A career as a school counsellor functions as an advocate for students by creating a nurturing atmosphere in which students can prosper academically, emotionally, and socially. This career path is suitable for one who has passion for helping young people as well as has the right attitude to deal with sensitive topics. A career as a school counsellor can be a rewarding and fulfilling career if you follow the right path.
A school counsellor offers children assistance and guidance in an educational environment. Additionally, they provide support for guidance for teachers to educate them. They operate at all levels of education, as well as colleges and universities, to ensure the general well-being and success of students. Furthermore, they have an essential role in improving kids’ academic, social, and emotional growth.
In this piece, I will discuss the steps to take to start a career as a school counsellor as well as the skills and various specialisations to explore.
How to Become a School Counsellor
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
You need a bachelor’s degree to start a career as a school counsellor. This degree will give you the foundational knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour, emotion and cognition. Additionally, this degree will give you the knowledge that will enable you to advance into graduate school. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in areas such as education, psychology, social science or a related field.
Pursue a Master’s Degree
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, it is important that you advance your knowledge by obtaining a master’s degree. The master’s program typically includes coursework such as counselling theories, human development, multicultural counselling, career development, and ethical practices. Additionally, this degree can enable you to have access to higher opportunities and positions as well as high earning potentials.
Gain Practical Experience
You can gain these experiences through internships. This is a major requirement for you to start a career as a school counsellor. These opportunities will provide you with hands-on experience in a school setting under the supervision of a licensed school counsellor. Additionally, it will allow you to apply counselling skills, gain practical experience, as well as work directly with students.
Develop Relevant Skills
As a school counsellor, you should develop a variety of skills that will enable you to work with students regularly. You should build skills such as observation skills, organisation, listening, etc.
Obtain a License or Certification
A license is important as it ensures that counsellors meet the required standard of competence and ethic. Additionally, it gives clients the assurance and trustworthiness to seek counselling services from you. Therefore, you should complete the requirements needed and obtain a license or an additional certificate that validates you as a school counsellor.
Join a Professional Organisation
It is vital to establish professional contacts with other industry professionals. This may provide you access to job prospects. Additionally, you will also be able to stay up to date on the latest practices and technologies.
Skills Required for a School Counsellor
- Counselling skills
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- Rapport-building skills
- Observation skills
- Organisation skills
- Active listening skills
Types of School Counsellors
- Elementary School Counsellor: These counsellors work mostly with elementary school pupils. Furthermore, they are primarily concerned with giving age-appropriate counselling, direction, as well as assistance to preschoolers.
- Middle School Counsellor: Counsellors in middle schools assist pupils in their transitional years. Additionally, they guide kids through the difficulties of puberty, such as figuring out who they are, interacting with peers, organising their schoolwork, and exploring job options.
- High School Counsellor: High school counsellors assist students with areas such as academics strategy, career and college counselling, as well as personal development. Additionally, they also handle social-emotional problems, mental health concerns, and offer advice on post-graduation possibilities such as apprenticeships or career.
- College and Career Counsellor: These counsellors specialise in working with students in post-secondary institutions such as colleges and universities. Additionally, they offer advice and assistance with college applications, course selection, major discovery, and career preparation.
- School Education Counsellor: Special education counsellors help with learners who have special needs or impairments. Furthermore, they work with parents, educators, and other experts to create individualized education programmes for students with disabilities.
Universities in Africa to Study Psychology
- University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Bayero University, Nigeria
- Federal University of Technology, Akure
- University of Lagos, Nigeria
- Cairo University, Egypt
- University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
- Ain Shams University, Egypt
- University of Ibadan, Nigeria
- Makerere University, Uganda
- University of Ghana, Ghana
- Tanta University, Egypt
- University of Witwatersrand
- Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
- University of Pretoria, South Africa
- Alexandria University, Egypt
- University of Sfax, Tunisia
- Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
- University of Nairobi, Kenya
- Rhodes University, South Africa
- University of Nigeria, Nigeria
In Conclusion, starting a career as a school counsellor can be a rewarding career that offers job security and career growth. Additionally, this career can bring a sense of fulfilment as you will be impact the lives of children of different ages. However, you need to acquire the relevant qualifications and skills to thrive in this career. You need to get the right credentials, experiences as well as certificates of license.