School counselors offer support to students during their school years, helping them set and reach academic, social, emotional, and career goals. School counseling is essential for every school community, as counselors advocate for the needs of students and prepare them for success as adults. Learn more about school counseling below.
Fosters Advocacy for Students
Because school counselors spend time with students one-on-one and in groups, listening to their challenges and concerns, they remain uniquely qualified to advocate for the needs of students. As trained mediators, counselors support students as they learn to express themselves effectively to parents, teachers, peers, and administrators.
Counselors sometimes represent students in meetings with other staff and parents, such as special education meetings or disciplinary hearings. They may also serve as a critical resource to students in times of crisis or conflict, providing opportunities for students to express their concerns and feel heard.
As trained mediators, counselors support students as they learn to express themselves effectively to parents, teachers, peers, and administrators
Counselors typically serve as a critical point of contact within a school for parents with questions or concerns. Parents may reach out to counselors to discuss their child's academic progress, social issues, or emotional challenges. Counselors can help parents connect with appropriate school staff or access needed resources and can help mediate disputes between families, teachers, or other school staff. They can also provide support and information to parents advocating for their child's academic or personal needs.
Teachers may seek out a student's counselor if they are concerned about progress or behavior. Counselors help teachers understand the unique needs of each learner and the underlying causes of certain behaviors. Counselors can also reach out to families on behalf of teachers to learn more about aspects of a student's life that may impact school success. In these ways, counselors provide vital support to teachers trying to address student needs and goals appropriately.
Counselors can also visit classes to deliver guidance lessons that support the work of teachers on topics such as goal setting, social skills, academic honesty, and diversity.
A critical responsibility of school counselors — especially those working at the secondary level — involves preparing young people for success as adults
Counselors provide essential support to school leaders when they align their counseling programs and guidance curricula with the goals and missions of their schools. As counselors develop and deliver guidance that supports and promotes school aims and core values, they help schools meet their educational objectives.
Counselors may also support school leaders seeking to understand and meet student needs or address behavioral concerns. They can help administrators learn about aspects of a student's psychology or home life that affect their behavior at school.
Helps the Community
A critical responsibility of school counselors — especially those working at the secondary level — involves preparing young people for success as adults. The benefits of school counseling extend to the community when counselors ready students for the workplace or aid them with college or career planning.
Through guidance lessons and individual counseling, school counselors help students set goals and plan for postsecondary options, including college, job training, and the military. They also help students apply for college or employment and learn how to behave in the workplace. In these ways, all communities benefit from the work of trained school counselors.
School counselors provide invaluable support to students, families, school staff, and communities in times of crisis
School counselors help students and their families access school and community services and resources. They foster collaboration among adults who can help students achieve their goals, including medical, mental health, and social service providers such as nurses or social workers. Counselors promote collaboration both inside the school and through links with outside resources.
Counselors also connect students with opportunities that can help them achieve success, including standardized tests, scholarship opportunities, college and military recruitment events, and employment fairs. School counselors employ many strategies to bring students together with the community resources they need to succeed.
Crisis Planning and Intervention
School counselors provide invaluable support to students, families, school staff, and communities in times of crisis. When death or other crises impact the school community, counselors are a critical resource and point of contact for students and for adults seeking to support students through a difficult time. In more extensive crisis situations, such as natural disasters, counselors may serve as first responders and facilitate grief counseling efforts.
Counselors also help schools plan and prepare for a crisis. They may assist teachers and administrators with drills and counsel students about how to respond in case of an emergency.Top Reasons to Explore School Counseling