Counselors’ Role / Services Provided

School counselors are certified/licensed educators who maximize success for ALL students by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program aligned with the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model. Counselors focus on proactively helping students acquire the beliefs, knowledge, and skills needed for academic achievement, emotional, personal, and social management, and post-secondary success. The school counselor may deliver services through a variety of methods.

Individual student appraisal and advisement – In a confidential setting, the professional school counselor employs specific counseling techniques to assist the individual student in exploring their abilities, interests, skills, and achievement to make decisions and develop immediate and long-range goals and plans. School counseling is short-term in nature and assists students in areas such as developing positives attitudes and behavior, developing skills related to decision making and problem solving, dealing with interpersonal relationships, educational planning for middle school, and crisis intervention. Students may refer themselves or they may be referred by parent/guardian, staff member, or administrator. Crisis intervention is also provided when needed. Parent/guardian permission is required for ongoing individual counseling.

School counseling classroom lessons based on student success standards – Systematically planned classroom learning experiences designed to help all students attain the desired competencies in addition to the attitudes, knowledge, and skills appropriate for their developmental level with respect to their social/emotional, academic, and career development. The lessons are evidence-based and often use books, videos, and music to teach students how to be successful learners.

Small group counseling – The counselor assists students as they work on shared tasks and develop supportive relationships. Group activities are designed to address commonly shared concerns and/or developmental difficulties in areas such as interpersonal relationships with peers and/or adults, school attendance, academic achievement, behavior, emotional management, or coping with life changes such as grief and loss. Groups generally meet for 5 to 6 sessions and last for 20 to 30 minutes. Permission is required for participation

“Lunch Bunches” – An opportunity for students to meet and gain skills in communicating, problem solving, and interacting with others. These small groups meet for 6 sessions and occur during lunch. Permission is required for participation.

Responsive services – Activities designed to meet students’ immediate needs and concerns.  May include individual, small group, or classroom settings, parent/guardian and staff consultation, crisis response, crisis counseling, referrals to outside agencies and follow up.

Consultation, Collaboration, and Referrals with families/teachers/ administrators/ community for student success – Counselors work and communicate with staff, parents/guardians, administrators, and other helping professionals to provide for the mutual sharing and analysis of information and ideas to assist in planning and implementing strategies to best support students’ needs. In this role, the counselor confers with others to assist the student in dealing more effectively with developmental, academic, or adjustment needs. The counselor also promotes systemic change to address the needs of groups of underserved or underrepresented groups of students and refers students/families to outside providers and resources as necessary.

Advocacy for students at individual education plan meetings and other student-focused meetings

Data analysis to identify student issues, needs and challenges

Systems change agent to improve equity and access, achievement, and opportunities for all students


The Essential Role of Elementary School Counselors

The Role of the School Counselor