School guidance counselors provide psychological and behavioral counseling, skills assessment testing and career choice guidance. Education in school counseling can be found in graduate certificate programs, as well as master's and doctoral degree programs in the school counseling field. These classes are designed to train individuals interested in becoming school guidance counselors.
The following list details some concepts that are commonly found in courses for aspiring guidance counselors:
- College admissions process
- Ethical and legal requirements
- Lifespan development
- Counseling techniques
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List of Common Courses
Counseling Theory Course
Modern theories and methods of student counseling and their complementary or differing aspects are the focus of this class. Students are encouraged to expand their understanding of behavioral and psychological concepts as they apply to school guidance counseling. This course is generally taken in the first year of a master's program in school counseling.
Group Counseling Course
Prospective school guidance counselors develop and practice their group counseling and leadership skills in a controlled and supervised setting while enrolled in this course. Students focus on applying previously learned behavioral counseling techniques and concepts to group participation environments. Earlier courses in counseling theory may be a prerequisite to this intermediate class, which is typically available in the middle portion of a master's program in counseling.
Cross-Cultural Counseling Course
This course explores current counseling methods and theories as applied to varying cultural and social settings. Topics include an overview of diverse cultures and the roles that education, emotional development and behavioral development play on counseling approaches. This intermediate course is often taken during the second or third year of a master's program.
Testing and Analysis Course
A testing and analysis course focuses on the techniques used in assembling and categorizing information from various testing methods to help individuals make informed career and life decisions. Students review testing methods such as skills inventories and vocational tests.
Career Development Counseling Course
Students in this course become familiar with the nature and scope of career and vocational development of counseling. Emphasis is placed upon the content and process of career and vocational development and choice. The class may be available as an intermediate part of a master's counseling program
School Counseling Practicum Course
This supervised counseling course is designed to help prospective student counselors gain practical experience through interaction in an educational setting. It is typically conducted at a school which offers psychological services to students. This advanced class is typically available in the later part of a master's program in school guidance counseling.