The school counseling program covers three areas of student development: academic, career, and personal/social. The program reflects the progression of student’s skills in these areas across the kindergarten through grade 5 years. The Counselor may deliver services through a variety of methods:
- Individual Counseling
In a confidential setting, the professional school counselor employs specific counseling techniques to assist students in areas such as: educational planning for middle school, career planning, developing positives attitudes and behavior, developing skills related to decision making and problem solving, dealing with interpersonal relationships, and crisis intervention.
- Small Group Counseling
In small group counseling, the counselor meets with two or more students. In this setting students work on shared tasks and develop supportive relationships. Through giving and receiving feedback, students have the opportunity to gain valuable skills in how to learn and live with others. Group discussion may be problem centered, where attention is given to a particular concern or problem; or group discussion may be growth oriented, where topics are related to personal and academic development.
- Classroom Guidance
Through a planned classroom lessons, counselors assist teachers with meaningful activities targeting the personal/social, academic, and career development of students. Lessons may focus on topics such as career awareness, test information, test taking skills, or interpersonal skills. The program is proactive and seeks to prevent problems by developing skills in areas such as communication, decision making, conflict resolution, cross cultural effectiveness and personal safety.
Counselors confer directly with teachers, parents, administrators and other helping professionals. Consultation provides for the mutual sharing and analysis of information and ideas to assist in planning implementing strategies to help students. Consultation may take place in individual or group conferences, through staff development activities, or parent education classes.
Counselors serve as a liaison between teachers, parents, support personnel, and community resources to facilitate successful school development. This may include assisting parents to obtain needed services for their children through a referral and follow-up process. It also includes orienting new students to the school and coordinating student transition to the next educational or career level.
- Program Evaluation and Development
Counselors must assess the needs of the students and families in the schools which they serve, evaluate their programs, and make changes in the school counseling program, based on this information.