Education Careers Newsletter - Fall 2023 Porterville College


The Education Careers Program at Porterville College provides future educators with information and resources to succeed in their education at Porterville College and beyond. The services offered include counseling and advising, career path guidance, workshops, information sessions, university campus tours, and more! Keep up with our virtual newsletter for our latest events and for resources that benefit future educators.

fall 2023 events

Spring 2023 HigHlights

Check out some pictures below of the events we held during the Spring 2023 semester. We are so excited to create memories and help you all with resources during this semester!

career options in counseling

K-12 Educational Counselor

What is a K-12 educational counselor?

Provides resources, funds, strategies, and training in educational counseling to support schools in planning, implementing, and monitoring comprehensive student support programs.

School counselors are authorized to provide education counseling services in grades kindergarten through fourteen. They have a Pupil Personnel Services Credential for Individuals Prepared in California (CL-606C)External link opens in new window or tab. with a specialization in school counseling. They work with all grade levels as a part of a team of School-Based Mental Health Professionals. These professionals include school counseling, school social work, school psychology, and child welfare and attendance. As part of a multidisciplinary team, school counselors collaborate together as a unified and cohesive component of the larger school system to meet the learning and developmental needs of all students.

School counselors are stakeholders in school and district level implementation of Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). This includes programs such as, Positive Behavioral Support, and Behavioral Intervention Strategies and Supports. Components of a MTSS school counseling program include academic (achievement), career (career exploration and development) and social/emotional (behavior).

What do K-12 educational counselors do?

Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services. On the job, you would:

  • 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.
  • Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.

K-12 school counselors are trained to:

  • Establish educational opportunities of equity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
  • Recognize, respect, and utilize each student’s strengths, experiences, and background as assets for teaching and learning.
  • Confront and alter institutional biases of student marginalization, deficit-based schooling, and low expectations.
  • Provide opportunities to develop an understanding regarding issues of discrimination, implicit bias, social justice, diversity, and knowledge of how they may contribute to, or detract from, school success.
  • Increase awareness of mental health programs and services to address barriers.
  • A positive school culture and climate can enhance the safety and well-being of all students.

Knowledge Needed:

  • Health - therapy and counseling
  • Math and Science – psychology, sociology, and anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities - English language
  • Education and Training - teaching and course design

Skills Needed:

  • Basic Skills - listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions and talking to others
  • Social - understanding people's reactions and looking for ways to help people
  • Problem Solving – noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it

Abilities Needed:

  • Verbal - communicate by speaking and listen and understand what people say
  • Ideas and Logic - notice when problems happen and make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • Attention - pay attention to something without being distracted
College Counselor

What is a college counselor?

A college counselor is a professional who assists students with their educational and professional goals. In this role, you help students navigate what they want to do with their lives after college. You may also lend support to students who are going through personal or familial challenges.

During your meetings, you may offer them a source of advice for various pressures they experience. As a college counselor, it's your job to help students with all facets of their academic, personal and professional lives.

What does a college counselor do?

A college counselor is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Answering incoming students' questions about your college or university
  • Providing counseling sessions for students coping with other personal challenges
  • Holding student support groups for students coping with similar challenges
  • Assisting students in creating and achieving their personal, academic and professional goals
  • Conducting outreach activities
  • Completing relevant paperwork and other administrative duties
  • Directing students to social services or additional resources

What is the average salary for a college counselor?

The national average salary for a college counselor, also called a "college advisor," is $60,140 per year. Compensation and benefits can also vary by institution, geographical location and level of experience. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for this type of career is expected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028 which is faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations.

How to Become a College Counselor

1. Choose your career focus

A college counselor can focus on career services, academic counseling, admissions, or more therapeutic-oriented services. Before starting this career, you need to decide which area of this profession you are interested in pursuing. Although some roles may require you to do a little bit of everything, it's a good idea to direct your main focus to a select area.

2. Earn a bachelor's degree

Most college counselors earn a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral or Social Science. You could also choose to major in education, psychology, communication or another related area of study. Try to choose classes where you learn about communication techniques, higher education trends, career counselin g and human behavior.

During your time in college, gain experience in this field by working in your schools' admissions office. This can give you a better idea of what this profession looks like, and you can get used to a student-oriented work environment. Since a lot of this career involves paperwork, getting an administrative job can help you prepare for these kinds of tasks.

3. Complete a graduate program

Although every college counselor position may not require a master's degree, getting one can deepen your knowledge and help you stand out among other job candidates. Many college counselors chose a master's degree in social work, psychology or counseling. Throughout your program, you are likely to learn about counseling research, current trends in the field, theoretical approaches, counseling techniques and human development.

4. Obtain an applicable license

If you choose a career path that doesn't include providing psychological care, then it is unlikely that you need any kind of professional certification or license as a college counselor. If you find that you do want to provide these services, you may need to get a license through the National Association of School Psychologists or the National Board for Certified Counselors.

The requirements depend on where you want to work and vary by state. Many licenses require you to complete clinical hours and pass an examination.

5. Get on-the-job training

Once you get your first college counselor job, try to learn as much as you can on the job. Throughout your orientation period, you learn about your job duties and what your employer expects of you in this role.

As you grow in your career, you may choose to take on additional responsibilities or go back to school to be able to provide therapeutic services. Over time, you may even become interested in applying for an administrative or supervisory position at an institution.

California Wages for College and K-12 Counselors
School Psychologist

What Does a School Psychologist Do?

Most school psychologists work in public or private K-12 schools. They support students who are experiencing mental health conditions or distress, and they provide teachers and families with education and advice.

They often collaborate with teachers and school administrators to meet students' needs and support general student mental health. School psychologists employed in private religious schools also work with members of the clergy.

School psychologists design and deliver interventions, measuring their effectiveness and adapting their practices. As students recover psychologically from the COVID-19 pandemic, psychologists often address anxiety and depression, along with the impact of time spent away from school settings and isolation.

School psychologists also help students cope in the aftermath of violence.

What does a school psychologist do?

Most school psychologists work in public or private K-12 schools. They support students who are experiencing mental health conditions or distress, and they provide teachers and families with education and advice.

They often collaborate with teachers and school administrators to meet students' needs and support general student mental health. School psychologists employed in private religious schools also work with members of the clergy.

School psychologists design and deliver interventions, measuring their effectiveness and adapting their practices. As students recover psychologically from the COVID-19 pandemic, psychologists often address anxiety and depression, along with the impact of time spent away from school settings and isolation.

School psychologists also help students cope in the aftermath of violence.

School Psychology Salaries

School psychologist and school counselor salaries are above the national median salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

These salaries reflect the required education for school psychologists and other guidance staff, which are also above average. Salaries vary based on geography, experience, and licensing requirements.

How Do I Become a School Psychologist?

While requirements vary by state, most school psychologists have approximately six years of formal education. This is significantly lower than the ten or more years that other psychologists need.

Graduate school is much shorter for school psychologists. However, requirements vary by state, so check your planned state of practice first for details on how to become a school psychologist in that particular state.

Education for School Psychologists

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides information on how to become a school psychologist in every state. Most school psychologists hold an Ed.S., an advanced specialist postmaster's degree that is less intensive than a doctorate.

School psychologists often complete a bachelor's degree in psychology, education, or a related field, and a master's in school psychology or educational psychological development. Most spend about three years earning an Ed.S., completing two years of study and a one-year internship.

Some pursue a doctorate in psychology, which typically takes four years or longer. Both Ed.S. and doctoral psychology programs include an internship, and master's students must complete clinical hours.

While state licensing boards do not require NCSP certification, they may consider it equivalent to state licensure, making the certification even more valuable for those pursuing school psychology careers. Candidates in some states may need to pass the Praxis examination, which is part of the NCSP certification process, although the state may not legally require the certification itself.

O*NET Online

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Find, search, or browse across 900+ occupations based on your goals and needs. Then use comprehensive reports to learn about requirements, characteristics, and available opportunities for your selected occupation.

alumni spotlights

Liliana Becerril - Program Technician

My name is Liliana Becerril and I am a Porterville College graduate, class of 2020. When I first started at PC, I was fresh out of high school and was very anxious about my education and future. I was a first gen student that came from a low-income home, and I had a vague idea of what I wanted to major in but did not know where to start or if I could afford to start. At Porterville College, I was able to meet with counselors and sign up for support services, such as EOPS, that helped me and guided me. I was able to do work study here on campus and save up to transfer to a 4-year university. I was scared to ask questions at first and did not know about most of the services offered at PC, but the counselors and staff made me feel so welcomed and supported that I was able to finish my degree in 2 years and was prepared to graduate and transfer to Fresno Pacific University.

Now, present day, I work in the EOPS Office as Program Technician and get to work with students just like me, supporting them in graduating and achieving their goals. I’m very proud and grateful to continue to be a part of the college that has not only helped me but other students. If I had any advice to share with students, it would be to always apply! Whether it be applying to top league universities, scholarship opportunities, internships/work study opportunities, or even to apply for free student services or clubs take the jump and apply. You might think you’re too busy or won’t qualify but you never know, this opportunity might be the one that changes your life and presents you to even greater opportunities. Believe in yourself and apply!

Katherine Figueroa - Higher Education College Counselor

My experience as a counselor at Porterville College has been so rewarding. I love working in education and seeing the student's perseverance, resiliency, and determination to reach their educational goals. As an alumni of Porterville College, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to guide students in their educational journey at the college that had such a positive impact and set the foundation for my college experience.

Vince Sandoval - School Psychology

Hello Pirates! My name is Vince Sandoval, Class of 2014. At the start of my college career, I can proudly say that PC was the entryway to achieving my educational and professional goals. However, I struggled at the start of my journey on how to navigate my learning as a first-generation college student straight out of high school. I continued to have challenges on figuring out what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and how I wanted to serve my community with my education. I often carried this fear of believing that I would continue struggling to achieve my goals and aspirations, but PC created an environment that was supportive, resourceful, and provided a sense of community. PC generated amazing workshops that provided a space to learn about how to transfer to four-year universities for undergraduate completion, financial aid support, and networking with staff and other students with common goals. Leaving PC with an AA in Social and Behavioral Science and an AA-T in Communication Studies, I was able to transfer to the California State University, Northridge where I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Communication Studies. During my time in the San Fernando Valley, I was constantly reflective of how far I’ve come, and the advantages PC provided me to flourish in my education. I learned early on that I wanted to come back to my hometown to serve my community with the experience and knowledge I had obtained. I knew towards the end of my undergrad years, I wanted to work with children and families in the education system. Therefore, I knew what population I wanted to serve, but the question became "HOW did I want to serve them?"

Moving back to Porterville, I accepted an elementary teaching position at Jim Maples Academy within the Burton School District. During my time teaching, I continued to find passion and meaning in working with children and families within education. I learned quickly that the education system promotes teaching to the whole child. I witnessed the rise of social and emotional deficits and the mental health challenges that impact student’s access to their learning. My path later led me to pursue my graduate studies in the Dual School Psychology and School Counseling program at Fresno Pacific University. I am now a School Psychologist for Summit Collegiate High School in the Burton School District. I work alongside some incredible and respected educators within the administration, special education, and mental health departments that are responsible for servicing children and young adolescents through a holistic approach. I am proud to serve my students and our families as we strive for equitable access to higher education as a dual enrollment school in partnership with Porterville College, and create an experience that is attached with memories, fun, and preparing to be college and world ready. A full circle moment that was presented in my work in education was having the opportunity to see our high school seniors graduate with Porterville College and receive their associate degree leaving high school and a chance to flourish in their education just as I have. Go Pirates!

Contact us!

Have Questions? Contact us at educationcareers@portervillecollege.edu