Are you interested in becoming a guidance counselor?

November 26th, 2007 by Key Magazine

Guidance counselors are invaluable assets to school districts, operating at the elementary, middle and high school levels. A school guidance counselor usually has a Master’s degree, and most states require counselors to be licensed.

Guidance counselors have to balance multiple roles when relating to students. They are a primary advocate for students, in both the students personal and academic lives.

Preparing students for the future:

It’s important for counselors to be able to make regular assessments of each student’s academic progress, so that they can be familiar with individual needs and goals. Advising a student on which classes to take and how to prepare for their academic and career futures is a cornerstone of a guidance counselor’s function. Giving out assessment tests, consulting with students regarding career goals and reminding them about scholarship and application deadlines are all regular duties for high school guidance counselors in particular.

Helping students with the present:

One of the hardest and most rewarding aspects of being a guidance counselor is helping students today. Whether it’s giving them the confidence they need to sign up for a particular class, or helping them through a troubled period in their lives, guidance counselors are important. Children coping with family issues, such as divorce, or social issues, such as peer pressure or bullying, often turn to their guidance counselor for advice. Even more importantly, a guidance counselor should be attuned enough to their students that they notice shifts in behavior or attitude even before the student brings it up!

But for somebody who is interested in helping others, who can really listen and wants to help guide children and young adults – for that person, a career as a guidance counselor can be a wonderful and rewarding occupation.

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Teens Turn to Counselors for College Advice

November 20th, 2007 by Key Magazine

High school students are looking for more assistance with college planning. According to a recent survey by Grand Canyon University, many students now rely less on parents and teachers. They are turning to guidance counselors for help with one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

The GCU study, conducted via forums and electronic surveys of area public high school guidance counselors, showed some surprising results. A record number of students are seeking help to decide what to do after high school.

While colleges and universities are investing heavily to recruit students, the demands on high school students are escalating as well. Students are pressured to decide on an area of study before even entering college. A majority of counselors said that less than half of their students had decided on a major or direction of study for college.

Couple that pressure with the stress to select a college or university. As a result, students are increasingly seeking out guidance counselors to help with the critical decision-making process. Students are coming to counselors for assistance with college applications, financial aid and scholarship information.

Many of the counselors also reported that they need better training to assist students with the application process.

Among the guidance counselors surveyed by Grand Canyon University, most responded that students had also sought assistance for something other than college planning. The most frequent reasons students asked for help were:

  • Grief and bereavement – 76% of counselors
  • Suicide issues – 68% of counselors
  • Drug and alcohol issues – 65% of counselors

High Anxiety of Getting Into College

April 9th, 2007 by admin

A high school senior was fighting back tears in her guidance counselor’s office. Despite her 92 average, the girl had been rejected by her top three college choices. Another senior, already clad in a new Northwestern T-shirt, interrupted to give his counselor a thumbs-up. He was in.

And so it has gone over the last few weeks, as colleges send their decisions and counselors console, cheer up and otherwise try to help this year’s seniors navigate the end of the admissions process.

“It’s a bittersweet time,” said Susan Buchman, a counselor at Byram Hills High School in Armonk. “You get some kids who are ecstatic because they got into their first choice school, and then there are disappointments. And you get parents who are very upset. They were hoping their kid was going to get into a certain school so that they could put the sticker on the car.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Choking Game, Passing Out Game, Space Cowboy, Cloud Nine – Whatever the Name, Teenagers are Learning of the Deadly Consequences

March 30th, 2007 by admin

Asphyxiation games have been around for decades – and for some reason the brief euphoric high from lack of oxygen continues to intrigue teenagers. However, several publicized deaths over the past few years, as well as Internet sites like YouTube displaying the game in more threatening variations, are spurring a discussion in schools and among parents’ groups, guidance counselors and physicians. Many psychologists believe that this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed openly and aggressively.

Levi Draher has received national attention after sharing his near death experience. Click here to view a video of Draher’s talk about the deadly game.

In a New York Times article, 16-year-old Draher Casts Light on a Shadowy Game.

GERONIMO, Tex. – Levi Draher, 16, walked to the front of the Navarro High School gym in early March and picked up the microphone before a hushed audience of fellow teenagers.

“I died and came back,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Education, Counseling and Social Science Careers on the Rise

March 9th, 2007 by admin

As mentioned on MSN Careers in the article Job Outlook for Class of 2007, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) predicts college hiring will increase by 17.4 percent in 2007. This is the fourth straight year that new graduate hiring is expected to grow by a double-digit percentage.

According to the fall preview of NACE’s “Job Outlook 2007″ survey, employers cite company growth, retiring employees and high job turnover as key reasons for the rise in hiring.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “2004-2014 Job Outlook for College Graduates” identifies seven prominent career fields that will have significant openings in the years ahead two of which tie in closely to school guidance counseling. Read the rest of this entry »

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How High School Guidance Counselors Can Help Your Teen

March 2nd, 2007 by admin

High school can be a difficult time for both teens and parents. Students are changing both emotionally and physically as they become young adults. As a parent, keep in mind that counselors can be a valuable resource for you and your son or daughter.

Counselors are readily available to advise students throughout the school year. Learn about a few of the areas that a high school guidance counselor can help.
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Interviewing for a Counselor position

March 1st, 2007 by admin

If you are a prospective School Counselor about to go on your first interview, it’s normal to feel nervous and unsure of what might be asked of you. Courtesy of Counselor Companion reader Tina, we present you with this guide to how a typical School Counselor interview might go. Tina has been a counselor with a special education focus, a counselor at a large public middle school and at a private high school. In addition to brushing up on your general interviewing skills, read about Tina’s experiences in School Counselor interviews. Read the rest of this entry »

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Interviewing: Important Advice for All Careers, Especially Guidance Counselors

January 5th, 2007 by admin

If you are on the path to becoming a guidance counselor, you’re heading toward a position that involves a great deal of interaction with others. Elementary-level school counselors through college-level guidance counselors work with students to promote and support their academic, personal and social development. It is essential for guidance counselors to be effective communicators, able to provide educational advice, career recommendations, and even help to those who may not be heading in the right direction at all.

Before you can secure your place in this field, you’ll have to successfully complete a different type of interaction process the job interview. Interviewing skills are important for any career field. However, guidance counselors not only need to excel to land a job, they should also be able to help future job-seekers with interview tips.

Learn from common mistakes made by others instead of committing an interview no-no. After all, as Kiplinger’s writer Peter Phelan states, the last thing you want to do is leave the wrong impression.

In his article, What Not to Say at a Job Interview, Phelan outlines 12 gaffes that could cost you a job. Read the rest of this entry »

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Being a School Guidance Counselor: Information and Statistics

November 29th, 2006 by admin

Being a Guidance Counselor- Also known as school counselors, elementary- through college-level guidance counselors work with students to promote and support their academic, personal and social development. Guidance counselors help students at all stages of their educations to assess their abilities, interests, and personalities in order to develop healthy academic goals and emotional development.
Although being a guidance counselor is extremely rewarding, it can potentially become emotionally taxing. For that reason, potential counselors should have high emotional energy to handle the problems and stresses they may come across. An effective school counselor should want to help others and be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. Additionally, guidance counselors must follow a stringent code of ethics and privacy in accordance to their licenses and certifications.

Responsibilities and Duties- School guidance counselors emphasize preventive and developmental counseling to provide students with life skills and enhance students personal, social, and academic growth. They use dialogue, therapy sessions, tests and other methods to help students individually, in small groups, or in entire classes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Addressing the high school dropout rate in America’s schools

April 10th, 2006 by Key Magazine

Counselor Companion has sought opportunities to create dialogue among high school guidance counselors about the many issues, concerns and challenges facing today’s high school students as they prepare for college and life beyond high school. For a growing number of students, 30 percent of high school students to be exact, a life beyond high school is marred by the lack of a high school diploma. Time magazine tackles the issue of the rising high school dropout rate and what it means for America.

In today’s data-happy era of accountability, testing and No Child Left Behind, here is the most astonishing statistic in the whole field of education: an increasing number of researchers are saying that nearly one out of three public high school students won’t graduate, not just in Shelbyville but around the nation.

For Latinos and African-Americans, the rate approaches an alarming 50 percent. Virtually no community, small or large, rural or urban, has escaped the problem.

There is a small but hardy band of researchers who insist the dropout rates don’t quite approach those levels. They point to their pet surveys that suggest a rate of only 15 percent to 20 percent.

The dispute is difficult to referee, particularly in the wake of decades of lax accounting by states and schools. But the majority of analysts and lawmakers have come to this consensus: the numbers have remained unchecked at approximately 30 percent through two decades of intense educational reform, and the magnitude of the problem has been consistently, and often willfully, ignored.
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