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What is School Counseling?
Many colleges and universities in New Hampshire offer degrees in school counseling and other related subjects. This major is particularly suitable for individuals interested in helping young people achieve success, access, and equality in education. In addition to working in school systems, graduates are often qualified to pursue a wide variety of other impactful and fulfilling careers in the state.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of school and career counselors and advisors is expected to increase by 10% from 2021 to 2031. This is faster than the average for all occupations and will result in an additional 32,000 new job openings throughout the nation.
School counselors provide support and guidance to young people in academic settings. Their primary responsibilities generally revolve around helping students develop academic and social skills. While these professionals can provide services to students of every age, they are most frequently employed by secondary education facilities.
Daily tasks can vary significantly depending on the demographic they work with, as do the services they offer. Young children typically require hands-on instruction related to developing personal skills, especially pertaining to feelings and friendships. High school students, on the other hand, respond best to less-structured learning opportunities. As a result, secondary school counselors focus on simply being available to help adolescents individually. Because these students are often planning for life after graduation, a lot of time tends to be spent recommending possible colleges and universities and/or providing employment resources.
Recordkeeping is another vital aspect of this profession. School counselors often document student assessments, incidents, and progress. As mandatory reporters, these professionals must also keep records related to possible cases of neglect and/or abuse.
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Online School Counseling Education in New Hampshire
The educational services, healthcare, and social assistance industry is the third largest in New Hampshire. It accounts for $9.8 billion in revenue each year. As of May 2022 the state employed 2,320 educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors with an annual mean wage of $57,640. Notably, this is below the annual mean wage of $62,550 for all occupations in New Hampshire.
Not all graduates choose to pursue jobs in school counseling, however. Many qualify for and pursue employment in other related community and social service occupations. Opportunities include school social worker, family therapist, and rehabilitation counselor. As of May 2022, Missouri employed 10,560 individuals in these positions. Overall salary potential for these occupations is lower, however, with an annual mean wage of $52,890 reported for these jobs.
Those interested in this field should realize that few undergraduate programs focus exclusively on school counseling. While readily available at the graduate level, undergraduate students usually start by majoring in general counseling or other social science subjects. And, while academic institutions throughout the nation offer degree programs in school counseling, those planning to seek employment in New Hampshire should give preference to local colleges and universities. Online enrollment makes it easy to study from anywhere with internet access, but schools located in the state will offer the most geographically relevant curriculums. This is especially important for school counseling majors, who often pursue employment within the state’s education system. New Hampshire has very specific licensure standards and requirements that local institutions are highly familiar with. Other colleges and universities, however, will not necessarily provide the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve licensure in the state.
Many colleges and universities in New Hampshire offer degrees in school counseling and other related subjects. Prospective students can generally choose from relevant programs available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
It’s important to realize, however, that only graduates with master’s degrees and above will qualify to become licensed school counselors in New Hampshire. Notably, all professionals employed in the state’s public schools must possess the appropriate credential prior to being hired.
Those seeking to work outside of the New Hampshire school system may still be available find employment, even without master’s degrees. Graduates with associate and bachelor’s degrees in counseling-related subjects often qualify for other counseling, community, and social service opportunities. In fact, some occupations in the field require nothing more than a high school diploma or GED.
Online Associate Degree in School Counseling (AS)
Few colleges and universities offer school counseling as a major at the associate level. As a result, those interested in the field typically choose to study general counseling at the associate level. Some of the most common alternatives include counseling, education, human services, behavioral science, social science, or psychology. While these programs can lead to various entry-level community and social services careers in New Hampshire, further education will be necessary to pursue the school counseling profession.
Associate degrees generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately two years to complete. As undergraduate degrees, these programs often incorporate both general liberal arts and major-specific classes. Every curriculum is different, but those enrolled are likely to study various topics in communication, mathematics, and science in conjunction with subjects relevant to their chosen field.
It's important to realize that an associate degree cannot directly lead to a career as a school counselor. All school counselors in New Hampshire must be certified by the state. The minimum education required to begin this process is a master’s degree. Graduates can, however, find other employment opportunities. Alternatively, they can choose to enroll in further education.
Individuals who have completed associate programs are often closer to obtaining traditional four-year degrees than they realize. Undergraduate credit hours can often be transferred, with most colleges and universities accepting up to 60 or 90 credits from other properly accredited academic institutions. Prospective students are often expected to submit past transcripts for evaluation. Once processed, credits from all applicable classes taken previously are applied towards current academic requirements.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in School Counseling (BS)
As with the associate degree, few colleges and universities offer school counseling as a major at the bachelor’s level. There are, however, many other related majors available to students who want to pursue careers as a counselor. Some of the most common alternatives include counseling, education, human services, behavioral science, social science, or psychology.
Bachelor’s degrees generally consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately four years to complete. As undergraduate degrees, these programs continue to incorporate both general liberal arts and major-specific classes. Curriculums vary, but those enrolled are likely to study various topics in communication, mathematics, and science in conjunction with behavioral health and various counseling theories.
It's important to realize that, as with an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree cannot directly lead to a career as a school counselor. All school counselors in New Hampshire must be certified by the state. The minimum education required to begin this process is a master’s degree. Graduates can, however, find other employment opportunities in various community and social service occupations. Alternatively, they can choose to enroll in further education.
Those pursuing school counseling licensure in New Hampshire will need master’s degrees in school counseling. These individuals should be prepared to meet various graduate school admittance standards, such as minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
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Online Master’s Degree in School Counseling (MS or MC)
Master’s degrees in school counseling generally range from 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately two to three years to complete. It may also be possible to find accelerated programs in which course requirements are condensed into shorter timeframes. These options can take as few as 12 months to finish.
At the graduate level, curriculums rarely incorporate undergraduate or general liberal arts classes. Students may, however, need to prove they have the knowledge and skills necessary to study advanced topics in this field. Many colleges and universities require prior transcripts to verify that certain lower-level courses have already been completed.
Institutional expectations vary, but students often receive instruction in a variety of school counseling techniques. Areas of study commonly include multicultural counseling, lifespan development, academic and career counseling, and professional issues and ethics. Additionally, many colleges and universities require those enrolled to participate in supervised residencies. Similar to internships, these placements provide context for concepts learned in classrooms and help participants gain real-world experience in the field. In most cases, students will need to complete a specific number of clinical hours in school settings prior to graduation.
All school counselors in New Hampshire must possess master’s degrees in order to meet the state’s minimum licensure requirements. Graduates can qualify for other employment, as well. Some of the most common occupations sought after graduation include counselor, community service manager, social worker, substance abuse counselor, mental health counselor, and juvenile justice counselor. Those who are earning a master's degree will also have optional concentrations at this level, which can help you move into a new field. Options may include clinical mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, human development, group counseling degrees, treatment planning, and other related educational programs that can help you get into private practice.Check out the most affordable School Counseling Programs
Online PhD Degree in School Counseling (PhD)
A PhD or doctorate in school counseling can consist of between 60 and 120 credit hours that may take full-time students two to four years to complete. These are terminal degrees, representing the highest level of education available in the field.
These programs tend to be academically intensive, with extensive instruction in advanced counseling concepts. College and universities may also offer unique specialized classes in topics intended to prepare students for work in certain sub-fields. Examples of this include grief therapy and curriculum coaching.
In most cases, students can expect to participate in traditional classroom instruction and coursework during their first couple years of enrollment. Gradually, however, a shift towards more independent study, research, and writing occurs. This work then culminates in the presentation and defense of dissertations prior to graduation.
Doctoral degrees exceed the minimum education requirement necessary to become licensed school counselors in New Hampshire. In fact, many graduates seek employment in research and/or higher education instead. This type of study is also appropriate for current professionals who want to further develop their knowledge and skills in the field. This is particularly true for individuals seeking to expand their clinical skills.
Become a School Counselor in New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Department of Education Bureau of Credentialing oversees the rules and evaluation of candidates seeking to work in the state’s school system. This includes the job of school counselor. The established standards ensure students receive the best possible attention and care from professionals who have proven they possess the appropriate knowledge and skills.
In order to become licensed as a school counselor in New Hampshire, you will need to meet certain requirements. You must complete a state board of education-approved school counseling collegiate program at the master’s degree level or higher. Study must include courses related to school counseling, as well as a counseling internship in a public school setting. Notably, the board does dictate which skills, competencies, and knowledge are essential for licensure. This list is comprehensive and can be found in the Chapter Ed. 500 document, Credential Standards for Educational Personnel.
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Notably, licensure candidates do not need to complete criminal background checks during the application process. Once you are determined eligible for licensure, you will need to participate in a pre-certification background check. Additionally, there is no examination requirement for New Hampshire school counselors.
It’s also important to realize that not all school counseling graduates decide to pursue licensure. There are many related professions available in New Hampshire that do not necessitate working in the state’s school system. Taking time to consider the various options available may be worthwhile, especially if you prefer a different work setting. If this applies to you, ensure you review occupational standards and expectations carefully.
Careers for School Counseling Graduates
- Academic Advisor
Academic advisors offer a wide variety of services to secondary and post-secondary students. Their duties typically revolve around providing young people with assistance and support with academic-related issues. As a result, they spend a lot of time helping students select, register for, and switch classes, as well as helping them make personal, academic, and professional plans. Other common tasks include providing educational counseling, assisting with departmental transfers, and keeping detailed academic records of meetings with students. According to PayScale, academic advisors make an average base salary of $43,976 per year.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Counselor
EAP counselors work with company and organization employees who are experiencing issues with personal well-being and/or job-related performance. To provide the necessary support and assistance, they may offer counseling services, conduct worker surveys, and/or perform evaluations. While every case is unique, they often help by answering questions, discussing program parameters, recommending medications, making referrals, and/or coordinating care details with health insurance providers. According to PayScale, employee assistance program counselors make an average base salary of $60,311 per year.
- Guidance Counselor
Guidance counselors provide students with support and access to various resources. Most of their time is spent addressing academic and social development issues. Although they work in academic settings, they have the knowledge and skills needed to help with many personal matters. Not only do they assist young people in identifying their personal goals, strengths, weaknesses, and interests, but they can also offer basic counseling services. It’s common for them to perform assessments, teach useful skills, and collaborate with teachers on projects. According to PayScale, guidance counselors make an average base salary of $53,599 per year.
- High School Special Education Teacher
High school special education teachers provide work directly with secondary education students diagnosed with learning, mental, emotional, and/or physical disabilities. They provide these young people with extra attention and support by developing adaptive lesson plans and other educationally appropriate activities based on identified learning needs. They also create Individualized Education Programs for impacted students. Other common tasks include performing knowledge and skill level assessments, providing mentorship, and delivering progress reports to parents and other professionals. According to PayScale, high school special education teachers make an average base salary of $53,463 per year.
- School Psychologist
School psychologists help children diagnosed with learning, emotional, and/or behavioral issues. They spend a lot of time screening students for various conditions, providing diagnoses, and working with teachers and family members to create IEPs. Every situation is different, with some cases requiring referrals to counselors, social workers, and/or other general psychologists. Although these professionals focus their efforts primarily on achieving designated academic outcomes, their efforts can positively impact life at home as well. According to PayScale, school psychologists make an average base salary of $66,151 per year.
- Social Services Manager
Social services managers are responsible for overseeing public well-being programs and organizations that provide services to community members. In most cases, they analyze data to determine overall program effectiveness, suggest improvements, and write proposals for social services funding. Although much of their work is administrative, they also spend time directly supervising other staff members. According to PayScale, social services managers make an average base salary of $58,081 per year.
- Mental Health Counselors
- School and Career Counselors and Advisors. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: New Hampshire. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Bureau of Credentialing. New Hampshire Department of Education
- School Counseling Staff Qualifications. National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
- Chapter Ed 500: Credential Standards for Educational Personnel