Counselor Counselors - Making The Difference

                                                                                    

At the turn of the 20th century, school counselors did not exist. Instead, teachers used a few minutes of their time to offer vocational guidance to students preparing for work.

The school mission of today is not altogether different than in the 1900s. Today, in a world enriched by diversity and technology, school counselors’ chief mission is still supporting the academic achievement of all students so they are prepared for the ever-changing world of the 21st century.

School counselors do not work in isolation; instead, they are professionals, integral to the total educational program. This evolution from minutes a day to trained professionals implementing a school counseling program is the result of professional scholars, counselor educators, administrators and school counselors having the vision, knowledge and determination to move forward (Hatch & Bowers, 2002).

Benefits for Students
· Ensures every student receives the benefit of the school counseling program by designing content curriculum for every student.
· Monitors data to facilitate student improvement.
· Provides strategies for closing the achievement gap, because some students need more.
· Promotes a rigorous academic curriculum for every student.
· Ensures equitable access to educational opportunities.
· Fosters advocacy for students.
· Supports development of skills to increase student success.

Benefits for Parents and Guardians
· Provides support for advocating for their children’s academic/learning, life/career, multicultural/ global citizen and personal/social development.
· Supports partnerships in their children’s learning and career planning.
· Ensures academic planning for every student.
· Ensures access to school and community resources.
· Provides training and informational workshops.
· Connects to community- and school-based services.
· Provides data for continuous information on student progress.
· Ensures every student receives the content of the school counseling curriculum.
· Promotes a philosophy that some students need more, and seeks to ensure they receive it.

Benefits for School Boards and Departments of Education
· Provides a rationale based on data for implementing a school counseling program.
· Ensures equity and access to a quality school counseling program for every student.
· Demonstrates the need for appropriate levels of funding.
· Articulates appropriate licenses and staffing ratios.
· Informs the community about school counseling program success.
· Supports standards-based programs.
· Provides data about improved student achievement.

The Office of Institutional Education Programs (OIEP) School Counselors set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for students to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children can achieve academic success.

OIEP School Counselors, thank you for all that you do!

Posted: July 7, 2009
From Tech-niques, July 2009