School counselors help elementary, middle school, and high school aged students develop the social and academic skills they need to succeed in school. They work with parents, teachers, and other school staff to address the developmental needs of individual students and the larger student body. School counselors also assist students with behavioral or personal problems. Some of the many job responsibilities of school counselors include:
- Providing individual and group counseling for students to address developmental, behavioral, and academic problems
- Working with students to develop good study habits as well as organizational and time management skills
- Teaching students, parents, and teachers how to recognize and prevent school bullying and student drug abuse
- Working with parents, teachers, and other school staff to address the social and academic needs of students
The BLS reports that employment for school and career counselors is expected to grow 19% from 2010 to 2020. The increasing number of students enrolling in elementary, middle, and high schools is stimulating this job growth. School counselors will be needed to address the developmental, academic, and career guidance needs of the country's growing student population.
Job Growth for
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Becoming a School Counselor
School counselors are typically required to hold a master's degree in school counseling or a related field. Both on-site and online degree programs will require students to complete a supervised on-site internship or practicum in school counseling in a public or private school setting. Students should confirm that a degree program meets the requirements for state-licensing as a school counselor.
Applicants to a master's degree program in school counseling must have bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Schools may also require applicants hold a teaching certificate and have two years of full-time licensed teaching experience. A sampling of classes you may take in a school counseling program, drawn from course listings for George Fox University's masters in school counseling degree program, include the following:
- Principles and Techniques of Counseling
- Group Theory and Therapy
- Risk and Resilience in Youth
- Child and Adolescent Disorders
School counselors must hold a state-issued credential which, depending on the state, may be a license, certification, or endorsement. Most states will run a criminal background check on applicants as part of the credential process. School counselor credential requirements for each state are available from the American School Counselors Association.