The Guidance Counselor

1064 Words5 Pages
The Guidance Counselor


According to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, Counselors are defined as persons who “assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health and career decisions and problems. Their duties depend on the individuals they serve and the settings in which they work” (169). Examples include Mental health counselors who help people cope with daily life issues such as marital, family, stress management, or addiction problems. These counselors primarily work in private office settings. Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with different aspects of their physical disabilities, these counselors generally work in medical facilities. Employment counselors assist individuals in making wise career choices and most of these counselors work in community agencies.

Thus counseling is a diverse field that encompasses an array of situations and settings. This report will center on High School Guidance Counselors. The primary focus will be to discuss the educational requirements necessary to apply for jobs in the field, the needed skills and abilities desired from employers, and the main duties of the job.


Requirements vary by state for specific types of degrees and or licenses and certifications that must be held by guidance counselors. Missouri Law requires that all High School Guidance Counselors have secondary counselor certification. Criteria for certification is listed below and was obtained from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Individuals desiring to become guidance counselors must understand that acquiring certification requires an enormous amount of time, dedication, and education.

Initial Certification

The professional certificate is valid for five years from the effective date on the certificate and is issued to persons meeting the following criteria:

· A valid Missouri teaching certificate
· A minimum of two years classroom teaching experience
· A minimum of one year experience working in a field other than teaching or counseling
· Completion of a course in Education and/or Psychology of the exceptional child worth two or more semester hours
· Completion of a master’s degree with a major in guidance and counseling from a college or university meeting approval of the Missouri Department of Elementa...

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Works Cited

“Certification Requirements for Secondary Counselor (Grades 9-12)”. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. March 06, 1998 . (November 02, 1998).

Chiles, Donna. School Guidance and Counseling. Pupil Personnel Services Recommended Practices and Procedures Manual. Springfield: Illinois State Board of Education, 1983.

Ellis, Thomas I. The Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Model. Ann Arbor: ERIC Clearinghouse, 1990.

Feller, Richard, & Daly, J. Counselor Role and Educational Change: Planning, Integration, and Basic Skills: Book 5 - Comprehensive School Counseling and Guidance Programs. Fort Collins: Colorado State University, 1992.

King, Gloria. Personnel Director, St. Louis Public Schools. Telephone Interview. 27 October 1998.

Thomas, Preston. Director of Student Services, Cardinal Ritter College Prepatory High School. Personal Interview. 4 November 1998.

Thompson, Rosemary. School Counseling Renewal: Strategies for the Twenty-first Century. Muncie: Accelerated Development Inc., 1992.

U. S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 1998-99 Edition. Indianapolis: JIST Works, Inc., 1998.
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