Context of Interview: concerning the effectiveness of the work of an occupational teacher at the Career and Counseling Center
Today both students and teachers require the services of a counselor. In accordance with Kimberly J. Greenhaw (2007), college counseling plays a significant role in “social, academic and personal development of college students”¯ (p. 4). The majority of people recognize college counseling as an established profession which allows counseling professionals to provide support, consultation and effective training for both students and teachers. As a rule, any college counseling center includes such specialists as “career counselors, academic advisors, dieticians, nutritionists, health educators, testing coordinators, disability specialists”¯ (Greenhaw, 2007, p. 10).
Katherine Baxter is a counselor at the Career and Counseling Center of Nassau Community College. She is ready to give an interview and discuss some important issues about her profession. The major goals of this face to face interview include the following:
- To learn more about the profession of a counselor and the type of training Katherine Baxter had in occupational education prior to becoming a counselor.
- To discuss the type of difficulties Katherine Baxter encounters with occupational programs, teachers and students.
- To learn more about the appropriate traits of occupational teachers that they should display in the classroom and at school.
- To discuss how Katherine Baxter, as a professional counselor, helps occupational teachers with students’ discipline or behavior problems.
- To learn more about how to become a successful occupational teacher.
- To discuss the major educational reform issues that occupational teachers should be ready to encounter.
- To learn more about Katherine Baxter interacts with other schools’ personnel, industries, business, and the community at large.
- To learn about Katherine Baxter’s the most challenging task in her job and the most enjoyable ones.
In the face to face interview, Katherine Baxter, a professional counselor at the Career and Counseling Center of Nassau Community College, shares her practice experiences and says that she does academic advising and works with students and teachers in the Business Administration Economics Department.Ā It is found that Katherine Baxter has worked for Nassau Community College for about 25 years. She used to work in the Admissions Department, and then she was transferred over to the Career and Counseling Center. It is also found that Katherine Baxter obtained a degree from the University of Connecticut through an on-line degree program in School Administration and Counseling. She also has a minor in Psychology.
In addition, Katherine Baxter discusses the major difficulties she encounters with occupational programs, students and teachers. She states that one of the challenges is the ever changing curriculum. As it changes very often, she has to communicate about it to the Chair of the Business Administration Economics Department. One more challenge is that many students complain about unfair bad grades. Katherine Baxter has to work with the teacher and students in order to explain how the students should be graded. Another challenge is that many students change their mind about the program that they are enrolled in. It leads to financial problems.
Moreover, Katherine Baxter states that successful occupational teachers are those teachers who participate in committees on the campus and affiliations with organizations in the community, such as the Nassau Business Alliance. She is sure that teachers should be able to motivate their students to study well.
Besides, in the interview, Katherine Baxter describes how she helps occupational teachers and their students. She provides the appropriate curriculum changes, gives advice to the teachers who have problems with students’ discipline and different behavioral issues, and conducts a new Student Advisement Program. In the face to face interviews, Katherine Baxter says that she also communicates with the professors about students’ discipline and then meets with those students who violate the established rules and regulations. It means that she works with the students and teachers as an intermediary to correct the disciplinary and behavior issues and help students to improve their academic performance.
Additionally, the interviewee states that to be a successful Business and Marketing teacher, it is necessary to have the appropriate experience in teaching, to be open for communication and have “connection with students”¯ (Luzzo, 2000, p. 12). Ā As a rule, new hired teachers require the support of a mentor who will be able to address any concerns that may arise in the teaching process. Teachers can go to the Teacher Inspiration Center where they can share their ideas and problems with other teachers and learn more about effective teaching strategies.
In the interview, Katherine Baxter discusses some educational reform issues that occupational teachers should be ready to encounter. They include changes in the curriculum and existing programs due to the development of technology and global economy, such as the increase in students taking on-line programs, etc. (Sharkin, 2012; Bragdon, 2012).
In addition, the interviewee argues that it is very important for a counselor to interact with other schools, personnel, industries, business, and the community at large, to find out what kind of skills are required for the upcoming jobs (Davis & Humphrey, 2000, p. 23). Ā She also provides information on job openings that are currently available in order to post them on Nassau’s web site.
Furthermore, Katherine Baxter describes the most challenging tasks in her job and the most enjoyable ones. She states that she has no enough time to cope with all her tasks as she has to attend training sessions. Additionally, she has to work with more and more students as enrollment continues to grow. It means that her work load keeps growing. However, she enjoys her work very much because the majority of students are grateful to her. She is sure that communication and feedback are the most important things in any program.