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Thank you! So what is the difference between a school psychologist and school counselor? What kind of program did you complete?

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Haley23 06-09-2018 10:59 AM

I would very carefully look at the job market in your area. One of my best friends went through a master's counseling program, graduated three years ago, and hasn't been able to find a counseling job, despite applying all over her state. She can't move states because it would mess up her retirement.

She did get a pay bump for completing the MA degree, so it wasn't a total waste, but that's something you should look into as well. In my district, the MA has to be directly tied to your current assignment in order to move on the salary scale. My teacher MA program was also less than 1/4 the cost, finished in about half the time, and significantly easier than hers.

Many districts have cut counseling positions, and there weren't that many of them to begin with. The job market for school psychs is supposedly much better. My friend was just talking about how maybe she should have gone that route, but she doesn't want to do all of the testing. In some districts, pretty much all school psychs get to do is test kids.

chasey 06-09-2018 09:09 AM

4 years ago I got accepted into the Masters program for counseling!! Well, I was pregnant and my husband was also getting transferred. Instead of trying to transfer and continue I just quit the program. Right when we moved to our new house the elementary school my older kids were starting at needed a counselor. Of course I wouldn't have been finished yet, but now I can not get into a position if I wanted to b/c I didn't finish. If you do it for a few years and don't like it you can always go back in the classroom, options!!! Good luck on your decision!

eeza 02-26-2018 06:34 PM

School Counselors: Do basic counseling and conflict resolution. Maybe some groups. Lots of scheduling for students and writing letters of recommendation for colleges. Attend SST meetings. Conduct risk assessments.

School Psychs: Assess for SPED and/or 504s. Consult about behavior. Attend IEPs. Counseling based on IEP minutes and goals. Attend SST meetings. Conduct risk assessments.

There are some similarities, but we do have very different jobs. I work with my counselors quite a bit. My program was through Chapman University. The first two years was book work and the last year was an internship.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

BioEducator87 02-26-2018 01:45 PM

Thank you! So what is the difference between a school psychologist and school counselor? What kind of program did you complete?

eeza 02-26-2018 12:39 PM

I was a teacher and then became a school psych. The school counselors and the school psychs started off with the same basic coursework in my program and then we branched off. Even though my PPS credential isn't in school counseling, I do do counseling with students.

As for jobs, school counseling jobs in my area are hard to come by. In fact, my district is laying off 3/5 counselors we have! School psychs are in high demand though.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

BioEducator87 02-26-2018 10:36 AM

Hello! Has anyone ever switched from teaching to school counseling or know anyone who has? I have been considering this move, but I am unsure because I know that there are only so many counseling positions available, and I am concerned if it will be the best move for me. I like counseling and mentoring...I'd loved to work in an office but still have the chance to work with children. Any suggestions/advice?

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