How do I Become a Middle School Counselor?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
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Middle school counselors are licensed mental health and education specialists who help students overcome behavioral, personal, and academic issues. They provide young people with an opportunity to discuss their problems, build confidence, and learn how to set goals. A person who wants to become a middle school counselor is usually required to obtain a master's degree from an accredited university and complete at least two years of practical internship training. In most regions and countries, a new counselor must pass an extensive licensing examination before he or she can start working unsupervised.

An individual who believes that he or she may want to become a middle school counselor should carefully consider the responsibilities of the job to make sure it would be a good fit. Middle school students are a unique population, at an age where extreme physical, emotional, and social changes take place. Some students have difficulty adjusting to such changes, and their inexperience with new situations can lead to behavioral problems or drops in academic performance. A counselor must be able to relate to young people and communicate with them in terms and language they can understand. Since it can be difficult for students to express their feelings, a counselor needs to be patient and perceptive.


A person who believes he or she has the personal skills to become a middle school counselor can pursue a bachelor's degree from a four-year college. Most undergraduates interested in the profession choose to major in counseling, though a degree program in education, psychology, or sociology can also be sought. Near the end of a bachelor's degree program, a student can begin looking into two-year school counselor graduate schools.

The first year of a master's degree program is usually spent attending lecture courses in subjects including child development, social psychology, ethics, and school administration. The second year typically involves independent study and a practical internship at a local school or clinical counseling office. Such experience affords an aspiring counselor the opportunity to observe experienced professionals as they meet with young people. At the discretion of the licensed counselor, the graduate student may be allowed to take notes, participate in client interviews, and record patient information in an electronic portfolio.

The specific training requirements to become a middle school counselor vary between regions, but a new professional usually participates in an additional internship after earning a master's degree. Most postgraduate internships take place at middle schools to give new counselors the chance to familiarize themselves with the specific age group. Interns are allowed to actually work with students under the supervision of established counselors to gain firsthand experience.

Upon completion of an internship, a person can take an examination to officially become a middle school counselor. Exams are usually administered by regional governing boards and test a new counselor's understanding of laws, ethics, and the fundamentals of the job. In addition, many new counselors choose to take voluntary certification exams offered by national organizations to improve their credentials and their chances of finding full-time work.



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Post 1

it was great. What I need to know is at what age can I start my training.

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