A COMPARISON OF COUNSELLOR EDUCATION PROGRAMMES IN TWO UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA (Published)
This paper discusses the training patterns of two universities running counsellor education programmes in South-South Nigeria. The purpose was to compare whether the programmes offered in these universities were the same or different, and their relevance in meeting the needs of the people. This has become pertinent due to the role of counselling in modifying maladaptive behaviour, which is posing a threat to the educational system in Nigeria. The areas of comparison include: the admission policy, course contents, methods of training, academic staff quality and staff development as well as availability of facilities for the programmes The analysis revealed that there were similarities between the counsellor training programmes of both universities in terms of admission policy and entry requirements, academic staff quality/staff development and methods of training using lectures and practicum. However, differences were found in their course contents, credit hour allocations and facilities, in which the programmes from the University of Port Harcourt were more diversified in meeting the needs of the society than that of the Niger Delta University as at the period of this research. Although both were involved in practicum, too much emphasis was placed on theory with little practical knowledge and skills in both universities.. This can be attributed to the way that counsellor educators themselves were taught in the various universities where they graduated. It was recommended that the Counselling Association of Nigeria should evolve a professional enhancement programme for its members in addition to the government offering sponsorship for counsellor educators to visit other universities outside Nigeria in an exchange programme in order to gain adequate practical experience, ensure programme uniformity and ensure the provision of better facilities by the government for counsellor training. Others include the extension of the period of practicum and requesting TETFUND assistance in training/re-training of counsellor educators.