In Summary - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
Guidance Counsellor - Adult Educations typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Brian Howard, Guidance Counsellor
Brian Howard works as a Guidance Counsellor in Newbridge College in Kildare. He attended secondary school in Patrician Secondary School Newbridge. Following his Leaving Certificate he went on to do a B.Sc in NUI Maynooth. After completing his H-Dip he spent 5 years teaching Maths and Science before embarking on the Higher Diploma in School Guidance and Counselling in NUI Maynooth.
The Work - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
Adult guidance counsellors provide adults with guidance on learning, training and occupational opportunities. Some concentrate on education while others are more concerned with helping adults to make career decisions, although these roles are very much inter-linked.
Guidance counsellors may work with clients through in-depth face-to-face interviews, which usually last for one hour. There may also be 'drop-in' sessions where a client can discuss an issue, usually for between 20 and 30 minutes. Sometimes guidance counsellors talk to clients over the telephone. Some advisers give presentations to groups, or run courses or workshops to help adults in the community. They may work with adults who have special needs, for example, because of learning difficulties.
Adult guidance counsellors provide information on the availability of courses, their content and how to get on them. They may use booklets and printed sheets, or audio and visual materials. Some guidance workers produce their own materials.
The guidance worker may use a computer database to find educational and vocational training courses. They guide their clients through assessment techniques such as psychometric tests. Guidance workers encourage self-assessment. The information they give must be impartial, and must help clients to come to their own decisions.
Building a trusting relationship with clients is essential. For example, an adult may have to address factors in their lives that have prevented them from making educational achievements in the past. By listening carefully, the guidance worker can begin to understand any difficulties from the client's point of view. The guidance worker may ask questions to help clients explore various aspects of their life and feelings, encouraging them to talk as freely and openly as possible.
It is very important that the guidance worker does not make judgements or attempt to impose solutions of their clients. Their aim must always be to enable people to talk about and clarify their problems, and then to help them act for themselves to resolve them.
Some duties of Adult Education Guidance Counsellors include:
- to provide guidance, counselling and information services to individual clients and to groups, and provide referral services to other agencies as appropriate
- to provide support and advice in the field of guidance and counselling to staff of Further Education centres, and support the development of an integrated curriculum of learning, guidance and progression
- to broker services with educational bodies and other institutions as emerging client needs are identified
- to share good practice from the sector and supporting the mainstreaming of relevant lessons into national policy and practice
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
- Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
- Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
- Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
- Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
- Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
- Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
- Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
You must enjoy working with people and helping them to make important decisions about their education, training and careers. General experience of life is a very important aspect of this job.
Good communication skills are very important. You must be able to listen carefully and ask the right questions to find out about the client's interests, skills and values. Knowledge of assessment techniques such as psychometric tests and computer guidance systems is also useful.
You will meet people from many different backgrounds, with different levels of self-confidence and experience of education. You should encourage self-assessment, avoid imposing solutions, and guide the client to come to their own choices and decisions.
You will need strong negotiating skills, to represent the client's interests when you work with colleges or training providers.
Adult guidance can be very varied, so you will need to be flexible and well organised. You will need to be able to plan your caseload, and do administrative tasks such as writing reports and keeping records.
Entry Requirements - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
Pay & Salary - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 20k - 40k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
Useful Contacts - Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education
Institute of Guidance Counsellors
National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute of Ireland
National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE)
Adult Education Guidance Initiative