School Counseling

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School Counseling

Post by wanderworld »


I'm a current Learning Support teacher. Prior to getting a Master's in SPED, I had started a Master's degree in School Counseling in the US. I switched majors but have always wanted to get back to counseling. I've been at a PYP school in Europe for almost 7 years now in LS (originally from the US) and am looking at possibly making the switch. Ideally I would get a Master's in School Counseling, but it seems like that isn't a requirement for international schools and the master's programs are pretty pricey. From research on ISCA, am I right that if I take 4 courses through the Counselor Training Center, I would have a certificate that enables me to practice as a school counselor? Is that the most logical route? The courses are a bit expensive so just curious if anyone has any experience with that and what the best way to go about it is. Thanks for any advice.
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Re: School Counseling

Post by shadowjack »

For many reasons, I would recommend the Master's in School Counseling. It will open many more doors and is viable if you have to go back to your home country. PTC/TTC/CTC isn't academically recognized that I know of. You do not get a degree and its certification isn't as portable as a university certificate. That's my 2 cents - others' mileage may vary.
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Post by PsyGuy »

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer:
Sure, but you can also use your printer and make your own certificate and it wouldnt be that different. The real issue in this sense is marketability (as opposed to utility).
I concur in general with @SJ with only minor dissent. The gold standard as far as School Counselors (S.C.s) go, is a Masters in School Counseling or a Mental Health (MH) Masters with an emphasis on youth populations. This is one of those greyer areas than say teaching is, as mostly England (UK for purposes of this post, recognizing that Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland, and for that matter Ireland in general do a much better job at addressing school MH than England) which drives a major portion of IE doesnt do S.C. the way the US does. You see a lot more 'pastoral care' positions and themes in UK DE that are more life coaching for students than you see S.C. and MH in US DE. Though the practice of a S.C. in IE is much more a student management position than it is MH case management.
If your in the EUR unless your in the UK there are a lot of Unis in WE and NE where the cost of graduate study is incredibly low cost bordering on free. If you have been there 7 years and youre paying taxes those Unis should be available to you, and their cost in some instances would be less than or comparable to CTC. At 7 years you should be either passed or very near to meeting the requirements for citizenship.

CTC is basically an organization no different than if you created a company and hung your own shingle out. In that regard they are like a lot of organizations, they have a printer and they can print a certificate stating whatever they want it to say. Which is a significant difference in this case between a certificate (a document with a statement of effect) compared to a qualification (acknowledgment of having met standards criteria), a credential (admission to a profession of practice), and a license (authorization to provide services). In IE, very much unlike in DE, US credentials as a S.C. dont license you to do anything outside of DE. S.C.s in IE are basically edus assigned to student care roles, they arent licensed members of their host countries mental health profession unless they have undergone the process of obtaining that designation. Many US S.C.s think their US credential is some global license, when in reality they are just an ISs staff/employee assigned to some role that isnt classroom teaching. An IS could hire anyone to be a S.C. and as long as they had an edu credential such as QTS or a DOE credential the IS can assign them to pretty much any role in an IS. There is more regulation across IE regarding subject matter assignments for classroom ITs than there is in support and leadership roles.

The issue as I addressed above is marketability. How much is an individual certificate valued? You could go over to Udemy and do a course in "Counseling Children & Adolescents"
for USD$20 and get a nice little certificate, and it wouldnt be anymore valid than the certificate CTC provides (though CTCs has more work involved). Despite the lack of any authority CTC (as well at the PTC, TTC, etc.). There are a lot of leaders associated with the PTC, and those are the individuals that hire counselors. So if you go through the CTC your getting a certificate that more than just identifies that you took a handful of courses that CTC designates, but your joining a club with a not insubstantial number of members who value what the PTC does. Your essentially becoming a member of that network, and to quote a very old phrase for American Express "membership has its privileges". You couldnt however use the CTC certificate as a credential in US DE. In the UK a course would meet the requirements for step 1 and the certificate would may meet the requirements for step 2. It wouldnt likely be accepted at step 3 which is what you would need to practice. In the UK the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is the regulating body for non-medical (Clinical Psychologist, etc.) MH services.

CTCs courses (4 of the 5) are eligible for graduate credit through TCNJ, they are structured around TCNJs academic framework at the graduate level for School Counseling coursework, and you can have up to 2 of those 4 courses applied towards their Masters degree, meaning if you wanted to you could have a transcript with those courses identified as academic graduate courses.

If your interested in the CTC certificate in picking your 4 courses dont choose the "Culturally Responsive Counseling in the International School" the other 4 courses are more topical to the expectations that ISs look for in an S.C.

Another option to look at is ACSI. They have a category of S.C. thats much easier to obtain. ... quirements ... 0_2018.pdf
Your SPED/SEN/LD background likely meets the requirements for the Temporary certificate and your S.C. work before changing program major may meet the requirements for the Standard certificate. Meeting the CPoE and bible studies isnt that hard nor is it that costly. The application is USD$75 (which would get you the temporary certificate) and the materials for the other requirements would be around USD$200 (for the Standard certificate), much less than the CTC costs.
This lets you find out what your worth and whether a lack of a S.C. Masters will work for you in meeting your goals before investing too much coin in a pathway thats less than a Masters degree.

Whether you can "practice" as an S.C. in IE with the CTC certificate or any certificate really depends on what an IS wants. If they want to appoint and hire you for that role, they can. They could very likely do it without it, as a private/independent IS they dont need to. You may very well be marketable without it. You may be more marketable with it by getting access to and recognition within that network. If you are really serious about a permanent transition though as an S.C. than a Masters is the way to go, and even more so if you can obtain some form or credential such as a DOE credential from the US or registration with the BACP in the UK, or other regulating authority.
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