What Exactly is a “School Counselor”
A School Counselor ….
*Sees students individually
*Helps students through small groups
*Does Classroom Counseling Lessons
*Meets with parents/guardians to address any needs or questions about their student.
A school counselor is…
*an essential member of the educational process.
*School counselors are in elementary, middle, and high schools focusing on enhancing every student’s academic, career, and personal/social development.
*Today’s school counselors are stepping out of their office and spending direct time with students.
*According to the American School Counselor Association, school counselors use leadership, advocacy and collaboration to promote equity and access to rigorous educational experiences for all students.
As a professional school counselor following the ethics and guidelines of the American School Counselor Association, I will implement the ASCA National Model (displayed on the right). This model has four domains: Foundation, Delivery Management and Accountability. Through the development of a comprehensive school counseling program, school counselors help all students achieve success in school.
Why do you need a School Counselor in elementary schools?
The following information was obtained from the American School Counselor Association (2012) describing the role and function of school counselors in each level of education.
“Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. The professional elementary school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness” (American School Counselor Association, (2012).
The National Model (pictured above) includes the guidelines that school counselors follow to develop and implement a comprehensive school counseling program. The model consists of four quadrants: Foundation, Accountability, Delivery, and Management.
Foundation allows the school counseling department the opportunity to develop a program focus. This includes the beliefs the department holds about students, parents, educators and the community. This process also involves developing a mission statement, beliefs, and forming an advisory council. Delivery includes the way school counselor provide their resources for their students. After certain priorities have been identified the school counselors can develop programs, groups, information sessions and more to target and help all students. Accountability involves holding the school counselor accountable. It is important for every school counselor to use data to show how they are affecting student achievement. Data can provide information on things from how a school counselor spends their time to the efficiency of the school counseling department. For management, school counselors incorporate organizational assessments and tools that are concrete, clearly delineated and reflective of the school’s needs. When following the ASCA national model, School Counselors can make an impact on every student in each area of academic,career, and personal/social.