YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The big theme in education today is maximizing student achievement. Parents and teachers play vital roles, but school counselors are also an important part of the educational experience.
School counselors do much more than handle schedule changes and pass along college applications. The job now involves working with students on their academic, career, personal and social needs.
School counselors help students through individual counseling, small group counseling, classroom guidance or whole grade programs.
“Helping them work through their problems. They don’t think of things the way adults do, listen to them, help solve the problem,” said Mary Jo Rowan, school counselor.
First News saw Rowan in action with one of her programs called Mix It Up at Lunch. Kids wore different socks, and the idea was to have them sit in different groups, make new friends so that no one would eat alone.
Rowan also runs programs teaching anti-bullying, handling peer pressure and self-esteem, and even a Kindness Club.
“I love my job, and I feel rewarded. When I leave school, I feel like I made a difference. That’s why I went into school counseling to help the students make a difference in themselves,” Rowan said.
Teachers need a bachelor’s degree while a counselor has to have a master’s degree.
Rowan plays the JobsNOW segments in her career classes so kids can research options and get more information to help them make informed decisions about career choice.
“It helps students see a real-world perspective of what somebody in that field is doing,” Rowan said.
Rowan also incorporates the Ohio Means Jobs Career Cluster Inventory to help students figure out the career paths which interest them.
The role of the counselor is a big part of a student’s overall education.