School counselors play a crucial role in shaping students’ lives. In school counseling programs, students learn how to provide academic, personal, and developmental support to school-aged children. Elementary school counselors interact with young children and ensure that they receive the proper education and care, while middle, high school, and colleges counselors help young adults transition from secondary school to college and from college to the workforce. If you would like to help students navigate their way through school and life, explore traditional and online school counseling programs today.
Options for Campus and Online School Counseling Programs
School counseling degrees are available at the master’s and doctoral level. Programs focus on teaching students how to conduct group and individual counseling, foster academic development, and work with parents, teachers, and other school staff. Most school counseling jobs require candidates to have at least a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. School counselors also typically need a school counseling certification in their state to practice.
The admissions requirements for master’s and doctoral degree programs in school counseling generally include a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum required GPA, minimum required GRE scores, and strong letters of recommendation. Master’s degrees in school counseling generally take about two years to complete, while doctoral degrees in school counseling take four to five years to complete. Both master’s and doctoral degree programs are offered online and on traditional college campuses.
School Counseling Degree Curriculum
Degree programs in school counseling prepare students for certification as professional school counselors. In order to graduate, students must demonstrate competency and knowledge in promoting personal/social, academic, and career development through counseling and classroom guidance. Classes that students may be required to take include the following:
- Theories of counseling and personality
- Lifespan human development and learning
- Career development
- Counseling with children and adolescents
- Techniques of counseling
- Foundations of multicultural counseling
School counseling students are also typically required to gain hands-on experience through a student-teaching practicum or internship. These supervised field experiences are completed at elementary, middle or high schools, as well as universities, depending on each student’s preferences.
Career Opportunities for School Counseling
Requirements to earn a practicing license or certification as a school counselor vary by state. School counselors are typically required to undergo a background check, complete a master’s degree and student teaching experience, and pass an exam in order to earn a state license. In some states, school counselors are also required to have a state teaching certificate.
School counseling graduates may work at schools, universities, mental health centers, and other organizations. Qualities that school counselors must have include listening skills, speaking skills, people skills, and compassion.
Employment and Salary Expectations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of school and career counselors overall is expected to grow by 19% from 2010 to 2020, due to increasing enrollment rates. While employment in elementary and secondary schools is only supposed to increase by 8% for school and career counselors, jobs in higher education should increase by 34%. In 2012, school and career counselors earned a median annual wage of $53,610.
School counselors are important members of the educational team who provide valuable assistance and support to students in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Despite the field’s growth, there will continue to be a high level of competition for school counseling jobs. Boost your chances of obtaining employment by enrolling in a school counseling program today!