Who Are School Counselors?
Professional school counselors, formerly referred to as "guidance counselors," are professional educators who have a master's degree or higher in school counseling (or the substantial equivalent), 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.
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:
- 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 serving as integral member of the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP);
- Career awareness, exploration and planning services, including goal setting and decision making assistance for students;
- School crisis intervention and response services;
- Collaboration and coordination of more in-depth services needed through community agencies.