The term psychologist has been defined in various ways based on different contexts. Some of the common definitions include counselors and mental scientists. A section of the society even considers them medical practitioners. Psychologists fall in different categories depending on one’s area of specialization. There are clinical psychologists, psychologists in education, counseling psychologists, industrial and community psychologists. The role of psychologists varies from one area to another, depending on the area of specialization. This research paper aims at exploring the position of a high school counselor based on Utah law. It seeks to describe courses that should be taken in undergraduate and graduate school for one to become a counselor.
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The position of a high school counselor according to Utah law
According to Utah law, the position of a high school counselor majorly entails counseling and offering guidelines to students on various grounds. A high school counselor forms part of the teaching staff in a school. This means that he or she must be a professional teacher. A counselor plays a very vital role in the daily running of a school. The position of a counselor should never be ignored if the management of any school expects good results from students. A counselor links the students with the community, including the teaching team. He or she offers to counsel to students with learning difficulties that may be caused by such factors as culture, social background, and other social and academic issues. According to Utah law, a professional high school counselor should have a post-graduate degree in the same field for him or her to be able to support a good and peaceful learning environment for students.
Through working closely with students, a counselor can monitor the behavior of the students, their learning difficulties, and link them with the necessary available learning resources to maximize their full potential in academics.
Some information that a counselor shares with the students are very sensitive and confidential. It is the responsibility of the counselor to conceal such sensitive information. It is unlawful for a counselor to share such personal information with even the students’ guardians or parents. The counselor ensures that the parents and guardians of the student are updated on the educational progress of their children. At times the counselor may call the parents to discuss some of the family issues that have a direct impact on the performance of their children to come up with interventions that are geared towards making such students perform well and grow and develop to become responsible members of the society. To perform these roles effectively, a high school counselor must be well learned and trained for the task.
The way towards becoming a counselor
For one to become a high school counselor, there is a clearly defined path that should be taken. There are some mandatory education qualifications that are required for this position. The requirements for a learner to become a counselor varies from one nation to another, depending on the stipulated laws, culture, and other factors that influence learning. The credentialing criteria for this profession also differ from one nation to another. In countries like China, national certification is not a must. In Canada, to qualify to be a counselor, one must be certified in the same field with comprehensive training on the same. In the United States, to become a counselor, the process is very different and a bit demanding.
An aspiring counselor must have a certificate or Bachelor’s degree in teaching and a master’s degree in counseling from a recognized education institution for counselors. The person should be qualified to address all student-related issues before being accredited by the council in charge. To understand better on the right path towards becoming a counselor, the researcher interviewed some of the counselors to get their advice. One of those interviewed was Mrs. Ashton.
Interviewer: For how long have you been a counselor at this school and what is expected of you?
Interviewee: This is my fifth year. I may not point out the expectations one by one for you never know what you may be faced with as a counselor. However, the main point is to be prepared all the time to handle whichever issue that may arise.
Interviewer: Kindly explain to me how you got to the position you are today, which courses did you do in your undergraduate and while in graduate school?
Interviewee: It took me a long, but a necessary journey for me to get to where I am today. One may choose whichever path to becoming a counselor for the end justifies the means. In my undergraduate level, I majored in psychology and sociology studies on the behavior of adults. After graduating, I applied for my certificate in teaching, which took me a year to get, then I taught in Davis high school for five years and enrolled in my graduate program simultaneously. I used to teach for four hours in a week. Classwork gave me a strong foundation and experience in teaching and counseling because, in my graduate program, I did not learn anything different from what I did in my undergraduate level. The path to becoming a counselor may vary. However, I would recommend you seek more advice from other counselors.