A comprehensive school counseling program covers three areas of student development: academic, career, and personal/social. The school counseling program should reflect the progression of students’ skills in these areas across the years, kindergarten through grade 12.
The school counselor delivers services through a variety of methods:
In a confidential setting, the professional school counselor employs specific counseling techniques to assist students in areas such as: educational planning for high school and college, career planning, developing positive attitudes and behavior, developing skills related to decision making and problem solving, dealing with interpersonal relationships, and crisis intervention.
Small Group Counseling
In small group counseling, the counselor meets with two or more students. In these settings students work on shared task and develop supportive relationships. Through giving and receiving feedback, group members have the opportunity to gain valuable skills in how to learn live and learn with others. Group discussion may be problem-centered, where attention is given to a particular concern or problem; or group discussion may be growth-centered, where general topics are related to personal and academic development.
Through a series of planned classroom learning experiences, counselors assist teachers with meaningful activities targeting the personal/social, academic, and career development of students. This is a planned, sequential developmental program. The guidance program may focus on topics such as career awareness, test information, test taking skills, or interpersonal skills. The program is proactive and seeks to prevent problems by developing skills in areas such as communication, decision-making, conflict resolution, cross-cultural effectiveness and personal safety.
Counselors confer directly with teachers, parents, administrators and other helping professionals. Consultation provides for mutual sharing and analysis of information and ideas to assist in planning and implementing strategies to help student. Consultation may take place individual or group conferences, through staff-development activities, or parent education classes.
Counselors serve as liaison between teachers, parent, support personnel, and community resources to facilitate successful student development. This may include assisting parents to obtain needed services for their children through a referral and follow- up process. It also includes orienting new students to the school and coordinating student transition to the next educational level or career level.
Program Evaluation and Development
Counselors assess the needs of the students and families in the schools which the serve, evaluate their programs, and make changes in the school counseling program, based on this information.