What is a school counselor?
"A certified, highly-qualified, [minimum] master's-level professional counselor who addresses needs of all students in the areas of academic, career, personal/social development while at the same time, working collaboratively with educators, families, and the community."
The West Virginia School Counseling Program is based on the American School Counselor Association National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs. The mission for West Virginia school counseling programs is to focus on academic, career and personal/social development to ensure that every student benefits from a program that is comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature. The majority of the school counselor's time is spent in direct services to students, imparting specific skills and learning opportunities in a proactive manner. School counselors will collaborate with the full education team, advocate to improve student learning, and lead efforts for systemic change.
The vision for counselors in West Virginia is that all West Virginia students will acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to reach their fullest potential and successfully manage their lives as healthy, responsible, competent and productive citizens who respect themselves and others.
A shared vision to provide West Virginia students appropriate and quality counseling guided an initiative to redefine existing school counseling programs. Collaborative work among the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia School Counselor Association, the education leadership of the West Virginia Legislature, and school counselors across the state resulted in sweeping legislation that redefined school counseling in West Virginia in with state code revisions in 2002 and WVDE policy changes in 2004.
The redefinition in legislation and State Board Policy 2315 adopts the National Standards for School Counseling Programs developed by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). At the core of this national model are student centered standards and competencies in three domains: academic, career, and personal/social development. The ASCA National Model® reflects a major change in the way school counselors approach their work.
In February 2007 the state board established a full-time school counseling coordinator position to lead efforts to assist WV counselors in aligning school counseling programs with Policy 2315. Contact our School Counseling Coordinator, Barbara Ashcraft Brady, firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions or concerns regarding school counseling.