How to Become a High Schools Guidance Counselor
High school is mostly dominated by teenagers, save for special cases which are a very rare phenomenon. The teen years are one period marred by misunderstanding and unexplainable mood swings. In fact, this is a very fragile period in a person’s life because it is during this time that young people are experiencing numerous changes in their body make-up as well as in their emotions. At this stage, many youths are prone to make numerous mistakes in life if they are not properly guided to take conscious steps. This makes a high school guidance counselor a very important person in the society, considering that apart from the emotional factor, there is career choice and skill development among other aspects to think of.
When one decides to be a high school guidance counselor, they may deal with the following:
- Assist students with social and behavioral problems
- Help students assess their interests as well as skills to eventually develop career and academic goals
- Evaluate students during counseling sessions using aptitude tests and interviews among other duties.
To be eligible for this job, one needs a master’s degree together with state-issued license. Other than that, there is a need to be compassionate with strong speaking and listening skills. While undertaking the course, one will take foundation courses that cover development stages in children as well adolescents, personality theory, cognitive psychology, statistical methods used in researches, psychology testing among others.
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that a master’s degree is a requirement for one who wants to be a high school guidance counselor. Interested students have the choice between master’s degree programs in secondary school education or counseling. The programs are meant to help young adults find sources of their problems as well as identifying ways of solving them, not forgetting mechanisms that help the youth to cope with the challenges. Courses cover topics like cultural diversity as well as family therapy. During the course of study, a student is supposed to go for internships that can help aspiring counselors log in practical hours to get the right credentials as well as earning first-hand experience working within a school environment. In most cases, schools that need counselors will generally ask for experience.
Most schools also require that apart from the degree and experience, a student needs to have passed their exams. There is also a practicing license or certificate required. In some states, completion of a teacher education program is also a necessity. Those who have several years of experience as high school teachers may have an upper hand for consideration. At the same time, high school guidance counselors may be required to renew their credentials by going for further studies. This ensures that they stay on top of current trends. Staying current may be through attending online classes, workshops, as well as seminars. It may be prudent to join an organization like the American School Counselors Organization. If one is successful in obtaining a guidance and counseling job, they may earn a salary of more than $60,000 a year depending on state, experience and location.
Are you ready to pursue a career in counseling? Get information on programs in your area and online using our counseling degree finder at the top of this page. ↑
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