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Hello! I am a junior at Louisiana State University studying Child & Family Studies. My intent was to go to grad school and receive my Masters degree in School Counseling. After some research I have been slowly realizing how difficult it is to nail a job as a school counselor and have been leaning more towards getting my masters in Education. I just have slim to no education experience in my current major.

 

Is this a good idea? Will I go on to grad school and be completely behind? I'm too far into my current program to switch out now. I just feel like I will be missing out because everyone my age is going through student teaching, etc. which obviously I will receive in masters school but I feel it puts me at a disadvantage. Anyone have any knowledge on this and can fill me in?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello! I am a junior at Louisiana State University studying Child & Family Studies. My intent was to go to grad school and receive my Masters degree in School Counseling. After some research I have been slowly realizing how difficult it is to nail a job as a school counselor and have been leaning more towards getting my masters in Education. I just have slim to no education experience in my current major.

 

Is this a good idea? Will I go on to grad school and be completely behind? I'm too far into my current program to switch out now. I just feel like I will be missing out because everyone my age is going through student teaching, etc. which obviously I will receive in masters school but I feel it puts me at a disadvantage. Anyone have any knowledge on this and can fill me in?

 

Hi Jamie!! So let me just say the situation you are in is much more common than you know. First thing is first, do not feel like you will be behind or not up to the same level as other people entering Education. Let me give you a little bit of background about my situation before I go further. So I have been on a Speech Pathology degree chase for the past 3 years. I have been rejected from so many schools for God knows what reasons. My background is not in Speech so that may have been the case for certain schools I applied to that preferred a student from the field. However, Speech is very, very specific about these things in ways that Education is not. Anyway fast forward to right now. To boost my candidacy I have been an Assistant Teacher for the past 2 years, one in a public school and one in a private school for special education. My goal is to eventually work with kids in a school setting so this has been a huge blessing. Being where I am now and talking to many different kinds of people, I have learned that the teachers I work with have come with all different types of backgrounds and many started with no experience whatsoever. Including myself. I was from a Communication and Media studies undergrad background with experience in book publishing - not exactly the "ideal" candidate for teaching. And it's been several years since I graduated from my undergrad. But it didn't stop me from beginning to transition to another field that I better enjoy. And it shouldn't stop you either!! 

 

I found this thread by the way because my other option is also School Counseling. I applied to 3 schools in that field in addition to the Speech schools in my signature. But I too have noticed how hard it is to find a position in counseling and Speech will always be my preferred path so we will see where I end up with that. But nonetheless I just want to say: experience or no experience, know that other people are in a similar boat. My only suggestion to you and this REALLY helped me make the decision about whether or not to get an actual teaching degree, is try and ask local schools if you can observe some of their classrooms. Try the different age groups you think you might be interested in and spend some time with the class for a few days. Don't be afraid to reach out. To be quite honest and this is JUST me, I was feeling so down after my first 2 years of rejections from Speech and hadn't yet discovered School Counseling, that I was listening to everybody's suggestions that I should just "go be a teacher". But let me tell you, it is not the easy career, or one that people can default to "just because." Once I got into the field and realllllly taught and managed a classroom, it was a totally different feeling. I love my kids and am so thankful for the experience I am gaining from my job but it just made me realize that my personality is better suited with a smaller group of students rather than managing a whole group. So if you can, go out there and see things with your own eyes before committing yourself to the field just to make sure you want it. And I really hope you do! This post is not meant to discourage you in any way. It's such a wonderful field and so very rewarding, but it's always good to go for a test drive. 

 

Anyway, best of luck to you. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me at any time :)

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Hi Jamie!! So let me just say the situation you are in is much more common than you know. First thing is first, do not feel like you will be behind or not up to the same level as other people entering Education. Let me give you a little bit of background about my situation before I go further. So I have been on a Speech Pathology degree chase for the past 3 years. I have been rejected from so many schools for God knows what reasons. My background is not in Speech so that may have been the case for certain schools I applied to that preferred a student from the field. However, Speech is very, very specific about these things in ways that Education is not. Anyway fast forward to right now. To boost my candidacy I have been an Assistant Teacher for the past 2 years, one in a public school and one in a private school for special education. My goal is to eventually work with kids in a school setting so this has been a huge blessing. Being where I am now and talking to many different kinds of people, I have learned that the teachers I work with have come with all different types of backgrounds and many started with no experience whatsoever. Including myself. I was from a Communication and Media studies undergrad background with experience in book publishing - not exactly the "ideal" candidate for teaching. And it's been several years since I graduated from my undergrad. But it didn't stop me from beginning to transition to another field that I better enjoy. And it shouldn't stop you either!! 

 

I found this thread by the way because my other option is also School Counseling. I applied to 3 schools in that field in addition to the Speech schools in my signature. But I too have noticed how hard it is to find a position in counseling and Speech will always be my preferred path so we will see where I end up with that. But nonetheless I just want to say: experience or no experience, know that other people are in a similar boat. My only suggestion to you and this REALLY helped me make the decision about whether or not to get an actual teaching degree, is try and ask local schools if you can observe some of their classrooms. Try the different age groups you think you might be interested in and spend some time with the class for a few days. Don't be afraid to reach out. To be quite honest and this is JUST me, I was feeling so down after my first 2 years of rejections from Speech and hadn't yet discovered School Counseling, that I was listening to everybody's suggestions that I should just "go be a teacher". But let me tell you, it is not the easy career, or one that people can default to "just because." Once I got into the field and realllllly taught and managed a classroom, it was a totally different feeling. I love my kids and am so thankful for the experience I am gaining from my job but it just made me realize that my personality is better suited with a smaller group of students rather than managing a whole group. So if you can, go out there and see things with your own eyes before committing yourself to the field just to make sure you want it. And I really hope you do! This post is not meant to discourage you in any way. It's such a wonderful field and so very rewarding, but it's always good to go for a test drive. 

 

Anyway, best of luck to you. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me at any time :)

 

 

Wow thanks so much for this advice!!! I will definitely put some thought into it and contact my local schools to see if I can sit in on a few classes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was accepted by JHU's school counseling program, but I'm hesitating...

Anyone have idea about this program of JHU?

 

Congrats Joseph! JHU is only like...the best in the world? lol! You did it. Now go without looking left or right twice!!!

Don't be distracted by the rankings that place your individual program lower than some state schools somewhere. The intellectual growth and exposure you will get the the amazing faculty and the top brass of students will far outweigh any ranking system anywhere.

 

Moreover, even if you stick to rankings, JHU is the #1 grad school for Education.

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Congrats Joseph! JHU is only like...the best in the world? lol! You did it. Now go without looking left or right twice!!!

Don't be distracted by the rankings that place your individual program lower than some state schools somewhere. The intellectual growth and exposure you will get the the amazing faculty and the top brass of students will far outweigh any ranking system anywhere.

 

Moreover, even if you stick to rankings, JHU is the #1 grad school for Education.

Thanks for your advice and I've already made up my mind to attend! BTW, your experience is so inspiring, Harvard!! good luck!

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  • 2 years later...
On February 24, 2014 at 3:58 PM, jamiefrantz said:

Hello! I am a junior at Louisiana State University studying Child & Family Studies. My intent was to go to grad school and receive my Masters degree in School Counseling. After some research I have been slowly realizing how difficult it is to nail a job as a school counselor and have been leaning more towards getting my masters in Education. I just have slim to no education experience in my current major.

 

Is this a good idea? Will I go on to grad school and be completely behind? I'm too far into my current program to switch out now. I just feel like I will be missing out because everyone my age is going through student teaching, etc. which obviously I will receive in masters school but I feel it puts me at a disadvantage. Anyone have any knowledge on this and can fill me in?

Hi Jamie! I may be a bit too late to respond. Have you made any decisions? Applied to any schools?

A background about me: I spent my first three years of undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Teaching, so that I could ultimately go on to get my Masters for School Counseling since this has always been my long term goal. I'm not sure if it's different in Louisiana, but a lot of teachers and counselors i've talked to in Michigan said it's practically impossible to get a school counseling job without a teaching background because they select people from within the district who want the position FIRST. Even though a teaching degree isn't required for the position that's just how it tends to end up. So if a position is opening up, it may be filled by someone who is already teaching in the school district before it's even posted for us outsiders... SUPER discouraging.  After much consideration, I realized that I am a bit too worried about how narrow the school counseling field is. I have began looking at other options like school psychology and school social work (Might not hurt to explore these options as well)! Another piece of advice I have is to explore Linkedin. Do the advanced search and just type in "School Counselor" for Keyword and then the area in which you would hope to end up living or really any city at all. You can then see from peoples profiles what type of backgrounds they have :) 

I think if it's something you really truly want you should go for it! As long as you have the passion for it and it shines through, I think things truly will fall into place because public schools need someone who is passionate about helping students (especially in urban areas!!!). 

 

BEST OF LUCK!  

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22 hours ago, Psycherd12 said:

I'm in a school counseling program that has a 100% job placement rating....I don't think it's as difficult to get a job as a school counselor as you may think :)

I think it largely depends on your state and where you're willing to relocate. For example, in Texas, in order to be a school counselor you need to be a certified teacher and have taught for 2 full years before you can even apply for the counselor certification/license. This is definitely a barrier to entry for a lot of people. In Massachusetts (Boston specifically), there are a lot of people vying for very few jobs, so competition is high.

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