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College Counseling Course Descriptions for Aspiring College Counselors

College counselors provide academic and career advice to college students. Courses in college counseling are typically taken as part of a graduate certificate or degree program.

Essential Information

Degrees in college counseling are not as common as elementary school counseling; however, some universities offer master's degrees with concentrations in college counseling. Some institutions additionally have certificate programs available for those who are already working in the school counseling field but want to gain knowledge in college counseling.

Courses in college counseling and career counseling techniques prepare students to help others apply to colleges, handle the issues that arise during the transition from high school to college, set goals and choose a career path. Online courses are available, although most programs require an on-site practicum in which students counsel students under supervision. This work experience is needed for licensure as a career counselor in some settings.

List of Courses

Below are descriptions of typical courses taken as part of a college counseling certificate or degree program.

College Counseling

Aspiring college counselors prepare to work with students and families by learning to set expectations for college. Counselors work with students to pick a college and courses to take. Students learn how to recognize students' strengths and weaknesses and how to decide when and in what area they need guidance. This is a beginner's course in the program.

College Counseling Techniques

In this course, students examine ways to help future college students get into college with letters of recommendation, relationships with admissions counselors and early decision options. Students also learn the theories behind counseling college-aged students during the transition from high school to college.

Ethics in College Counseling

Aspiring college counselors learn their ethical and legal obligations. Students look at federal mandates and contractual standards that are exercised later in a practicum. Topics may include current issues and trends in the college counseling profession, legal issues when working with students and human development.

Career Counseling

College counselors not only help students with academic decisions for coursework, but also aid in career preparation decisions. In this course, students learn the psychological and economical aspects of helping students decide on career paths. Students practice examination techniques that counselors use to assist college students in choosing careers. Students are also introduced to student affairs as a tool and a service to help students reach goals.

College Counseling Practicum

Students who have taken all program courses finally put their skills to use in a practicum with supervised counseling situations. Students use fieldwork and peer comparison to learn what they have done right or wrong in field experiences. Through this process, students learn how to examine feedback, work with different types of clients and prepare analysis of interviews.

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