School Counseling Services
The primary goal of the School Counseling Program is to promote and enhance student learning through the three broad and interrelated areas of student development: Academic Development, Career Development and Personal/Social Development.
The comprehensive school counseling program integrates academic, career, and personal/social development and focuses on issues relevant to all students. Counseling, consultation, collaboration, coordination, case management, guidance curriculum, and program evaluation are the primary delivery methods in an effective counseling program.
The counselor conducts a personal and private interaction with a student in which they work together on a program or topic of interest. A face-to-face, one-on-one meeting with the counselor provides a student maximum privacy in which to freely explore ideas, feelings, and behaviors. School counselors exhibit trust and disseminate information, always respecting the rights, integrity, and welfare of students.
Counselors are obligated by law and ethical standards to report and to refer a case when a person’s welfare is in jeopardy. It is a counselor’s duty to inform an individual of the conditions and limitations under which assistance may be provided.
Small Group Counseling
In small group counseling a counselor works with two or more students together. Group size generally ranges from five to eight members. Group discussions may be relatively unstructured or may be based on structured learning activities. Group members have an opportunity to learn from each other. They can share ideas, give and receive feedback, increase their awareness, gain new knowledge, practice skills, and think about their goals and actions. Group discussions may be problem-centered, where attention is given to particular concerns or problems. Discussions may be growth-centered, where general topics are related to personal and academic development.
Large Group Counseling
Large group work involves cooperative learning methods, in which the larger group may be divided into smaller working groups under the supervision of a counselor and teacher. The school counseling curriculum, composed of organized objectives and activities, is delivered by counselors and teachers in classrooms or advisory groups. Counselors develop and present special guidance units which give attention to particular developmental issues or areas of concern in their respective schools. They may partner with teachers and other members of the school community to deliver part of the school counseling curriculum, frequently making cross-curricular connections.
The school counselor along with other support personnel addresses the specific concerns of students at-risk or with identified needs. This component of the counseling program is delivered in individual, large and small group counseling sessions, and may include consultation with parents and/or teachers.
The counselor as a consultant primarily helps parents and teachers to be more effective in working with others. Consultation helps parents and teachers think through problems and concerns, acquire more knowledge and skills, and become more objective and self-confident. This intervention can take place in individual or group conferences, through staff-development activities, or parent educational workshops. The consultation provides information and skills to parents/guardians, teachers, and the community to assist them in helping students in academic, career, and personal/social development.
Program Evaluation And Development
The counselor continually assesses the needs of students and staff, evaluates programs, and makes changes in the school counseling program to better meet the current, identified needs of students.
The counselor serves as a liaison between teachers, parents/guardians, support personnel, and community resources to facilitate successful student development. As student advocates, school counselors seek equitable access to programs and services for all students.
The counselor provides developmentally appropriate information, knowledge, and skills to promote student success in academic, career, personal/social areas. The School Counseling Essential Curriculum enables all students to reach their full potential.