It is never too early to begin considering the career that you want. This is asked by lots of parents of children at an early age, instructors in elementary school and junior high school, again in high school, however what is not constantly asked is “what is needed to accomplish or reach that profession option?” With school therapists’ roles evolving for many years, lots of students see them as leaders and somebody they can turn to for recommendations. Therapists operate in “diverse neighborhood settings created to supply a range of counseling, rehab, and support services” (Counselors, 2010).
This trainee talked to, Miranda Angeles, a registration therapist at Mt. San Jacinto Community College (MSJC), in Menifee. Miranda has a BA in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. She has actually been with MSJC for a little over a year and works mostly with the inbound freshmen. Throughout the interview, this student learned what Ms. Angeles’ obligations were and how essential they are to her students.
Ms. Angeles is in charge of a competency-based guidance program. This program “is developed to help trainees with the advancement of their instructional, personal, and career goals” (2014 ). She mentioned that she feels because college freshman are transitioning into adulthood and/or the work field, as well as separating from their parents and finding out their own independence, this program is extremely practical in detailing their goals. Students need a sense of guidance with making choices, when making them for the very first time on their own which it were school therapists can help assist them.
Ms. Angeles also shared the value of picking a college and what the trainee must think about.
First, does the college have a program that peaks your interest in a potential career. Second, is the school accredited, meaning will your credits transfer elsewhere should you decide to change schools or want to further your education. Third, the location of the school and the student population in regards to class size for learning depending on your learning style. A smaller campus may be more appealing to you if you do better in smaller, close group setting. Fourth, the services offered at the school for the student. Do they have a student body, organized events such as dances or sports team. Lastly, what are the admission and financial aid process.
Students wanting to attend college should talk to those who know the admissions policy, so that the student can make sure they are on the right track. Many colleges and universities, as well as community colleges have their own set of requirements such as a certain grade point average (GPA), high school diploma or official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, along with tuition fees. This sounds simple enough, however for incoming freshmen going through this alone, they could become overwhelmed, thus enrollment counselors are so important in helping guide the student.
Since, Ms. Angeles works at the community college level, she shared that many community colleges have specific teachings for certain careers that can be completed for certification, shortening the time in school verses receiving a degree. Many students choose this route, while others want the degree, with either the degree itself or many of the courses transferring to a four year college if desired, once the student is accepted into the new college or university. Also, with community college, tuition is usually much lower than a four year, which appeals to many students if they have to use financial aid.
Another plus to choosing community college over a four year is, “Community colleges have formed a partnership with traditional institution and serve a great diversity of students regardless of age, professional background, academic ability, and educational goals,” (Williams & Southers, 2010). This students understanding of this is that no matter your age, background, prior grades or educational goals, everyone pretty much is accepted into community college and can better not only themselves but family as well at any time.
While interviewing Ms. Angeles, this student asked how she helps guide students who are set on a specific career. Ms. Angeles said that she often receives emails about upcoming community events and services and will share these on the bulletin board and with teachers in a specific field to share with students. She feels that “students who seek personal development are the ones who desire a long career and personal growth, and is an asset to the field of their choice” (2014).
Ms. Angeles also feels that by being involved with school activities, projects and affairs, she is showing students her commitment to not only the school but to them as well. “Being a counselor is a great career choice for those wanting to help others, you often times get to create your own ideas and things that will leave your client, or student in this case feeling a sense of accomplishment and good about themselves,” (2014).
When asked about how she sees technology, such as iPads, influencing students, Ms. Angeles responded with “it is never too early to develop skills or have an interest in a specific career, such as a police officer or firefighter for boys and a princess or nurse for girls,” (2014). This left this student wondering, if there are places that students from elementary through high school can go and explore their interests and see how many of them follow through with making something bigger of those interests. They almost seem like dreams that we all have as children, one day growing up and wanting to be someone.
With school counseling evolving over the years, it is important to not only ask children at an early age what they want career wise, but to educate them on what that includes as far furthering their education. During this interview, this student learned that counselors are not only there for the academic purposes, but emotional, social, and career wise as well. This student also learned that having a strong counselor at school will set the student up with a solid foundation for school and hopefully the beginning of a successful career with the choices the student has made along the way to find their own independence.
Angeles, Miranda. (2014, July). Career Counseling Interview. Brown, D. (2007). Career Information, Career Counseling, and Career Development, 9th Ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. Counselors. (2010). United States Department of Labor. Retrieved 2011, from Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.htm Williams, M. R. & Southers, T. (Winter-Spring, 2010). Blurring the lines between high school and college: Early colleges and the effect on adult learners. Adult Learners 26(5), 210-212.