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Guidance counselor certification: Welcome on board. I know we both know what we stand to share and learn in today’s masterpiece. I will be giving you all full details of “guidance counselor certification online” and you will be learning too.

Are you seeking to take a course on guidance counseling online? Do you want online certification on guidance counseling? Or you just want to have a general knowledge of this… Whichever your reasons or answers might be, all I know is you’re getting your answer. Isn’t that superb…?

First, what is guidance? Guidance is a process of rendering help and advice on how a particular problem can be solved or resolved.

Then, what is guidance counseling?  Guidance counseling is the process of helping individuals discover and develop their educational, vocational, and psychological potentialities and thereby to achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness.

Given the definition above we can then say a guidance counselor is a person in whose hand the helping of individuals discover and develop their educational, vocational, and psychological potentialities so as to achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness is deligated. Thus, a guidance counselor renders the needed help required by students to discover and develop their educational aspirations and goals.

Being a guidance counselor entails a lot as it is one major profession held at high value for its uniqueness as it is geared towards grooming and propelling the younger generation towards being the best they can be in the best ways they can. I would say these counselors (guidance) are synonymous to the parents of the children placed under their guidance as they both perform same functions, if not even more advanced except for the fact that they don’t get to pay the fees and providing of other basic needs for the students.

Getting certified as a guidance counselor has never been easier than it is now. Unlike those days when we had to attend lectures every now and then, manage one or two things while on campus or off campus (working class students), and where attendance was extremely Paramount and you could only get that by being physically present. But now, you can seat at the comfort of your home and become a certified guidance counselor as technology has made its way into the educational system and has helped improved learning while also reducing the stress of transportation and other physically accompanied inconveniences.

The guidance counselor certification is a program which is meant for those who have initially completed their minimum of Bachelors degree in school counseling in order words it’s a Post Masters certification program. If you haven’t done your masters, I guess it high time you started or you are not ready to start thinking of guidance counselor certification.

Certification is necessitated by Various states. Certification also referred to as licensure is mandated for a counselor who is aspiring to work in the public school l. Since the states control this certification, the requirements vary from state to state. From my research, most of the states require that a school counselor should possess a minimum of Master’s in the field while others with lighter requirements require a Bachelors degree.

These programs allow Students to learn about an array of counseling concepts, principles, and issues through direct experience practical and traditional coursework.

Basically, there two online guidance counselor certification program. That is; you can earn either a professional counseling or college counseling certificate online to prepare you to work as a counselor at a high school or college, hence, the professional counseling certificate allows you to provide mental health support to students, while the college counseling certificate trains you to assist students with their education and career paths.

You can get your guidance counselor certification from:

1. Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University offers certification for the guidance counselor to already certified Masters holders but according to them “After completing your school counseling certification program, you’ll have the skills, knowledge, and practical counseling strategies you need to pursue certification as an Elementary and Secondary School Counselor (PreK-12) within the state of Pennsylvania”. But you are advised to review your state’s requirements for the certification while registering for the program. Also, upon the completion of the program, you will need to pass the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) and the Praxis II Professional School Counselor examination to become eligible for certification as stated by Gwynedd Mercy University.

Admission requirements

To get certified as a guidance counselor at Gwynedd Mercy University you have to meet the following requirements before you can be considered for admission.

  • Proof you have obtained a master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts from every college or university attended
  • A completed application form with fee
  • A current professional resume
  • A writing sample stating your professional and academic goals (one page, double-spaced)
  • Two completed supervisory reference forms
  • A minimum score of 550 (written), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet) on the TOEFL examination if English is not your native language

If need be, a personal interview may be conducted by the school for a student as determined by their admission committee.

On admission you will complete 510 hours of in-person field experiences, all with support and personal guidance from their expert faculty members.

2. New York University (NYU)

The New York University is another awesome platform to get certified as a school counselor or guidance counselor as the master of arts in Counseling and Guidance at NYU Steinhardt which was accredited by the Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) will run from the period of January 2015 through January 2025.

Like Gwynedd Mercy University, you also gain the skills you need to become a professional pre-K–12 school counselor, working with children and families in your community to foster academic achievement and success by either working in public and private schools.

Application procedures

Below are the procedures on how to apply for the program.

  • Prepare your application and apply

Application documents should be in the following formats: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.

Résumé: You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose: You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This gives the opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

Letters of Recommendation: You’re to submit two letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline.

Transcripts: You are required to Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended.

GRE: Not required

  • Application

Once you are done filling in and unloading the required information, you can submit your completed application. It must be completed, dated, electronically signed and submitted on or before 11:59 p.m. of the stated deadline.

3. Vanderbilt University

Ranked as one of the best education schools in the U.S. by U.S News & World Report, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College now offers an online master of education (M.Ed.) in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling. Designed for aspiring school counselors interested in working in K-12 settings, the program enables students to earn an M.Ed. online in as little as two years and prepare for licensure.

Unlike New York University which requires a Masters, Vanderbilt only requires a bachelor’s degree in counseling or education. But they also have conditions for application and these conditions require that an aspirant must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s and an advanced degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Successfully complete a state-approved educator preparation program External link and be recommended for licensure by the provider
  • Meet all professional assessment requirements as specified by the State Board of Education
  • Meet all requirements for the area of endorsement
  • Ensure that the Department of Education has official transcripts of all credits earned through an institution of higher education.

4. Denver University

Denver University is arguably one of the best Universities when it comes to the Field of counseling. They offer a platform for guidance counselor certification with flexible packages. The University’s Morgridge College of Education offers an online Master of Arts in School Counseling program.

Their program is designed to:

  • Complete Your Degree in as Few as 24 Months
  • Designed to adhere to CACREP Standards*
  • Optional On-Campus Immersion Experience
  • No GRE or Work Experience Required

5. University of South Carolina (USC)

You would recall that this institution is one of the most highly rated and recommended institution for pursuing a counselor or counseling degree in whichever field, be it school counseling, family and marriage counseling. School Counseling track consists of 66 credit hours and prepares you to work in K-12 educational settings as a counselor of diverse students and their families and their curriculum is focused on career and college readiness, restorative justice and trauma-informed practice, the program prepares you to support and guide students while meeting their academic, social and emotional needs. Not to forget, their curriculum meets CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accreditation standards) and South Carolina school counselor certification requirements.

Being an online student in the Master’s in School Counseling, you are to:

  • Engage in an interactive online campus with live classes and self-paced coursework.
  • Complete coursework that explores the unique needs of 21st-century learners as well as their families and communities.
  • Attend classes led by USC Rossier faculty members who are experts in school counseling, educational leadership, and family therapy.

Note that; many states require candidates to pass a licensure examination such as Praxis, the National Counselor Examination (NCE) by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), or one offered by the state such as TExES in Texas.

During the guidance counselor certification, you’re going to be engaged in a lot of activities which you’re expected to learn and acquire some needed skills. Some of these skills are:

  • Good Interpersonal skills: you are expected to have the ability to communicate or interact well with these children so as to help them in their weak areas.
  • Good Listening skills: Every child or student wants someone who can give them time and listen to their pains, trouble, and weaknesses. This is an attribute you’re to have or acquire during the certification program.
  • Good Communication skills: knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it even who to say it to matters a lot in counseling especially when it involves students who come across different beliefs and concept in the midst of other fellow students every day. When good communication takes place the goal is to create a common perception that is received in a positive manner so that you can together agree on further action or decision, which is what is needed in order to aid rapid response to the situation.
  • Organizational skills: This can simply be said to be the ability of an individual to make use of their time, energy and resources available in an effective manner to achieve their goal and that of the organization. You should learn to work in line with the organization set goals and objectives.
  • Critical thinking skills: I should have placed this first as it entails a lot. Thinking they say is the hardest thing to do but I don’t know if there’s a saying about critical thinking, I guess it should be done only by human gods since thinking is the hardest thing to do. Critical thinking is simply said to be the analysis of facts to form a judgment which involves:
  • Understand the links between ideas.
  • Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas.
  • Recognize, build and appraise arguments.
  • Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning.
  • Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way.
  • Reflect on the justification of their own assumptions, beliefs, and values.

These are the requirements involved in the certification of a guidance counselor but there are other requirements which aren’t stated as those requirements are given by the states and the chosen institution of which is your sole choice. You should probably start getting ready to get certified now…

About The Author

The very epitome of textual creativity, Emmanuel Ashe is a prolific writer with keen interest in lifestyle and information. Enjoys African Literature and a lover of soccer board game.

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