ASCA-Recognized School Counselor Preparation Program
College/university school counselor preparation programs may seek national recognition of their school counselor preparation program through the ASCA Specialized Professional Association (SPA) under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). The ASCA School Counselor Preparation Program Standards are a unified set of principles guiding school counselor preparation programs in training effective future school counselors in areas of professional practice and ethical behavior.
CAEP and AAQEP maintain standards as the foundation for preparation in their professional domain – educators in P–12 schools. Through affiliated professional associations, CAEP and AAQEP also recognize standards established for specific professions for initial and advanced preparation programs in specialty licensure areas. These standards are written for different fields of teaching (e.g., elementary, special education, secondary mathematics) and for other school professionals (e.g., principals, librarians, school psychologists).
Programs receiving the national recognition have affirmed that candidates are prepared to deliver a comprehensive school counseling program and are knowledgeable about the foundations and concepts of school counseling. Graduates of ASCA-recognized school counselor preparation programs demonstrate they have met national standards that are recognized and valued by school districts and administrators.
In February 2023, ASCA awarded its first National Recognition to NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ASCA awarded its second National Recognition in December 2023 to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.
Programs must complete the program review process, providing evidence that they meet each of the ASCA standards. For CAEP, universities seeking the national recognition must announce their intention to CAEP three years prior to their CAEP accreditation site visit. Two cycles of data are required for the CAEP SPA program, so SPA national recognition reports are due one year before the CAEP site visit for CAEP accreditation. There are no additional fees for SPA program review; review is included with CAEP accreditation fees. Programs must complete the SPA program review process. Click here to review the program report template or here to request a program report shell.
For national recognition through AAQEP, from June 2022-June 2024, any AAQEP-accredited provider may apply for the ASCA recognition if the AAQEP accreditation was granted no more than 3 years prior to ASCA program report submission. After this initial period, all providers will seek ASCA program review simultaneously with their AAQEP accreditation. Click here to view the program report template. Learn more.
Program reports are reviewed by three ASCA-trained reviewers (at least two are school counseling faculty with doctoral degrees).
Timeline for CAEP
|Semester of CAEP Accreditation Visit||ASCA SPA Program Report Due||Report Due Back to Institution|
|Spring 2026||March 15, 2023||Aug. 1, 2023|
|Fall 2026||Sept. 15, 2023||Feb. 1, 2024|
|Spring 2027||March 15, 2024||Aug. 1, 2024|
|Fall 2027||Sept. 15, 2024||Feb. 1, 2025|
Revised and Response to Conditions Reports are also accepted March 15 and Sept. 15 each year. Refer to timelines included in the original report response from reviewers.
Annual Timeline for AAQEP
|Program Report Due||Reviewer Response|
Due to Provider
|Final Decision Rendered|
|March 15||June 15||Aug. 15||At time of accreditation notification|
|Sept. 15||Dec. 15||Feb. 15||At time of accreditation notification|
Note: From June 2022-June 2024, any AAQEP-accredited provider may apply for the ASCA recognition if the AAQEP accreditation was granted no more than 3 years prior to ASCA report submission. After this initial period, all providers will seek it simultaneously with their AAQEP accreditation.