What is Educational Counseling?

If you’d like to help students shape their academic path, then a career in educational counseling may be for you. From helping students to choose classes that will allow them to develop their strengths to assisting them to overcome academic and personal challenges, this career field brings an enormous sense of satisfaction. Opportunities are available from elementary school through college, so candidates can focus their efforts in the age group that inspires them.

Why Educational Counseling Matters

Most academic experiences occur at a young age. This makes the time spent in the classroom particularly influential over the course of a life. In general, the better academic experience a person has, the smoother their transition to the working world is likely to be. However, the school years are also a difficult time of enormous physical, emotional, social and psychological changes. Learning to balance personal interests and academic goals does not come easily, and many students are overwhelmed from being pulled in several different directions with family concerns, academic goals, athletic endeavors and other interests.

Whether they are referred to as school counselors or guidance counselors, these professionals help to smooth the way for students, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their emphasis is on ensuring academic success, but this goal is influenced by several other factors. From an unstable home life to substance abuse issues and everything in between, these factors can make it extraordinarily difficult for a student to focus on education.

Caring, Compassionate Professionals

At the elementary through secondary levels of education, the school counselor assists with the process of shaping young minds, according to the American School Counselor Association. They may help students strategize ways to overcome obstacles or meet challenges. Sometimes they assist children and teens with decision-making skills and coping strategies. At the same time, they may make recommendations for academic focus, particularly in the middle school and high school years, as a means of channeling emotional energy and life events as well as developing a possible career path.

Educational counselors are also there for post-secondary students who are working their way through a maze of degree requirements. These students are also apt to feel overwhelmed by the many responsibilities they carry, and a counselor or advisor can offer helpful assistance in this realm as well. In essence, it is the job of the counselor to shepherd a student through the academic process from beginning to end, providing a shoulder to lean on and guidance for developing critical life skills.

Master of Education in Educational Counseling

Typically, a graduate degree is required for most positions in this field. These programs can be completed in about two years of full-time study, though three or four years is average for students who are also working. Students will learn the theoretical foundations of counseling as well as gain experience with student affairs in practical applications to prepare them for the workplace. Many of these programs require a component of fieldwork, providing real-world experience that lets students put theories learned in the classroom into practice.

Related Resource: National Certified Counselor

The years a student spends in school have considerable influence on the rest of his life. Along each step of the way, guidance counselors are available to offer encouragement, coping strategies and to point the way to new avenues of academic endeavors. Accordingly, a career in educational counseling can be enormously satisfying.