The Guidance Counselor
According to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, Counselors are defined as persons who “assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health and career decisions and problems. Their duties depend on the individuals they serve and the settings in which they work” (169). Examples include Mental health counselors who help people cope with daily life issues such as marital, family, stress management, or addiction problems. These counselors primarily work in private office settings. Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with different aspects of their physical disabilities, these counselors generally work in medical facilities. Employment counselors assist individuals in making wise career choices and most of these counselors work in community agencies.
Thus counseling is a diverse field that encompasses an array of situations and settings. This report will center on High School Guidance Counselors. The primary focus will be to discuss the educational requirements necessary to apply for jobs in the field, the needed skills and abilities desired from employers, and the main duties of the job.
Requirements vary by state for specific types of degrees and or licenses and certifications that must be held by guidance counselors. Missouri Law requires that all High School Guidance Counselors have secondary counselor certification. Criteria for certification is listed below and was obtained from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Individuals desiring to become guidance counselors must understand that acquiring certification requires an enormous amount of time, dedication, and education.
The professional certificate is valid for five years from the effective date on the certificate and is issued to persons meeting the following criteria:
· A valid Missouri teaching certificate
· A minimum of two years classroom teaching experience
· A minimum of one year experience working in a field other than teaching or counseling
· Completion of a course in Education and/or Psychology of the exceptional child worth two or more semester hours
· Completion of a master’s degree with a major in guidance and counseling from a college or university meeting approval of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
· Recommendation for certification from the designated official of that college or university.
Renewal of Certification
Certificates may be renewed each five years for persons meeting the following criteria:
· Two years experience in counseling at the secondary level during the previous five years
· Completion of a Missouri Department of Education approved Professional Development Program that must include at least six semester hours of graduate credit appropriate for the counselor and attendance at a minimum of three professional workshops totaling fifteen clock...