Who Are School Counselors?
Professional School Counselors are professional educators who have a master's degree or higher in school counseling and are certified or licensed by the state in which they work. Professional school counselors possess the qualifications and skills necessary to address the full array of students' academic, personal, social, and career development needs.
Professional school counselors advocate for and care for students, and are important members of the educational team. They consult and collaborate with teachers, administrators and families to help all students be successful academically, vocationally and personally.
Today there are over 100,000 highly trained professional school counselors working in America's public schools. School counselors are on the front lines helping all young people succeed, impacting their futures on a daily basis.
School Counselor Qualifications
School Counselors are certified or licensed professionals who possess a master's degree or higher in school counseling, or the substantial equivalent, and are uniquely qualified to address the developmental needs of all students.
Professional school counselors are required by most public school systems to have taken advanced-degree coursework in the following topics:
- Human Growth and Development
- Counseling Theory
- Individual Counseling
- Group Counseling
- Social and Cultural Foundations
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Professional Orientation
- Career Development
- Supervised Practicum
- Supervised Internship
What Do School Counselors Do?
Professional School Counselors provide a wide-range of services in the schools, based on individual student needs and student interests, including but not limited to:
(reprinted from "What is a School Counselor", American Counseling Association, 2005)
- Mental, emotional, social, developmental, and behavioral services to students and families
- Academic guidance and support services, including organizational, study, and test-taking skills for students
- Special education services including Student Assistance Team (SAT) case management and monitoring
- Career education, awareness, exploration and planning services, including goal setting and decision making assistance for students
- School crisis intervention and responsive services
- Collaboration and coordination of more in-depth services needed through community agencies
- Mental health and other community referrals