Whether I’m working with a small group of students focusing on becoming career counselors, or a large group of students who are studying to be counselors with a different focus, I want them to be knowledgeable of the skills and activities that career counselors possess. The checklist becomes a more interactive and engaging way to gain occupational knowledge about what a career counselor does, rather than reading a description of career counselors on O*NET.
For the career counseling students, this serves as an individual learning plan between the time they look at the checklist and the time they graduate. They can see the skills they currently posses that career counselors use, and also identify the gaps between where they are and where they want to be. The next step would be to create an action plan that helps them develop the missing skills, such as shadowing or seeking out projects during their practicum and internship that address those experiences.
For the other counseling students, I find that using the checklist has multiple positive outcomes. First, their esteem of career counseling increases. They learn that career counseling is not just pointing someone towards jobs or critiquing resumes, but that it is often a much more complex process. Second, they are able to see that many of the skills they currently have are also valued and used within the field of career counseling. Third, outlining the skills and experiences of career counselors demystifies the process and makes the idea of discussing career-related issues with their clients a positive one, not to be feared or avoided. I hope you find the checklist useful to you in your teaching!