A guidance counsellor is an educator who provides social, academic, career and college access advice to K-12 students. Currently there is a shortage of guidance counsellors in Canada, which has opened this position to teachers, providing they are enrolled in a graduate counselling program. If you enjoy teaching and would like to play a role in helping students get the most out of their education, this might be the career for you.
Become a qualified teacher. To become a teacher in Canada you must complete a three-year postsecondary degree and a one-year teacher education program, and apply to the relevant province's (or territory's) college of teachers.
Enroll in additional courses in Guidance and Career Education from a teacher college in your province or territory.
Pass all three sections, Part I, Part II and specialist, of the Guidance and Career Education qualifications (see reference 3 for course guidelines from the Ontario College of Teachers). The Guidance and Career Education courses have the following learning aims. Part I aims to develop the knowledge needed to a) implement the Canadian's Ministry of Education curriculum and district school board policies, b) acquire the theoretical understanding and implement guidance programs, and c) create learning environments that improve student, interpersonal and career development skills. Part II builds on the aims of Part I and adds two learning expectations: d) the development, use, and modifying of expectations, instructional strategies and career development, and e) the ability of integrating information and communication technology to teaching. Part III, the specialist level, extends on the learning expectations of Part I and II and focuses on the development of leadership skills within the discipline.
Check you have the right attitude and personality to be a guidance counsellor. You need to be a sensitive and empathetic listener to be a successful counsellor.