Wisconsin Counselor Licensure Requirements

The State of Wisconsin passed its counselor licensure law in 1992. The counselor becomes a Licensed Professional Counselor upon licensure. Both the practice and the title of professional counseling are protected by statute. For those with a graduate degree in the field, they are designated Licensed Professional Counselor Trainee while they are earning their supervised counseling experience and this designation (LPCT) cannot exceed 48 months although it can be renewed. For more information, visit the State of Wisconsin Licensure Board at www.drl.wi.gov.

Following graduation from a CACREP or CORE (rehabilitation) accredited program or an equivalent program accepted by the state, the new graduate must complete 3,000 hours of counseling experience and 1,000 of those must be face-to-face client contact. Supervision must be at the rate of one hour per week by a board-approved mental health professional. The State of Wisconsin requires completion of any of the following national exams: National Counselor Exam (NCE), National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE) or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination. A Wisconsin Jurisprudence Exam is also required and is an open-book test and the counselor has 3 months to complete it.

A number of universities in Wisconsin have arranged for graduate students to complete the NCE. Successful completion of the NCE makes the student eligible for the National Certified Counselor credential (from NBCC) upon graduation if the academic program is nationally accredited by Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Such graduates can use their NCE results later for state licensure following completion of the required supervised counseling experience. Many universities also use the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) as an exit requirement. Those universities that have arranged with NBCC to allow their students to complete the NCE include:

Marquette University
Mount Mary College
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin Superior
University of Wisconsin Whitewater