How To Choose the Right School Counseling Degree
The school years are a significant time in anyone’s life. It is during this time that a child grows into adolescence and teenage, and develops his or her personality. Things that happen during the school years can significantly influence what a person does for the rest of their life. A school counselor plays the important role of providing students with academic, personal, emotional, and career advice that guide their actions in the right direction. Counselling is usually provided either individually or in a group.
If you enjoy interacting with students and helping shape young lives, being a school counselor would be a great career option for you. Your primary objective as a school counselor will be to help students make positive decisions that will contribute to personal and academic development. School counselors typically work in elementary, middle, and high schools.
How to become a school counselor
If you are thinking of becoming a school counselor, the first thing to do would be to obtain a bachelor’s degree. There are many good courses that will help aspiring school counselors gain the required skills and knowledge in communication and child psychology. Good school counselling programs will also typically include a period of fieldwork where you will work in a school to gain real life experience. Some states may require you to get a master?s degree to work as a school counselor. If you want to pursue an online education, there are also many online school counselor programs that you can choose from.
Choosing the right school
Each school will have its own strengths. There will be different programs, different learning environments, financial aid opportunities etc. All of these factors will impact your learning experience. Consider the following factors to choose the right program.
- Teacher to student ratio
- Scholarship and financial aid opportunities
- Notable alumni from the school
- The time you are likely to graduate ? is it in alignment with your personal goals?
- College ranking
- Campus safety (if you?re considering a traditional program)
It is quite easy to find all this information. Just speak to an admissions counselor or visit the school?s website once you have shortlisted a few. A graduate program is an important step in your life and it is important to ensure that you have chosen the right school and program, whether online or offline.
Traditional vs online programs
If you need to fulfill other obligations while you are studying, then an online program may be ideal for you. Consider the following to decide between a traditional or online program.
- Do you want to learn in a structured environment with regular hours?
- Do you prefer face to face interaction with other students and teachers?
- Do you prefer to have concepts explained to you rather than learning on your own?
- Are you comfortable using computers?
- Do you have young children or other commitments that prevent you from joining a traditional program?
- Are you self-motivated and independent?
- Do you want the flexibility to be able to participate in classes at places or times that are convenient for you?
Consider all of the above points to choose the right school counseling degree program.
About The Author:
Linette Garcia is a contributing writer for Online Counseling Programs, a website that offers extensive resources surrounding counseling degrees, mental health education, and related professions. She also is a proud mother of three and spends her spare time cycling.