As a school counselor in practice, my philosophy of the role of the school counselor is that school counselors play a tremendous role in the life of their student and is very important for us, school counselors to be aware of our role in the students’ life. We play a big role in their development of different areas such as personal development, career/academic development, and social development. Therefore, what guide me to this career is that I want to be able to advocate for my students, and to help student succeed not only academically but also mentally, socially and to provide them with the tools that they need to be successful in life.
After I completed the IIR, I thought it would be beneficial to review the MCGCP in order to determine what areas are most important. After reviewing the MCGCP, it appears as though the top priorities at the middle school level include system support and guidance curriculum. These two areas are where middle school counselors should spend the most time on and allocate the most resources for. My site scored fairly decently in these areas, earning scores of 86% and 87% respectively. I took a closer look at each of these sections and paid close attention to the elements that received a score of three or less, meaning that these elements are not being fully implemented into the counseling program. I highlighted these items and added them to
The Comprehensive School Counseling Program Notebook which follows the ASCA National Model third edition was created in School Counseling Programs. This notebook is divided into four components as directed by the comprehensive school counseling program: foundation, delivery, management, and accountability. The Foundation section includes my core beliefs, my vision, my mission, rationale, description, and goals of the program at Mountain Home Junior School. Delivery, Management, and Accountability (AR 1.2).
Children are the future of the world. I feel as though it is important to invest in their academic, psychological, and physical development. School counseling is a potential career option that would allow me to achieve that goal. For this reason, I chose to interview my cousin, Ms. Sonya Wright, a professional school counselor at the Barack and Michelle Obama Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In her position, she is expected to guide, support, and advise students and their families in hopes to alleviate any problems or issues that may cause the student stress. Her main goal is to be a resource for students so that they are able to successfully perform academically and mentally function inside and outside of the classroom. She is able to reach students in a way that allows them the opportunity for stability and support to succeed and thrive. Having the ability to inspire and influence a child in such a powerful way is something that strive for in my future aspirations.
The purpose of the School Counseling profession has evolved over time in order to promote student success, at all grade levels, depending on current trends. Presently, the American School Counselor Association, also referred to as the ASCA, describes the role of a School Counselor as a certified/licensed educator who:
You are a Licensed Professional School Counselor working in a middle school in North Carolina and one of my former students Tierra has graduated and has come by my office to share her plans after graduation. While talking with her, she has informed me that she had been romantically involved with her high school counselor, Zack for most of her senior year in high school but that they had recently decided to just be friends. Tierra also stated they had not been involved sexually, and had not gone any further than kissing.
My pursuit of becoming a School Counselor led me to apply to the School Counseling Master’s Program at University of Maryland, College Park. I am a former student at University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After graduating and teaching for two years in Prince George’s County Public Schools, I discovered my true passion lies not only in the classroom and students’ academics, but playing a pivotal role in the growth of their career, social, and personal development. Although I am no longer teaching full-time at the moment, my interaction with students from diverse backgrounds left an indelible responsibility to continue making a difference in our students. The objectives and mission of the School Counseling Master’s Program at University of Maryland can best help my goal of becoming an effective counselor and leader who is an agent of change to students and service the mental and emotional well-being of the younger generation.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is the division of the American Counseling Association (ACA) that supports the development of professional school counselors. It published the ASCA National Model (2012), which provides a framework for a comprehensive school counseling program that includes four quadrants: Foundation, Delivery, Management, and Accountability. The National Model also offers a detailed account of the role, function, and competencies of professional school counselors. It specifically addresses how the proper use of professional school counselors and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program can enhance the education of the whole student at the elementary, middle, or high school level (ASCA,
McAllister, Margaret, Morrissey, Shirley, McAuliffe, Donna, Davidson, Grahm, McConnell, Harry, & Reddy, Prasuna (2011). Teaching ideas for generating critical and constructive insights into well-functioning multidisciplinary mental health teams. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 6(2), 117-127.
In schools all over the world today, School Counselors are crucial to assisting students, parents, school administrations, and the community. I believe that creating an effective counseling program that supports the counselors’ role in education will foster a close interaction between students and counselor to achieve success in their personal/social lives, academic achievements, and college readiness careers.
The choices we make early in life have an enormous impact on our future. I have always known that I wanted to directly impact people’s lives and my personal experiences have set me on the school-counseling path. In the future, I would love to influence another generation of students to soar for their dreams.
School counselors provide individual and group counseling for issues that impact academic achievement (Erford, 2015). Counselors in schools typically provide prevention, education, crisis response, and short term intervention services (ASCA, 2008). School counselors create groups from data, and usually develop psychoeducational groups to address identified skills needed (ASCA, 2008). While school counselors are taught how to respond to mental health issues, they concentrate on problems that are impeding personal, social, career, or educational development (Erford, 2015). Professional school counselors often choose strengths based and brief approaches to counseling to support student success (Erford, 2015). Individual counseling in schools provides students with resilience, encouragement, empowerment, acceptance, and a secure relationship (Erford, 2015). School counselors provide either counseling or psychoeducational groups. The counseling groups are crisis, problem, or growth centered. School counselors are able to provide many
School counseling programs are designed to serve the school as a whole. They serve the students as counselors, act as consultants to teachers, parents and administrators and coordinate activities to implement the developmental guidance program. However, in order to have an effective program they need to instill the qualities of Lencioni’s model into their interaction with the individuals they serve.
It takes a special person to become a school counselor and in doing so it is important to take those life skills, knowledge, dispositions, and background experiences to help along the way. In the counseling field there are some guidelines and theories that will help, but nothing that prepares you for what may happen at any moment or any time during the day. It is clear that life definitely throws some unexpected curve balls and that is the same for situations in the field of school counseling. You never know what situation you will run into and in order to dodge those curve balls it is those life experiences that often time influence the direction in which we take both personally and professionally. It is important to compile all the knowledge and experiences that we have gained throughout life and apply them in a way that will help others to be successful. It is key to reflect on the past and those skills that I have that will lead me to become an effective professional school counselors.
This week I had the opportunity to fulfill my practicum hours at two different locations. The locations that I observed were Columbia Elementary School’s summer care program and a Mad City Money Event located at Members 1st Credit Union. Both experiences opened my eyes to see a wide range of situations and behaviors among kindergarten through high school. Each observation provided two very different outlooks and each contributed to my knowledge in some way.