The bill creates the dual licensure stipend program (stipend program) in the division of professions and occupations (division). The purpose of the stipend program is to increase the number of licensed professional counselors in communities by:
- Reimbursing licensed professional counselor supervisors (supervisors) who provide clinical supervision to school counselors who are seeking licensure as licensed professional counselors (dual licensure candidate); and
- Reimbursing dual licensure candidates for the cost of examination fees and application fees.
A dual licensure candidate is eligible for the stipend program if the dual licensure candidate is a licensed special services provider and has completed a master's or doctoral degree in professional counseling from an accredited school or college or an equivalent program.
The bill requires the division to contract with a Colorado nonprofit organization or membership organization (Colorado organization) to manage and administer the stipend program. The Colorado organization must have experience administrating grant programs and working with school counselors or mental health professionals.
The bill requires the division to provide the Colorado organization publicly available information on supervisors who can provide clinical supervision to dual licensure candidates. The Colorado organization shall maintain the list of supervisors by confirming whether a supervisor opts in to the stipend program and provides clinical supervision to dual licensure candidates. The Colorado organization shall determine a set rate for supervisors who provide clinical supervision to dual licensure candidates.
The bill requires the Colorado organization to annually collect data on:
- The number of dual licensure candidates participating in the stipend program;
- The number of supervisors participating in the stipend program; and
- The geographic locations of the dual licensure candidates and supervisors participating in the stipend program.
The Colorado organization shall draft a report summarizing the data collected. The bill requires the division to submit the report to the education committee and the public and behavioral health and human services committee of the house of representatives, the education committee and the health and human services committee of the senate, or their successor committees.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)