High School Guidance Counselor Degree: Course Curriculum

Published Sep 11, 2009

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High school Guidance Counselors primarily help students decide which career they would like to pursue and the best plan of action for reaching their career goals. Most High School Guidance Counselors hold a master's degree in counseling, having taken courses on career development counseling and counseling theory. This article describes some of the classes included in most High School Guidance Counselor degree program curricula.

Course Curriculum for a High School Guidance Counselor Degree Program

People interested in becoming a high school Guidance Counselor should earn a master's degree in counseling with an emphasis in school guidance counseling. The programs teach students methods and theories of assessing adolescents' employment goals, measuring their career aptitude and formulating plans to help them achieve their goals.

The certification and licensure requirements for becoming a high school Guidance Counselor vary by state. Most states require them to hold a master's degree, and some also require them to have a few years of teaching experience before becoming counselors, in addition to state certification. The following courses are included in most high school Guidance Counselor degree programs:

  • Counseling Foundations and Theory: Students in high school Guidance Counseling programs who take this class learn the ideas that govern counseling techniques applicable to the high school setting.
  • Career Development Counseling: Courses in career development counseling teach students how to assess their individual career aptitudes, set employment goals and collaborate with other students to make plans to reach these objectives.
  • Cognitive Development in Children and Adolescents: Understanding the cognitive development process of young people, including their memory, perception and problem-solving skills, helps high school Guidance Counselors communicate with their students when giving career-related advice.
  • Ethics in School Counseling and Therapy: It is vital for high school Guidance Counselors to follow proper ethical guidelines when working with students, so most degree programs include courses on the subject.
  • Assessment Techniques: Courses on assessment techniques teach students how to administer tests that measure items like career aptitude and intelligence and how to properly interpret the results.

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