What Does a School Counselor Do?
Your children may mention their school counselors, or you may receive newsletters or other information from your children’s school counselors, but just what does a school counselor do? Gone are the days of school counselors sitting in their offices handing out college applications or meeting with troublemakers. Today’s school counselors are vital members of the education team and provide a wealth of services to help your children achieve academic success.
Counselors are an important part of the educational leadership team and provide valuable assistance to students. Professional school counselors provide culturally competent services to students, parents/guardians, school staff and the community in the following areas:
Individual Student Planning – Professional school counselors coordinate ongoing systemic activities designed to help students establish personal goals and develop future plans.
Responsive Services – Responsive services consist of prevention and/or intervention activities to meet students’ immediate and future needs. These needs can be necessitated by events and conditions in students’ lives and the school climate and culture, and may require any of the following:
- individual or group counseling
- consultation with parents, teachers and other educators
- referrals to other school support services or community resources
- peer helping
- intervention and advocacy at the systemic level
Professional school counselors develop confidential relationships with students to help them resolve and/or cope with problems and developmental concerns.
System Support – System support consists of management activities establishing, maintaining, and enhancing the total school counseling program. These activities include professional development, consultation, collaboration, supervision, program management and operations. Professional school counselors are committed to continual personal and professional development and are proactively involved in professional organizations promoting school counseling.
(Adapted from The Role of the Professional School Counselor, ASCA)