The exciting career of school counseling

The exciting career of school counseling involves three areas; personal/social, academic, and career. School counselors on a daily basis deal with students personal /social and academic problems. They provide students with tips and advice to help students succeed. They also help students with career choices. If you choose a career in counseling the educational requirements vary from state to state. The future outlook is promising with an increase in available jobs.

The personal/social area would include addressing any social or family problems. Those problems could include serious problems like the following: abuse/neglect, substance abuse, bullying, and many other problems. The school counselor would need to be similar to a parent loving, concerned, and empathetic. A person that is willing to listen to their problems. These contribute to the student and help them to develop trust with their school counselor. When this bond is developed the student is able to confide with their counselor.

To provide a better understanding to the problems listed above the next few paragraphs give definitions of abuse/neglect, substance abuse and bullying. The school counselor association says that abuse is "The infliction of physical harm upon the body of a child by other than accidental means, continual psychological damage, or denial of emotional needs (e.g. extensive bruises/patterns; burns/patterns; lacerations, welts or abrasions; injuries inconsistent with information offered; sexual abuse involving molestation or exploitation, including but not limited to rape; carnal knowledge, sodomy or unnatural sexual practices, emotional disturbance caused by continuous friction in the home, marital discord or mentally ill parents, cruel treatment). (1) If a student has gone through this kind of abuse then according to school counselor, Jennifer Hensler, "the first step to take for any abuse situation would be to contact social services. (Hensler)"

The next problem is neglect, which is also abuse. The school counselor association says that neglect is " the failure to provide necessary food, care, clothing, shelter, supervision or medical attention for a child (e.g., malnourished, illclad, dirty, without proper shelter, or sleeping arrangements, lacking appropriate health care; unattended, lacking adequate supervision; ill and lacking essential medical attention; irregular/illegal absences from school; exploited overworked; lacking essential psychological/emotional nurturing; abandonment). (Lambie 1)

Glenn Lambie is the assistant professor who wrote this article for the school counselor association. He has a Ph. D and is employed at the Chapman University in California.

The next problem is substance abuse. "According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th edition, the term substance abuse refers to an unhealthy pattern of substance(alcohol or drug) use that results in significant problems in one of the following ways:

  • An inability to adequately take care of your responsibilities or fill your role at work, school, or home.
  • The frequent use of substances in situations where it might be dangerous to do so (for example, driving while under the influence).
  • Repeated legal problems due to substance use (for example, public intoxication or disorderly conduct).
  • The continued use of substances even though the substance use is causing considerable problems in your life.(Tull1)"

This was written by Matthew Tull, who has a Ph. D, and does extensive research on substance abuse.

The next problem is bullying. Dan Olweus, a Norwegian researcher, defines bullying in his article "A Research Definition of Bullying," "as a person is being bullied when he/she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other person.(1)" "Negative action is when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways.(1)" "Note that bullying is both overt and covert behaviors.(1)" "The following are examples of bullying behaviors.(1)" "Remember, bullying is a pattern of behavior that is repeated over time against the same person(s) with a noted power differential. (1)"

  1. Saying hurtful and unpleasant things
  2. Making fun of others
  3. Using mean and hurtful nicknames
  4. Completely overlooking someone
  5. Deliberately excluding someone from a group of friends
  6. Hitting, kicking, pulling hair, pushing or shutting a person inside
  7. Telling lies
  8. Spreading false rumors
  9. Sending mean notes
  10. Trying to get other students to dislike another person (Olweus 1)

When students have problems with bullying, Jennifer Hensler, a school counselor said "that there are programs within the school that deals with bullying. (Hensler)" The school she works with has a program called bully busters. The bully buster program is a group of students in the school that go class to class speaking with students about bullying. They also have certain days through out the year when they show movies or do special activities pertaining to bullying to the whole school.

The next area school counselors are involved in is academics. The schools curriculum is designed with lessons that help students achieve their goals and provide the knowledge and skills they need for their developmental level. School counselors coordinate ongoing activities that are designed to help students reach their academic goals and establish their future plans. The following are some ways school counselors help students with academics:

Student schedules, grade level orientation, and make sure that students are enrolled in all courses that are required. The school counselor has an important role in supporting academic achievement through being an active leader and advocate for students. They also are part of a team. The team includes teachers, principles, parents, and community members. These teams all play an important role in the success of students. The teams provide a good school environment through providing students with encouragement to achieve success.

The last area is careers. School counselors play an important role in career developments especially with the high school students. They design and develop programs that help students with their career choice. The Standards for school counselors states the following "the competent school counselor is knowledgeable about the world of work, career, theories, and related life, processes and develops programs and interventions to promote the career development of all students." One program that has been developed in high schools is career day. Every year the high school has recruiters (college; military; etc.) come to the school to speak with students and give them information.

School Counseling education and training, according to the department of labor, "requirements vary with occupational specialty and State licensure and certificate requirements.(OOC)" "A master's degree usually is required to be licensed or certified as a counselor.(OOC)" "Employment is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.(OOC)" "Projected job growth varies by specialty, but job opportunities should be favorable be job openings are expected to exceed the number of graduates from counseling programs, especially in rural areas.(OOC)" "Overall employment of counselors is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations.(OOC)"

Median annual wages of educational, vocational, and school counselors in May 2008 were $51,050.(OOC)" "The middle 50 percent earned between $38,740 and $65,360.(OOC)" "The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,360, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,330.(OOC)" "School counselors can earn additional income by working summers in the school system or in other jobs.(OOC)" "Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of educational, vocational, and school counselors were as follows(OOC)"

Elementary and secondary schools

If you choose this exciting career of school counseling the future outlook is very promising. The educated counselor that learns to assist students with the areas discussed above and obtains on the job experience will develop outstanding leadership and advocate skills.

Works Cited

  • Lambie, Glenn W. "Child Abuse and Neglect." ASCA/Professional School Counseling Feb. 2005
  • Tull, Matthew. "Substance Abuse" 12 Sep. 2008 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Homepage. 2005
  • Olweus, Dan. "A Research Definition of Bullying"
  • Hensler, Jennifer. Personal Interview. 21 Jan. 2010
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook, 2010-11 Edition

My Audience

My audience will range from high school graduates entering college to the adult entering college. The age will range from late teens and younger adult to older adult. They both have at least one thing in common they want to get their college education. The two groups have both females and males. These people will be entering the counseling field. They both want to do research on school counseling to obtain information about job responsibilities.

The audience in their late teens and earlier twenties will be a part of a family consisting of mother, father, brothers, and sisters. Their employment history will probably include summer work or after school work. This audience will be in state residents and surrounding states.

The audience in their late twenties and on will have started their own families. Some will be fathers and others mothers. Some will be grandmother or grandfathers. They have a steady employment history in a field that is not right for them. This group will be in state residents taking classes on campus, but probably online. They have chosen classes online so that they can continue to work and spend time with their family.

These two audiences are interested in school counseling because they want to help others. They are reading my article to get more information. When they have done their reading their will be some in both groups that realize school counseling involves a tremendous range of responsibilities. The younger audience will have some that will not want that many responsibilities. The older audience will have some that already have many responsibilities, and do not want to pursue a career that would add too much. Then in both groups there will be the others that will be intrigued by all the responsibilities.

The two groups already interested in the counseling career. They both are aware of some of the duties like offering advice and tips to help the student succeed or scheduling classes. I hope my article will influence them to pursue this career, but either way they must be given this information to inform them about the many responsibilities.

My interview is with school counselor, Jennifer Hensler. Due to her busy schedule she could only give me five minutes for the interview.

When a student has been abused what is the first step to take?

The first step to take for any abuse situation would be to contact social services.

What are the steps for substance abuse?

If a student comes to school influence by a substance then it suspension. There are programs that can be recommended to students that have a problem with a substance.

What programs help with bullying?

There are programs within the school that deals with bullying. Madison has the bully buster program.

What programs help students in making a career choice?

Our school has career day. On career day we have different college reps that come to the school. They provide students with information.

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