School counselors help students with career exploration and post-secondary planning. We can all remember those days in our childhood when we were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Answers may have ranged from teacher to police officer and from doctor to astronaut. For some, the idea of their dream job or career may stay fairly consistent through the years. Others, however, may change their minds multiple times and need some guidance on figuring out their strengths and interests as well as which postsecondary educational and career paths will best fit their personalities and needs.

School counselors can fill this role of helping students to explore a variety of educational and career options. Through one-on-one discussions, classroom presentations, and the use of resources, school counselors give students the tools they need for college planning and career exploration.

Here are some of the ways counselors help students explore careers and post-high school education options:

  1. Helping students to utilize career exploration programs, career tests, and college search tools
  2. Planning on-site visits with representatives from colleges and vocational technical schools
  3. Providing information on college programs, timelines, and scholarship opportunities
  4. Maintaining a comprehensive scholarship document with information on a variety of scholarship websites and individual scholarships
  5. Hosting a career day every two to three years
  6. Linking eligible students with community resources such as the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Pre-Employment Transition Services. This helps ensure that students receive opportunities to fulfill their potential and find the postsecondary career and education path that best meets their needs.
  7. Helping students to develop their own unique set of skills and strengths and to identify their passion ~ what has meaning for them and helps them to truly shine! Building on this, students can then gain the confidence to take the next steps after high school to set their dreams into motion and make them a reality!