ROLE OF THE SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
The School Guidance Counselor is an endorsed professional educator who assists students, teachers, parents and administrators.
To become a School Guidance Counselor, a person must have a Master's degree in Guidance & Counseling from an accredited institution and meet other endorsement requirements as defined in each state. Through their graduate programs, school guidance counselors are trained to work toward preventing the development of children's problems, intervene quickly to correct problems and their escalation and provide crisis intervention. Qualified guidance counselors must be versed in human development, career development, social systems, mental health, group dynamics and counseling, family therapy, physical and emotional rehabilitation, individual assessment, organizational behavior, human relationships, psychology, placement and referral. They are truly human development specialists and should play a central role in the education of our youth.
School Guidance Counselors must be endorsed by their state board of education. The vast majority of school guidance counselors are former classroom teachers with classroom experience; this includes an intricate knowledge of the inner working of the school and how students function within it. School Counselors are employed in elementary, middle/junior high, high school and post-secondary schools. They work in programs according to age-specific developmental stages of growth.
*Guidance Counselors help students individually, and in groups to grow personally and socially.
*Guidance Counselors support students in developing an individual plan (EDP) for academic success.
*Guidance Counselors teach students how career exploration planning pays off with successful jobs.
*Guidance Counselors work with all students, parents, teachers and administrators to improve student achievement.
*Guidance Counselors show students how to develop positive attitudes, make effective decisions, resolve conflicts and respect others.
In 1998, there are reported to be approximately 90,000 school guidance counselors working in America with a typical ratio of 517 students to one counselor; the American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of no more than 250:1.2010 Counseling to Student Ratios by State (Michigan 643:1)
Here is one district's job posting on some minimum requirements for the job:
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: 1. Possess strength and stamina to be able to remain in a seated position for up for up to 90 minutes at a time throughout the work day with a minimum of fatigue or discomfort. 2. Possess visual acuity and stamina to work at a computer for at least part of each day with a minimum of fatigue or discomfort. 3. Possess strength and stamina to be able to remain in a standing position for up to 90 minutes at a time throughout the work day with a minimum of fatigue or discomfort. 4. Possess sufficient strength to lift objects that weigh at least 50 pounds and move them more than 50 feet.
44 Reasons to listen to your guidance counselor
General Counseling Questions
Endorsement as a School Guidance Counselor in Michigan
Accredited School Guidance Counselor Programs
Effectiveness of School Guidance Counseling
Benchmarks for School Guidance Counselors and Michigan School Health Education Curriculum
School Counselor Rules in Michigan
Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling in Michigan
High School Guidance Counseling survey
College and Career Guidance Counseling
Portrait of a Counselor
Occupational Outlook Handbook Job Description
Counselor to Student Ratio Chart
Truth about School Counseling
School Counselor Newsletter
10 Survival Skills for School Counselors (College Board)
Bob Turba Bits and Bytes
Life as a School Guidance Counselor
Confidentiality and the Guidance Counselor
USA Today article May 27, 2004: School Counselors stretched thin
Frank Beckmann article from Detroit News June 10, 2005: Guidance Counselors Fail
Professional Organizations and Associations