseling. One portion of the exam tests knowledge regarding counseling, while the other pertains to rehabilitation and disability issues. It is administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.
LPC and LCPC licenses in Kansas expire biennially on the last day of the month the license was originally issued. Professional counselor license renewal in Kansas requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee and completion of continuing education requirements.
LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education (CE) during the 24-month renewal period to successfully renew their licenses. Acceptable CE activities include attending academic courses, seminars, institutes, or workshops (maximum of 30 hours). Professional counselors can pursue CE hours through a maximum of 10 hours in providing supervision, preparation and presentation of a professional counseling course, publication of a professional counseling article in a juried professional journal, and/or participation in a professional organization.
The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. This process is known as “licensure through reciprocity” and verifies applicable and equivalent requirements that are met out of state in comparison to Kansas licensure requirements.
Description: LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas can receive loan repayment assistance in exchange for working in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) at a site approved by the National Health Service Corps. Funding is tied to HPSA score and is in exchange for two years of service.
Description: American Addiction Centers offers three scholarships to provide financial assistance to full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate school students pursuing careers in behavior health and addiction-related studies, including counseling.
Description: The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program provides funds to schools, which in turn offer scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are studying professional counseling (amongst other health professions).
*Licensure information including requirements, salaries, renewals, and fees were retrieved as of May 2017. Information may have changed since, check with the state's board of licensing for more information.