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The Role of the Professional School Counselor

Professional school counselors are certified/licensed educators with a minimum of a master’s degree in school counseling making them uniquely qualified to address all students’ academic, personal/social and career development needs by designing, implementing, evaluating and enhancing a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student success. Professional school counselors are employed in elementary, middle/junior high and high schools; in district supervisory positions; and counselor education positions.  

Professional school counselors serve a vital role in maximizing student success (Lapan, Gysbers, & Kayson, 2007; Stone & Dahir, 2006). Through leadership, advocacy and collaboration, professional school counselors promote equity and access to rigorous educational experiences for all students. Professional school counselors support a safe learning environment and work to safeguard the human rights of all members of the school community (Sandhu, 2000) and address the needs of all students through culturally relevant prevention and intervention programs that are a part of a comprehensive school counseling program (Lee, 2001). The American School Counselor Association recommends a school-counselor-to-student ratio of 1:250.

 

 Why Elementary School Counselors?

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, 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.

Elementary School Counseling Program:  

School Guidance Curriculum

*Academic support, including organizational, study & test taking skills

*Goal setting & decision-making  *Career awareness, exploration & planning

*Education on understanding self & others 

*Peer relationships, coping strategies, & effective social skills

*Communication, problem-solving & conflict resolution

* Substance abuse education  *Multicultural/diversity awareness

Individual Student Planning

*Academic planning  *Goal setting/decision-making  *Transition plans

*Education on understanding of self, including strengths & weaknesses

 Responsive Services

*Individual & small group counseling  *Individual/family/school crisis intervention

*Conflict Resolution  *Consultation/Collaboration  *Referrals

System Support

*Professional development  *Consultation, collaboration, & teaming

*Program management & operation

For more information visit

http://schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/careers-roles/the-role-of-the-professional-school-counselor