Choosing the Right College/I am confused

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Question
I am confused, I am not so sure what course I should take. Right now, I am doing my A-levels and I am not going well with it, it is too stressful and hard for me. I am still making a decision wether or not I should leave A levels and do a diploma in Early Childhood Education. In the future I hope to be a social worker or a therapist in helping the youth. Is doing a diploma in Early Childhood related to being a therapist or a social worker? Will I be able to be one?

Answer
Hi Zuhrah,

I am not familiar with the educational system in Malaysia, but if you are inquiring in regards to possibly coming to the United States, then I can certainly assist you.  The fact that you are taking such an active role in your education by looking online and seeking help speaks volume about your likelihood for success, keep up the great work!


A-levels are equivalent to undergraduate level courses in the US.  Students may get course equivalent for them, but it really depends on each school.  However, A-levels are very much like AP courses in that they can help you with pre-requisite.  That is, allow you to skip and take a higher level course.  For example, I had one student from Pakistan take A-level Chemistry and when they got to USC, they went straight into Organic Chemistry.  You state things are "not going well" and that you are "too stressful and hard for me" is sufficient for you to consider another option.

To be a social worker in the US, you'll need to complete a Master's of Social Work (MSW) degree.  While it would be helpful to have a bachelor's degree in childhood development or education, it is not required.  You can take psychology or political science to help you understand how governments function, or maybe communication studies.  Most of what you actually NEED to work as a social worker you'll learn in your MSW program.  As for therapist, it depends on the type of therapist.  For example, Marriage, Family, Therapy (MFT) are Master's graduates with clinical hours and they can work with children and families.  However, for a psychologist, it entails a full Ph.D. in some division of psychology, clinical hours, and licensure.  

At this point, it is most important for you to do well and enjoy learning.  There are plenty of opportunity to actually learn the material you'll need for your career.  However, all of the above is only applicable to the United States.

I hope I answered your question.

Good luck,

Dr. Joon Kim
Polaris Educational Consulting

Choosing the Right College

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Joon Kim

Expertise

I can help with all questions related to education, including college admissions related questions. I can also help in the areas of motivation, learning strategies, and topics that may be categorized under educational psychology. However, don't expect me to have the secrets to getting into your school of your dreams, because they don't exist. I can provide answers to help you better navigate through our educational system in the US. I cannot answer questions related to international educational systems and policies. My expertise is mainly in the areas of letters, arts, and sciences, with specialty in pre-health. Humanities and the arts are beyond the scope of my expertise.

Experience

I have been an educator for over 12 years and have experience at various levels. From multiple subject elementary substitute teacher, single subject science middle school teacher, undergraduate academic advisor, and most recently administrative director at small private graduate school. I've also taught adult learners in the area of food safety guidelines and practices. My experience has mainly been in higher education, both undergraduate and graduate in the natural sciences.

Organizations
AERA(American Educational Research Association) NAAHP (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions) IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association)

Education/Credentials
BA Psychology, Master of Education Higher Education Administration, Doctor of Education Educational Leadership & Educational Psychology, UCLA College Admissions Counseling Certificate Program

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