Counselling is the process of assisting and guiding others in times of transition, anxiety, and/or crisis. As such, counselling is not only a distinct profession, but also a skill set applicable to a wide range of human service, educational, and business settings. As a field, counselling is interdisciplinary and tends towards a non-pathologizing approach to understanding and intervening in personal and interpersonal difficulties. Education in counselling fosters greater understanding of one's self, others, and interpersonal dynamics, while deepening knowledge of identity formation, conceptions of health and well-being, and the process of developing trusting relations to facilitate personal growth and change.
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Generally three categories of students take the B.A. Minor in Counselling. These categories include students who would like to:
- Increase employability on graduation: Students and employers recognize study in counselling equips one with knowledge, skills, and abilities beneficial in any field involving working with others (education, criminal justice, healthcare, business, etc.).
- Pursue counselling as a career: The B.A. Minor in Counselling prepares students for graduate studies (i.e., M.A./Ph.D or M.Ed.) in Counselling at other institutions (e.g., SFU, UBC, TWU, or Adler School of Professional Psychology).
- Pursue teaching as a career: Courses in the B.A. Minor in Counselling are generally transferable as Education credits to institutions that require undergraduate Education courses for acceptance to teacher education programs (e.g., SFU, TWU, UFV; check the BC Transfer Guide for up-to-date information about specific courses). Students interested in a career in teaching can take an education concentration in combination with the B.A. Minor in Counselling. Visit the departmental website for details: http://www.kpu.ca/arts/edst/education
The B.A. Minor in Counselling is a highly marketable degree in conjunction with other KPU Majors for work in social and community services, as well as occupations that value interpersonal communication skills and abilities. There are multiple levels of career paths related to such fields. A Bachelor's Degree will enable students to obtain an array of positions. Professional occupations generally require further certification and/or education at the Master's or doctoral level. The B.A. Minor in Counselling provides the first step to those who aspire to these occupations. Listed below are two categories:
- Occupations obtainable with a B.A. Minor in Counselling (sample majors would include Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology, etc).
- Occupations in which the B.A. Minor in Counselling is a first-step.
Occupations in social and community services include, but are not limited, to: addictions worker, child and youth worker, employment service worker, social services worker, disability management worker, group home work, life skills instruction, mental health advocate, program supervisor, recreation worker, rehabilitation worker, street outreach worker, transition house worker, and volunteer supervisor.
The B.A. Minor in Counselling is also a strong complement to careers where strong interpersonal communication skills are an asset such as: business, sales, marketing, advertising, public relations, management, consulting, mediation, etc.
NOTE: One may counsel in limited capacities with an undergraduate degree (particularly if one moves to remote locations and/or works in the non-profit and human services sector).
Career opportunities in which the B.A. Minor in Counselling is a first step include:
- Counselling (including specializations such as mental health and addictions, death and dying, advocacy, disability and rehabilitation counselling, genetic counselling, couples counselling, family counselling, school counselling, art therapy, non-profit work in human service agencies, and private practice). NOTE: To be a registered clinical counsellor one must have at least a Master's degree.
- To be qualified to work as a counsellor in K-12 public school, one must also obtain a teaching certificate.
- Students can apply for graduate school in counselling with any major, as long as they have the prerequisite courses for the particular program of interest.
- Students who pursue a Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from an accredited program may become registered psychologists if they meet the criteria set out by the BC College of Psychologists.
- Education (teaching, counselling, related fields): Counselling courses transfer as Education credits for those who are seeking to become teachers and complete a teaching program following completion of their undergraduate degrees. Many students choose to become teachers first and then return for an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology. B.A. Minor in Counselling students have also gone into graduate programs in Educational Psychology and School Psychology.
- Healthcare: KPU B.A. Minor in Counselling students have gone on to graduate studies in a range of healthcare fields such as occupational therapy, social work, speech therapy, and medicine. Students interested in such careers are strongly encouraged to look at the entry requirements for these positions as they require additional schooling, certification, and registration.
- Criminal justice: A number of graduates from the B.A. Minor in Counselling have gone on to careers in probations and policing, as well as been accepted to law school. Students interested in such careers are strongly encouraged to look at the entry requirements for these positions.