"If you can dream it, you can do it"--Walt Disney
What is a School Counselor?
Professional school counselors are professional educators who have master's degree or higher in school counseling and are certified or licensed by the state in which they work. Professional school counselors possess the qualifications and skills necessary to address the full array of students' academic, personal, social, and career development needs.
What are the Developmental Needs of High School Students?
High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they will do when they graduate. During these adolescent years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors involving sex, alcohol and drugs while exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behavior and mature, meaningful relationships. They need guidance in making concrete and compounded decisions. They must deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid application process and entrance into a competitive job market.
What do High School Counselors do?
Gone are the days of school counselors sitting in their office simply handing out college applications, making schedule changes for students who want to drop a class or meeting with the troublemakers in the school. Today's school counselors are vital members of the education team. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development, ensuring today's students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow.
Secondary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:
Individual Student Planning
- Academic skills support
- Organizational, study and test-taking skills
- Post-secondary planning and application process
- Career planning
- Education in understanding self and others
- Coping strategies
- Peer relationships and effective social skills
- Communication, problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution and study skills
- Career awareness and the world of work
- Goal setting
- Academic plans
- Career plans
- Problem solving
- Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
- Transition plans
- Individual and small-group counseling
- Individual/family/school crisis intervention
- Peer facilitation
- Professional development
- Consultation, collaboration and teaming
- Program management and operation
These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive
Role of a School Counselor
The Essential Role of High School Counselors
Counseling Education and Career Development www.school-counselor.org
American Counseling Association www.counseling.org
American School Counseling Association www.schoolcounselor.org