What is a Counseling Program?
The counseling program in our school is available to help students, parents, and teachers develop positive learning experiences. The program consists of a variety of services and activities, including individual and group counseling, parent and teacher consultation, information services, referral assistance to other programs and services in the community, and student testing.
As the school counselor, I am responsible for developing, scheduling, and evaluating services of the program. I am also responsible for providing a four‐component program of guidance services, individual planning, responsive services, and system support.
- Guidance Services – Providing resources and curriculum that address life skills that can be utilized by all students. These include self‐confidence development, motivation to achieve, decision‐making, goal setting, planning, and problem‐solving, interpersonal effectiveness, communication skills, cross‐cultural effectiveness, and responsible behavior.
- Individual Planning – Focuses on the particular needs of individual students with regard to educational, career, and personal goals.
- Responsive Services – Include the prevention and intervention of a variety of concerns including academic success, adolescent and child suicide, child abuse and neglect, school drop‐outs, severe stress, substance abuse, school‐age pregnancy, gang pressure/involvement, and harassment issues. Areas of concern may also be about attendance, school attitudes and behaviors, peer relationships, study skills, being new to the school, school safety, death of a family member or a friend, family divorce, or family abuse.
- System Support – Whereas the three components previously described serve students directly, the system support encompasses the services and management activities which indirectly benefit students. They may include consultation with teachers, support for parent education programs, participation in the campus‐based school improvement plan, implementation of the state and local standardized testing program, and providing input from the students’ perspective to policy‐makers and instructional/curriculum planners. Management activities include counseling program development and management, staff development, community outreach, and development of appropriate written policies, procedures, and guidelines.