Counseling can be very important in many schools—it can help provide important information and perspective to students who might not be able to get it otherwise. Students can go to professional counselors to seek advice. The goal of every session with the school counselor is to help student’s thrive and recognize their strengths, as well as improve their interpersonal relationships.1
The Counselor’s Role
One of the major components of a counselor's role is accountability. Why are school counselors important? Professional school counselors are often responsible for analyzing data on their own effectiveness and adjusting their techniques to maximize their value to students. As a result, the role of the counselor can be ever-changing and depends on a variety of factors at work within the school.2
One of the most important recent changes to the school counselor’s role is dealing with new forms of bullying, especially cyberbullying that often has an effect on mental health conditions. Students of younger and younger ages are using technology for communication and socializing, and by doing so, may be putting themselves at risk for a type of bullying that is difficult to deal with for both student and mental health counselor. So why is counseling important? A school counselor, or any licensed professional counselor, must always work to be aware of new social issues that are constantly arising between students and provide a counseling session or therapy when a mental health issue surfaces.
Counseling in schools should also be readily available to offer guidance to students at crucial turning points in their lives. Whether these professional counselors have a masters or a doctorate in school psychology, work in elementary, middle, or high schools, they should strive to be there for students who are going through a difficult time, struggling with mental illness, or just need advice and support. A few words from a helpful counselor can profoundly impact a student’s life by improving their outlook on school, family, and the future, and this, along with the responsibilities outlined above, form the key tenets of a modern school counselor’s role.
Effects of Quality Counseling in Schools
One of the biggest benefits of guidance and counseling in schools from a well-trained and effective school counselor is in the way they may be able to help prepare students for academic, career, and social challenges through relating their academic success with the potential success of their future lives.
Student achievement significantly affects professional development and so they should strive to:
- surpass a mental health problem, help motivate students to learn and explore the world around them to help figure out what they want to do with their lives
- encourage their students to have these types of conversations with their parents and peers, as well as being a sympathetic ear for the same students to come to
- have the ability to facilitate more intimate or group counselling sessions as well.
School counselors may also:
- provide support to teachers by serving an important part of the complete team that addresses the educational goals and needs of their students.
- help plan classroom and group activities that meet the students’ needs.
Counselors gather and share resources with teachers to help the staff develop their skills in classroom management and teaching effectiveness. They also may be able to help observe students in the classroom or playground and provide teachers assistance with their roles as guides.
Other than mental health and counseling services for student support, professional school counselors can be an integral part of school administration. They initiate counseling programs. They ensure that the comprehensive school counseling program and academic mission are in line and promote student success. Counselors also quite often develop a system to manage the program and help the administration use counselors effectively to augment student development and learning. Additionally, they provide useful data from the comprehensive school counseling program for funding and grant application purposes.3
A good school counselor can and will help the school run smoothly and effectively, but with the light and distanced touch that can often lead others to wonder what effect they have even had on their education, if any. And, like in many professions, while the accolade of one’s work may, sadly, not be there, it does not mean that there was no effect.
If school counseling or the counseling profession seems like it could be the right future career for you, look into the School Counseling with Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential, offered both with and without a Master’s degree, at the California School of Education. To learn more, contact an Alliant Admission Counselor today at 1-866-825-5426.
1“The California Standards - Schoolcounselor-Ca.org,” The California Standards for the School Counseling Profession , accessed November 3, 2021, https://www.schoolcounselor-ca.org/files/CSSCP%20-%20Electronic%20Versi….
2“The Role of the School Counselor,” The Role of the School Counselor , accessed November 3, 2021, https://www.schoolcounselor.org/getmedia/ee8b2e1b-d021-4575-982c-c84402…
3“School Counselor Roles & Ratios,” School Counselor Roles & Ratios - American School Counselor Association (ASCA), accessed November 3, 2021, https://www.schoolcounselor.org/About-School-Counseling/School-Counselo….
- “The California Standards - Schoolcounselor-Ca.org.” The California Standards for the School Counseling Profession . Accessed November 3, 2021. https://www.schoolcounselor-ca.org/files/CSSCP%20-%20Electronic%20Versi…;
- “The Role of the School Counselor.” The Role of the School Counselor . Accessed November 3, 2021. https://www.schoolcounselor.org/getmedia/ee8b2e1b-d021-4575-982c-c84402…;
- “School Counselor Roles & Ratios.” School Counselor Roles & Ratios - American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Accessed November 3, 2021. https://www.schoolcounselor.org/About-School-Counseling/School-Counselo….