Have you ever wondered how to become a high school counselor?
If so, there are several programs and methods out there to get you started right away. A job as a high school counselor is significant and rewarding; but before looking for programs about how to become a high school counselor, take a look at what a high school counselor does to see if you are the right person for the job.
The job of a high school counselor
A high school guidance counselor has many jobs. In order to become a high school counselor, you have to like teenage students. Students come with a lot personality and need a counselor to help guide them in the educational environment at school in the classroom, as well as, help them see into the future.
School counselors help students evaluate their interests, talents, abilities, and personalities to develop realistic academic and career goals. This is done through the use of career inventories, aptitude and IQ tests, interest questionnaires, and personal interviews in order to most successfully help a student find his place in the world. Many school counselors select courses for students. They create class schedules that reflect student interests, graduation requirements and prerequisites for college.
In addition to helping students look to their future success, a guidance counselor often helps students deal with and understand personal problems whether they are social or behavioral in nature. They provide specialized programs and services including anger management strategies, drug and alcohol prevention programs, conflict resolution classes, and are keenly aware of signs of abuse or other challenges that students face.
A high school counselor must be a good listener and able to communicate without making a student feel judged. The main focus of a high school counselor is to help students learn skills to be proactive in solving their personal, social, and behavioral problems in a healthy manner. These life skills are crucial to the development of the “whole” student.
As a high school counselor, you will be required to interface with several groups of students and advocate on behalf of a student while still keeping professional courtesies and trust among colleagues such as other counselors and teachers. You will be expected to have constant contact with teachers, administrators, and parents regarding student achievement on the individual and whole grade levels. In the professional world, you will maintain relationships with medical professionals, school psychologists, and social workers. As you can see, high school counselor wears many different hats.
Requirements and additional information
If this sounds like the career for you and you still want to know how to become a high school counselor, then the following information may help you get started. First of all, you will need a Bachelor’s Degree usually in a related field such as education, psychology, or human services in order to apply for a master’s degree program, since a master’s degree is usually required to become a high school counselor. In an accredited master’s program, graduate study hours usually add up to 48-60 semester hours that include a period of supervised clinical experience.
Obtaining a master’s degree to become a high school counselor is easier than ever with the wide selection of online degree programs. Be careful, you need to find the program that is right for you. Websites such as education-portal.com, bestonlineuniversities.com, and allpsychologyschools.com prove to be helpful places to start. They can connect you with literally hundreds of accredited programs. Many websites offer personal counseling and will bend over backwards to assist you in achieving your career goals; they will provide you with everything else you need to know regarding how to become a high school counselor.
When searching for a program, make sure you put in as many details about your background, education level, experience, and specific interests as possible in order to get the best results. Research, research, research! Anyone can post that they are “accredited” but a simple search on http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ made available by the United States government, will give you piece of mind that your chosen college or university is legitimate. Once you find your chosen program, apply early and search for as many grants and scholarships as possible to ease the burden of graduate school.
In no time at all, usually two years, you will find yourself in a rewarding career working in a field that bridges the gaps between parents and teachers, students and teachers, and help the next generation find their place in the world.