Switching from teacher to guidance counselor

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SF_Giants66, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Jan 10, 2014

    Do you know of anyone who does this?

    I was considering going into administration for graduate school once I finish my bachelor's in spring of 2015. However, most administration programs require to have three years experience teaching before you can even get in, and I honestly would rather not wait that long to get a master's degree given I am kind of old (already 26) and don't even have a bachelor's yet.

    Most of the volunteer work and independent study I have been doing has also been more relevant to being a counselor over being an administration. Such as mentoring at schools and online through secured sites, extensive research on autism and behavior management issues, giving advice about future career possibilities, etc.

    The main question I have though is, since a degree in education isn't require to be a guidance counselor, if I do a master's program for it and decide not to pursue it right away, would that still count as post-graduate credits on a salary schedule in most school districts? I didn't know if the master's programs had to be in something teacher education related.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I had a coworker that did this. She enjoyed being in guidance more than the classroom. I'm guessing that her background made it easier to get hired when she switched paths.
     
  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    In my district, the credits would count.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My best friend is doing this right now. In her district, the credits do count for the salary scale. In mine, it wouldn't, because the classes have to be related to your current assignment. She's only done one semester, but so far she really likes it.
     
  6. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    In my county the credits would not count. They would have to be education classes.

    I've thought about being a guidance counselor myself.
     
  7. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    It helps if you're in Special Ed. A co-worker did that. However, another colleague left my school to get her Master's in Counseling, and now she can't get a counseling job and has a 25,000 bill to pay.
     
  8. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    So basically the only way you can get a master's in counseling is to quit your job as a teacher? The problem I have with the administration and counseling graduate programs is they require a lot of credit hours, but also clinical practicums which you have to figure out how to do at the same time you're teaching.

    The program at Capella for school counseling requires two out of town consortiums as well which I would hope would be offered during summer or on breaks from school. It also has 100 hours of a clinical practice required in which I'd have to find a way to get 100 hours in working as a counselor while teaching at the same time.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I know someone who did got her counseling degree while she was teaching. When it came to the practicums, her school worked with her to allow her time to do the hours needed. Good luck!
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My friend is planning on working with the counselors at her school while she's teaching to get her hours in. She'll work with them during planning, lunch, work days, etc.
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    1) Don't get a master's degree in something unless you are sure you want to do it. If you get a degree in counseling, it should be because that is absolutely what you want to do.
    2) Since it seems like you're looking at waiting for three years anyway, I'd recommend you see how your first couple years go.
     
  12. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I do want to go into counseling if I can. I also don't want to wait to start graduate school after graduating in spring of 2015, because not only will I have to start paying back loans within 6 months then, but once I get comfortable, a few years later I'll probably not want to get a graduate degree.

    The only ones I can find in counseling are Capella and University of the Southwest.

    The drawback of Capella is that it is 72 credit hours, and more expensive per hour.

    With University of the Southwest, they only require 42 credit hours for the degree, and the program is also online, but one of the courses says 300 hours of observation of someone in a counseling related field.

    That is going to be next to impossible unless they offer that class in the summer and would accept observing someone with a regular practice. However, even then, it gets into the problem of liability and client confidentiality, so I don't want to start a program I can't finish all the way through.
     
  13. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I had a friend who did a graduate program in guidance counseling and she was not able to find a job.
     
  14. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    This is why I really only want to do the program if I can still get higher pay even if I decide not to go into counseling. The difference between a bachelor's degree and a master's degree is around $3000-$5000 more per year, and if I'm paying an extra $300 per month in student loans, that's really going to be a waste to have a master's degree and nothing to show for it.

    It's typical I think for it to be difficult for a school counselor to find a job, because I think many districts with low income schools are cutting the position, or are trying to get the school psychologist to take on the duties of the counselor to.

    In each school, typically only one guidance counselor is needed, and the only requirements are a master's degree, but no teaching experience, I can say it would be pretty difficult.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ I am also looking into local grad programs so I can get a M.Ed. in school counseling. I already have a M.A. in Curriculum Development but with a counseling degree, I can finally get out of the classroom. I would prefer to quit altogether and get a PhD in a non-education field but I have to work and cannot go to school full-time.

    Also, thanks to my Masters degree, I'm making over $5K more than those with only a BA and the same number of years in my district.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    If you really want to go into Admin, you're not old in the sense that you will only be 27/28 when you graduate. So, you teach for a few years and then get that Admin certification in your early- or mid-30s. Few districts are hiring Admin still in their 20s or with less than 5 years in the system.

    Also, before you go into Admin you really need to get some real experience in a school setting as a teacher because you may come to find out that making 100K is not worth the hassle of being a P.
     
  17. SF_Giants66

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    In the districts I'm considering applying in, a master's degree doesn't even pay $3000 more annually.

    I've calculated given that the cost of tuition would be approximately $25k, ten years of repayments and interest would cost about $35k all together, so it would be about 15 years before I'd be actually making more money after getting a master's degree.
     
  18. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ I understand your logic. Personally, although I'm making really good money (for a 6th year teacher), if I was making any less than I am now, I would be out the door. Not worth the headaches.
     
  19. SF_Giants66

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    The point I was making is the loan payments are more expensive than the additional income.

    For $5k more per year I can see it would actually be more money than what you have to pay in loans, but ideally, I'd like to be making about 8-10 thousand dollars more per year if I had a graduate degree.
     
  20. mairak

    mairak Rookie

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    Hello can you message me on khan.em @ gmail.com. I'm trying to do school counseling and would like to ask some questions so if you can help me out by asking your friend.

    QUOTE=smalltowngal;1844233]I know someone who did got her counseling degree while she was teaching. When it came to the practicums, her school worked with her to allow her time to do the hours needed. Good luck![/QUOTE]
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that these questions are best directed to someone at your local district.

    In my district, school counselors are considered teachers: they are on the standard teacher salary schedule and are counted as teachers when it comes to teacher/student ratios and whatnot. The vast majority of school counselors in my district were once teachers in my district. Even with the requirement of many observation hours, they all managed to pull it off while working full time as teachers.

    Obviously, other districts might not work this way. That's why it's important to find out exactly how things happen where you are. You could probably even talk to a local university and just ask the question how do most teachers fulfill the observation requirements while still teaching. They've surely encountered that situation before and could probably give you a pretty quick answer.
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    That's how things are here as well, Caesar.
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Different districts are going to do things differently. I would contact someone in your district to ask how things are done. I know that she took a couple of personal days in which to shadow the counselor, stayed after school to earn hours, etc.
     
  24. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It really is different in varying districts. In mine, counselors work year-round as opposed to the 10-month schedule of teachers. They are compensated accordingly.
     

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