Educational guidance School counselor

school counselor is a counselor and an educator who works in elementary, middle, and high schools to provide academic, career, college readiness, and personal/social competencies to all K-12 students through a school counseling program. The four main school counseling program interventions used include: developmental school counseling core curriculum classroom lessons and annual academic, career/college readiness, and personal/social planning for every student; and group and individual counsel for some students.
Older, outdated terms for the profession were \”guidance counselor\” or \”educational counselor\” but \”school counselor\” is preferred due to professional school counselors\’ advocating for every child\’s academic, career, and personal/social success in every elementary, middle, and high school
School counselor roles, school counseling program framework, professional associations, and ethics
Professional school counselors ideally implement a school counseling program that promotes and enhances student achievement.
School counselors, in most USA states, usually have a Master\’s degree in school counseling from a Counselor Education graduate program.
In Canada, they must be licensed teachers with additional school counseling training and focus on academic, career, and personal/social issues.
China requires at least three years of college experience.
In Japan, school counselors were added in the mid-1990s, part-time, primarily focused on behavioral issues.
In Taiwan, they are often teachers with recent legislation requiring school counseling licensure focused on individual and group counseling for academic, career, and personal issues.
In Korea, school counselors are mandated in middle and high schools.
School counselors are employed in elementary, middle, and high schools, and in district supervisory settings and in counselor education faculty positions (usually with an earned Ph.D. in Counselor Education in the USA or related graduate doctorates abroad), and post-secondary settings doing academic, career, college readiness, and personal/social counseling, consultation, and program coordination. Their work includes a focus on developmental stages of student growth, including the needs, tasks, and student interests related to those stages.
Professional school counselors meet the needs of student in three basic domains: academic developmentcareer development, and personal/social development with an increased emphasis on college access.
Knowledge, understanding and skill in these domains are developed through classroom instructionappraisal,consultationcounselingcoordination, and collaboration. For example, in appraisal, school counselors may use a variety of personality and career assessment methods to help students explore career and college needs and interests.
School counselor interventions include individual and group counseling for some students. For example, if a student\’s behavior is interfering with his or her achievement, the school counselor may observe that student in a class, provide consultation to teachers and other stakeholders to develop (with the student) a plan to address the behavioral issue(s), and then collaborate to implement and evaluate the plan. They also provide consultation services to family members such as college access, career development, parenting skills, study skills, child and adolescent development, and help with school-home transitions.
School counselor interventions for all students include annual academic/career/college access planning K-12 and leading classroom developmental lessons on academic, career/college, and personal/social topics. The topics ofcharacter education, diversity and multiculturalism and school safety are important areas of focus for school counselors. Often school counselors will coordinate outside groups that wish to help with student needs such as academics, or coordinate a program that teaches aboutchild abuse or drugs, through on-stage drama.
School counselors develop, implement, and evaluate school counseling programs that deliver academic, career, college access, and personal/social competencies to all students in their schools.
For example, the ASCA National Model (Hatch & Bowers, 2003, 2005; ASCA, 2012) [56] includes the following four main areas:
·         Foundation – a school counseling program mission statement, a beliefs/vision statement, SMART Goals; ASCA Student Standards & ASCA Code of Ethics;
·         Delivery System – how school counseling core curriculum lessons, planning for every student, and individual and group counseling are delivered in direct and indirect services to students (80% of school counselor time);
·         Management System – calendars; use of data tool; use of time tool; administrator-school counselor agreement; advisory council; small group, school counseling core curriculum, and closing the gap action plans; and
·         Accountability System – school counseling program assessment; small group, school counseling core curriculum, and closing-the-gap results reports; and school counselor performance evaluations based on school counselor competencies.
·         Elementary school counseling
·         Elementary school counselors provide, academic, career, college access, and personal and social competencies and planning to all students, and individual and group counseling for some students and their families to meet the developmental needs of young children K-6.
·          Transitions from pre-school to elementary school and from elementary school to middle school are an important focus for elementary school counselors. Increased emphasis is placed on accountability for closing achievement and opportunity gaps at the elementary level as more school counseling programs move to evidence-based work with data and specific results.
·         School counseling programs that deliver specific competencies to all students help to close achievement and opportunity gaps. To facilitate individual and group school counseling interventions, school counselors use developmental, cognitive-behavioral, person-centered listening and influencing skills, systemic, family, multicultural, narrative, and play therapy theories and techniques.
·         Middle school counseling
·         Middle school counselors provide school counseling curriculum lessons on academic, career, college access, and personal and social competencies, advising and academic/career/college access planning to all students and individual and group counseling for some students and their families to meet the needs of older children/early adolescents in grades 7 and 8.
·         Middle School College Access curricula have been developed by The College Board to assist students and their families well before reaching high school. To facilitate the school counseling process, school counselors use theories and techniques including developmental, cognitive-behavioral, person-centered listening and influencing skills, systemic, family, multicultural, narrative, and play therapy. Transitional issues to ensure successful transitions to high school are a key area including career exploration and assessment with seventh and eighth grade students.
·          High school counseling
·         High school counselors provide, academic, career, college access, and personal and social competencies with developmental classroom lessons and planning to all students, and individual and group counseling for some students and their families to meet the developmental needs of adolescents. Emphasis is on college access counseling at the early high school level as more school counseling programs move to evidence-based work with data and specific results that show how school counseling programs help to close achievement, opportunity, and attainment gaps ensuring all students have access to school counseling programs and early college access activities. The breadth of demands high school counselors face, from educational attainment (high school graduation and some students\’ preparation for careers and college) to student social and mental health, has led to ambiguous role definition.
·          Summarizing a 2011 national survey of more than 5,300 middle school and high school counselors, researchers argued: \”Despite the aspirations of counselors to effectively help students succeed in school and fulfill their dreams, the mission and roles of counselors in the education system must be more clearly defined; schools must create measures of accountability to track their effectiveness; and policymakers and key stakeholders must integrate counselors into reform efforts to maximize their impact in schools across America\”
·         Transitional issues to ensure successful transitions to college, other post-secondary educational options, and careers are a key area. The high school counselor helps students and their families prepare for post-secondary education including college and careers (e.g. college,careers) by engaging students and their families in accessing and evaluating accurate information on what the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy calls the 8 essential elements of college and career counseling: (1) College Aspirations, (2) Academic Planning for Career and College Readiness, (3) Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement, (4) College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes, (5) College and Career Assessments, (6) College Affordability Planning, (7) College and Career Admission Processes, and (8) Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment.[76] Some students turn to private college admissions advisors but there is no research evidence that private college admissions advisors have any effectiveness in assisting students attain selective college admissions.

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