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Sophianna Sophianna is offline
 
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Sophianna
 
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Counselor Question
Old 10-03-2018, 04:42 AM
 
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Good morning.

I graduated in January with my masters in counseling, have certification in elementary school counseling, but was denied licensing because I moved to Louisiana who requires nine more credits than my home state of Missouri. I start my PhD program in November, and after taking three courses, I can reapply for my PLPC.

I am employed through an agency that places counselors in schools. At this job, they state that you should have your PLPC or the social work equivalent, but it is up to the discretion of the company president. So I relocated my life, started doing this job, made connections with staff and students... and then I was denied licensing. Now my job has decided to allow me to continue in this position with my certification, but they will not allow me to:
1. Call myself a counselor.
2. Conduct sessions with students one on one.
3. Do anything with students that have IEP minutes.
4. Call anything I do any version of the word counsel.
5. Can ONLY work with kids on academics.

My school leadership knows about this, but none of the teachers or other staff know.

I want to quit. I do not make as much money as I would make working directly for a school, in fact I make less than most of the teachers on staff. Now I cannot do any of the things I have been doing and I kind of feel like what is the point of even being here if I cannot help kids?

Can Louisiana school counselors really do nothing aside from academics? I tried to say that was not true, but she quoted some bulletin or another stating that it was true.

I love working with students - I love helping teachers. I loved being a teacher and have fallen naturally into this role. Now I feel like why did I bother doing all of this just to be treated as if I am suddenly MUCH less than everyone else at my school, making less money and doing nothing truly beneficial to the students I serve.

Help!! Thoughts?


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eeza eeza is offline
 
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being a school counselor
Old 10-03-2018, 02:12 PM
 
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Did you decide to work for the agency because it was difficult finding a job directly with a school since you don't have your certification?



I'm not sure if Louisiana school counselors can only do academics, but there should be some type of job description for different districts that you can look at to get an idea of what you'd be expected to do.
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Sophianna Sophianna is offline
 
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No...
Old 10-03-2018, 04:09 PM
 
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I have my certification, I just don't have my licensure. My license is what the agency requires and that's just who I happen to find a job with first.

Technically I was looking for a school counseling position. And that's basically what this is but it's through an agency.

Last edited by Sophianna; 10-04-2018 at 08:32 AM..
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being a school counselor
Old 10-03-2018, 07:13 PM
 
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Are there any stipulations to working for this agency? I'm a school psych and some of the local agencies make it so you can't work for a school district for X year after you worked there through the agency. If you don't have any barriers, then perhaps you can look for a job in your district or in one nearby.



Best of luck!
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:05 PM
 
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That stinks. It sounds like the agency has higher standards (usually state licensure as a counselor requires more than state certification does) and stands by them because that's how they sell their services to the school districts. Is there any chance of getting a job directly through a school district? As eeza asked, is there a non-compete clause in your contract with the agency?

Most agencies that sell services to schools really kind of suck when it comes right down to it. I've known several people who have worked for different agencies. Some have been "ok," but most of my friends had negative experiences- more hours required for work and fewer of the benefits experienced by those hired through the schools. Some have liked the freedom to move around to other places the agency served, though.

I seriously doubt all school counselors in Louisiana can only do academics with their certification (but I honestly don't know for sure)-- I'm guessing that's a stipulation from the agency and how they've sold themselves. It might also be that they promise counselors to the schools for whom schools can bill medicaid (you need a license to bill and now you can bill through school services).

I'm sorry, I hope you are able to find a more satisfying position as a counselor. That sounds really frustrating.


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Sophianna Sophianna is offline
 
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Update
Old 10-05-2018, 07:42 AM
 
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So here's the latest scoop. My SPED coordinator (and friend) looked at all IEP minutes and they all say social skills or anger management. According to bulletin 1706, counseling services can be provided by "guidance counselors" or "other qualified personnel."

So even though the agency is not the ideal fit for me, I'm happy with this development.

Thanks for your support!
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