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What does a Guidance Counselor do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 23 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Guidance Counselors provide a support role within school administrations. As the job title suggests, there are two facets to their position. On the one hand, they offer academic guidance and counsel (or advice), and on the other hand, students approach Guidance Counselors with their personal and sensitive issues. 
Professional Guidance Counselors are primarily concerned with the academic and vocational development of the student body they serve, observing and helping students voice and realize their future interests. They help create pathways and goals for students to achieve as they grow out of adolescence, using career and personality assessments to determine career aspirations and a path to post-secondary education opportunities.  
Guidance Counselors are often the link between the academic world and the professional one. They are crucial in helping ensure that students are well prepared to move onto the next step in their personal development. They can be incredible assets when students need an unbiased adult figure to voice their insecurities. Successful Guidance Counselors will have a solid understanding of the job market and how best to prepare a professional portfolio for employment and post-secondary applications.  

Roles and responsibilities of a Guidance Counselor
  • Ensuring the students’ academic, personal, and social development  
  • Offering concrete tools and discussing strategies to improve leadership, stress management, self-confidence, and decision-making skills, as well as communication and interpersonal skills, such as peer helping and conflict resolution skills; and  
  • Promoting effective study habits (e.g., reading, note-taking, and time management skills) by developing and coordinating workshops 
  • Working with external partners (e.g., Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Social Workers) to best serve and support students with mental health issues and challenges 
  • Reporting any abusive situation to the appropriate authorities, whether the student is experiencing physical, sexual, emotional, and/or verbal abuse (e.g., bullying and mistreatment).  
  • Evaluating students’ skills, interests, and abilities using various tests 
  • Advising students on educational issues, such as course and program selection 
  • Providing students with a wide range of educational information as requested 
  • Enhancing students’ educational achievement through goal setting and performance tracking 
  • Advising students on career or vocational issues, including career exploration and planning 
  • Providing students with a wide range of career information, as well as professional development sessions 
  • Helping students enhance their résumés, cover letters, and portfolios. 
  • Providing interview preparation, including performing mock interviews and providing information on job search strategies, including networking best practices 
  • Arranging and scheduling college, vocational orientation programs, and internships for high school seniors and college students:  
  • Helping students collect information on prospective college and internship programs 
  • Assisting graduating students by scheduling job interviews 
  • Programming and supervising student counseling and guidance programs 
  • Assisting and guiding transfer students in high schools and new students in colleges 
  • Providing consultation to staff members and offering them a variety of educational and training workshops 
  • Participating in the evaluation of services, outcome measurement, and research initiatives within the Student Services department