My high school guidance department is embarking on the journey to become a ASCA program. ASCA (American School Counseling Association) supports school counselors’ efforts to focus on academic, career, and personal goals of students in order to help them achieve academic success.

 According to ASCA, the benefits for our counseling department will include:

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities– this means that our administration and teachers will know what our responsibilities will be to our students and parents.This may minimize non-counselor duties that take away time from our students.  At the beginning of the school year, our department will distribute a pamphlet about our counseling department.

Elimination of non-counselor duties-non-counselor duties include bus duty, test coordination, performing discipline, registration and scheduling, supervising study halls, clerical record keeping, and computing grade point averages.

Provides direct services to all students-often counselors only work with the top students or at-risk students which leaves out the other 80%. School counselors can extend their effectiveness by implementing programs like Peer Leaders, Peer Advisers, Peer Tutoring, Peer Listening, Peer Mediation, and Student Ambassadors.

Provides a tool for program management and accountability-our department will select goals and collect data to show yearly impact or deficits.

Enhances our role as student advocates-the main responsibility of the professional school counselor is to serve as a student advocate.  Advocacy includes taking risks, being a free and independent thinker, eliminating inequities, and placing high emphasis on ethics.

Ensures the academic mission of the school-in order to accomplish this goal, the school counselor has the ability to impact the climate of the school in order for learning to take place.

                              School Counselor Resources from West Virginia Department of Education

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