Educational counseling, or school counseling, is an important part of virtually all educational institutions in the US. It is within this practice that students, their loved ones, and even school staff can resolve outstanding, negative situations as well as improve upon those which are positive. For those wishing to learn more about this integral part of the education system, read on as we cover the core defines of today's educational counseling practice.
School Counseling: The Basics
School is absolutely a place of growth as well as occasional, associated growing pains. In elementary school and middle school, students are learning the basics of interacting and cooperation, socialization, academic resolve, and much more. In high school, these benchmarks of growth evolve but often retain similar attributes. Finally, those moving on to college find a whole new set of challenges awaiting. Enter the professional field of school counseling.
At each grade level, students in nearly all American schools are provided access to a school counseling operation within the school setting. From this central location, students can seek assistance and advice with all sorts of issues they may experience. It is also from here that the practicing counselors may take proactive steps in addressing issues throughout the entirety of the school and student body. The ultimate goal is to provide healthy advisory services to students as they make their way through the various challenges faced in achieving their education.
Specific Elements of Daily Practice
Next, let's take a look at some of the duties taken on by professional school counselors in their daily endeavors in order to facilitate healthy learning and student experiences. Some of the school counselor's duties are administrative in nature, as recordkeeping here is quite important. However, the predominant portion of their work is that of hands-on activity with the students, staff, and students' families.
This "hands-on" work refers to actually talking with and providing in-person advisory services to said parties in need. This may be in-school, by telephone, by written communique, or other forms of media.
Common Concerns Addressed
While working to support students in their personal growth and educational experiences along the way, educational counselors may run into any number of issues that require their interventional services. From home issues, to school and grade concerns, there are many. As a result, this professional must be open and understanding to the discussion of many sensitive topics. A short list of such common concerns encountered and addressed by these professionals could include:
- bullying, aggression, or fighting
- puberty or personal growth concerns
- home life issues, abuse, neglect
- positive familial involvement
- educator or school staff conflicts with students
- bus and transportation issues
- concerns of grades, studies, and coursework
- handling typical school and classroom stressors
- advisory on upcoming educational choices
- and much more
Additional BLS Info
As in many fields of work, we can look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a little more information on this field as well as the professionals working within it. According to the bureau, school counselors have an average demand growth rate of around 8%, as they will probably always be needed in the school setting. In addition, to become one, an individual must typically possess an associated master's degree as well as proper certification credentials. Also, the median pay rate for this worker is around $54,560 per year (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/School-and-career-counselors.htm).
The path to a proper education is certainly full of trials and tribulations for any student along the way. This is where the importance of today's educational counselor comes into play. This piece provides some great basics on the general field of educational counseling, but to really learn more, the American School Counselor Association, found at https://www.schoolcounselor.org/, is the leading resource to consult within this field.