What does a School Counselor Do?


    School Counselor's Role - Thomas Jefferson

    The Role of the School Counselor

    The elementary school years set the foundation for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Elementary school counselors have an impact on these years by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and collaborating with school staff, parents and the community to create a safe and respectful learning environment. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, elementary school counselors help their students achieve academic success, develop an understanding of career opportunities and develop social/emotional skills in response to issues they face.

    Elementary school counselors hold a master's degree and require state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes ongoing professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today's students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor's knowledge and effectiveness.


    Elementary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:

    School Guidance Curriculum (classroom lessons)

    * Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills

    * Goal setting and decision-making

    * Career awareness, exploration and planning

    * Education on understanding self and others

    * Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills

    * Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution

    * Substance abuse education

    * Multicultural/diversity awareness


    Individual Student Planning

    * Academic planning

    * Goal setting/decision- making

    * Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses

    * Transition plans


    Responsive Services

    * Individual and small-group counseling

    * Individual/family/school crisis intervention

    * Conflict resolution

    * Consultation/collaboration

    * Referrals


    System Support

    * Professional development

    * Consultation, collaboration and teaming

    * Program management and operation


    Elementary School Counselors Collaborate with:


    * Parent education

    * Communication/networking

    * Academic planning

    * College/career awareness programs

    * One-on-one parent conferencing

    * Interpretation of assessment results



    * Classroom guidance activities

    * Academic support, including learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically

    * Classroom speakers

    * At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success



    * School climate

    * Behavioral management plans

    * School-wide needs assessments

    * Student data and results

    * Student assistance team building



    * Peer education

    * Peer support

    * Academic support

    * School climate

    * Leadership development



    * Job shadowing, service learning

    * Crisis interventions

    * Referrals

    * Parenting classes

    * Support groups

    * Career education


    This information is courtesy of the American School Counselor's Association.