What do Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors do?

Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.

  • Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
  • Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
  • Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  • Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
  • Instruct individuals in career development techniques such as job search and application strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.
  • Collaborate with teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of school programs and in the preparation of master schedules for curriculum offerings.
  • Assess needs for assistance such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Observe students during classroom and play activities to evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Teach classes and present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning.
  • Plan and conduct orientation programs and group conferences to promote the adjustment of individuals to new life experiences such as starting college.
  • Attend meetings, educational conferences, and training workshops and serve on committees.
  • Plan and promote career and employment-related programs and events, such as career planning presentations, work-experience programs, job fairs, and career workshops.
  • Establish and enforce administration policies and rules governing student behavior.
  • Address community groups, faculty, and staff members to explain available counseling services.
  • Review transcripts to ensure that students meet graduation or college entrance requirements and write letters of recommendation.
  • Provide students with information on such topics as college degree programs and admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, trade and technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist counselees in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
  • Refer students to degree programs based on interests, aptitudes, or educational assessments.
  • Interview clients to obtain information about employment history, educational background, and career goals, and to identify barriers to employment.
  • Refer qualified counselees to employers or employment services for job placement.
  • Establish contacts with employers to create internship and employment opportunities for students.
  • Plan, direct, and participate in recruitment and enrollment activities.
  • Supervise, train, and direct professional staff and interns.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.
  • Establish and supervise peer counseling and peer tutoring programs.
  • Provide information for teachers and staff members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.

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