WHAT DO HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELORS DO?
According to Section 33 of the Texas Education Code, it is a school counselor’s responsibility to help each student develop their academic, career, personal, and social abilities through a comprehensive developmental guidance program. A school counselor works as a team with staff, parents, and the community to create a successful atmosphere for students.
A school counselor plans, organizes, implements, and evaluates a comprehensive developmental guidance program that promotes the educational, career, personal, and social development of students. The comprehensive developmental guidance program should include the following 4 components: guidance curriculum, responsive services, individual planning system, and system support.
Guidance Curriculum is taught through classroom instruction by the school counselor as a preventative or remedial measure that focuses on the developmental needs of students. School counselors use the American School Counselor Association National Model and Texas Model to adapt their program to their school’s needs. Both of these models provide competencies and desired learning outcomes that play a key role in accountability. Examples of guidance units may include academic support (test-taking skills for instance), goal setting, career awareness, peer relationships, communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, diversity awareness, etc.
Responsive Services includes meeting with individual or small groups of students to counsel. Small group counseling services are available through teacher referral, parent referral, staff referral or self referral by any student. Short term individual counseling is available as needed. Counselors might also consult with parents, staff, or educators, refer students to other school support services or community resources, and provide intervention or advocacy at a systemic level.
An Individual Planning System helps students plan, monitor, and manage the decisions needed to be made throughout their educational career to establish goals and develop future plans. It educates students on understanding themselves and their strengths and weaknesses.
System Support involves supporting the staff, parents, and members of the community in the context of the program’s goals. This includes consulting and coordinating to help increase the effectiveness of the program and promote student success. It may also involve professional development.