What is an Educational Counselor?
An educational counselor is responsible for assisting and giving leadership and guidance to the student body. Educational counselor does this through the monitoring of student body workloads as well as their GPA’s and assisting them with improvement tactics and programs for their individual improvement.
An education counselor act as a liaison between the student and teacher/professor and collaborate with the instructor on what is best for the individual student and what the best plan of attack is in dealing with their challenges.
An educational counselor also follows up with each student that is in his/her charge until they successfully complete their program or school year. In cases such as being a primary and secondary educational counselor, one will also be responsible in part for assisting parents and teachers determine a student’s readiness to move to the next grade.
What Does an Educational Counselor Do?
The academic part of job is only half of what an education counselors is faced with. The remaining half of core duties is to assist the student body with social issues that affect their performance at school as well as their overall lives. For example, as a primary or a secondary educational counselor, one would possibly have to contend with a student’s family issues that are affecting the student’s mental and emotional health.
Education counselors work with students of all ages on issues specific to their academic, vocational, and professional success. While many youth counselors and social workers are employed in schools, such professionals focus on a wide variety of issues. Education counselors have a more narrow and specialized niche. They understand the barriers to success that many students experience; learning disabilities, lack of motivation, language barriers, lack of accountability, test anxiety, and myriad other things that hold students back from achieving their academic potential. They also typically have detailed knowledge of specific teachers, subjects, and resources available to help students achieve.
Educational counselors are generally trained to spot issues in a person’s behavior. For example the standard practice goes something like this for primary and secondary education–a teacher will notice that a student’s grades are falling and they are ‘acting-out’ in class, seem combative or detached. The teacher will question the student and then consult the counselor. After that the family would be summoned for a meeting with the student and the counselor. At that point the student would be afforded the opportunity to voice their concerns as well as the parents. The educational counselor would be responsible for offering and implementing programs to help the student overcome issues.
Education counselors are also tapped into academic and vocational programs that students in their purview may benefit from. They have knowledge of universities, trade schools, and other professional opportunities that students may not otherwise be aware of, as well as how a student might go about increasing their odds of being accepted into such programs.
Education counselors typically do not provide emotional or psychological support beyond standard compassion and acknowledgment of the stressors related to academic life. Education counselors may work in conjunction with other counselors and mental health professionals, but their primary focus is on the academic and vocational success of students rather than their emotional wellbeing.
Overall the role of the educational counselor is a rewarding and well-rounded experience as it goes far beyond monitoring education of the student.
Why Do We Need Education Counselors?
Many people may wonder why do we need education counselors? The truth is, education counselors play a very important role in the lives of students. Whether they are working in an elementary school, high school, or even a university, it cannot be said enough just how important these individuals are. Education counselors do far more than just help students plan their classes and shuffle papers. This type of ideology couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Education counselors play an important role as members and leaders of the education team. No matter the setting, be it a high school or college, education counselors provider guidance to students in crucial areas such as personal development, academic development, and even career development. In addition, to create a conductive learning environment, education counselors often work alongside faculty members and top leaders within the school or university they are working within. It goes without saying, education counselors play a critical role within the educational system.
Without education counselors, students and faculty members would be left without a professional source to rely on. Education counselors are experts in their field, they possess the skills and knowledge to develop effective educational solutions. Whether that solution is helping a student determine what college would best be suited for them, or helping a troubled student work through a behavioral issue, education counselors are there to help. These dedicated individuals truly perform life changing work. One student at a time, educational counselors are making an incredible impact.
What are the Academic Requirements to Become an Educational Counselor?
Since “educational counselor” can refer to a number of different specialties within counseling, the academic requirements will vary depending on the specialty.
At a minimum, educational counselors must complete both undergraduate and graduate studies, regardless of their specific position. At the undergraduate level, educational counselors will focus their studies on general educational requirements, as well as coursework specific to their major.
For example, if you major in psychology as an undergraduate, about one-half of the coursework will be general classes and the other half will be specific to the study of psychology. These courses usually include general psychology, statistics, lifespan development, and the history of psychology.
At the graduate level, educational counselors continue their studies of psychological principles, along with the addition of classes that are specific to counseling and education.
School counseling programs, for example, require students to take coursework in educational leadership, counseling theories, psychological assessment and testing, and psychopathology. Most graduate programs related to educational counseling also require an internship experience that places the student in an actual school to get real-world training under the tutelage of an experienced counselor.
For some positions, a master’s degree in a related field might be enough to work as an educational counselor. A guidance counselor in a private secondary school might not be required to have further education, though that depends on the specific school. Another example would be working in consulting or research settings where the work doesn’t involve direct contact with clients.
However, for other positions, additional schoolwork or licensure might be required. For example, to work in most public school systems as a counselor, one must be licensed and in many cases certified by the state as well. Though licensure and certification requirements vary from one state to the next, virtually all states require supervised practice, demonstration of knowledge on a test, or both before credentials are granted.
What Can You Do With a Master’s in Education Counseling?
Obtaining a graduate degree in education counseling opens up many career pathways. For many education counselors, this means working in public or private elementary, middle, or high schools to provide counseling and guidance services to students. For example, this might entail working with individual students at the elementary school level to help them build skills to be more academically successful or conducting groups for children in the middle grades that need to build social skills. In a high school setting, an education counselor might wear many hats, including everything from offering therapeutic services to college and career guidance.
Other educational counselors work more with the faculty and staff of public and private schools to help them develop improved ways of working with students of all ages and capabilities. For example, an educational counselor might work with teachers in a high school health education department to develop lessons that address issues that are of great importance to the positive development of young people, such as developing positive self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
Though relatively rare, some education counselors might even work on their own in a private practice setting or as a consultant. In private practice, education counselors might offer services that look a lot like traditional therapy, including one-on-one counseling. For example, they might work with a student that has been suspended from school to help address behavioral issues that led to their suspension. On the other hand, in a consultative role, education counselors might be contracted by private businesses or industries to offer their insights regarding how to train employees or develop programs that help employees learn the requirements of their jobs more quickly and efficiently.
What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Schools and Educational Counselors Working on a College Level?
This is straight-forward as primary and secondary educational counseling provides the student body with more emotional and mental guidance for what affects their performance. On a college-level the educational counselor will teach the student how they can best use their degree and provide guidance with how to go into their field prepared by providing up-to-date techniques and practices.
In conclusion the educational counselor is an in-depth involvement with others which takes a knack and passion for helping others as well as excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
What Occupations are Related to an Educational Counselor?
With its focus on education and learning, educational counseling shares many commonalities with other educationally based occupations. These include:
Guidance counselor – Guidance counselors work in school systems, typically high schools, and assist students in making school and career choices. They help students select the courses they take, arrange for students to take interest inventories and career-related tests, assist in helping kids develop skills needed for success in school and work, and work with students on developing coping mechanisms to deal with stress, peer pressure, and emotional difficulties in a healthy manner.
School counselor – Like guidance counselors, school counselors work in school systems, but the focus of their work is different. Rather than focusing on scheduling and work related issues, school counselors often spend time with students in one-on-one or group therapy. School counselors also devise school-based or classroom-based programs that address important topics like physical growth, emotional issues, bullying, and common mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Rehabilitation counselor – Rehabilitation counselors strive to assist disabled individuals to lead as normal a life as possible. Part of the services that rehabilitation counselors provide is an educational component. Rehabilitation counselors might arrange career training so a client can begin a career path that is more viable with their disability. Additionally, counselors in this field might be involved in devising programs to help clients relearn how to walk, talk, and take care of themselves after an event that has caused a disability.
Teacher – Although they aren’t typically trained in counseling, teachers nevertheless work everyday to facilitate the growth and development of the kids in their classrooms. Teachers aren’t just responsible for intellectual growth; rather, they are also an integral component of students developing a strong sense of self, learning social skills, and preparing for adulthood.
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