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The Role of School Counselors: What Does a School Counselor Do?

The answer to this question depends on the day of the week, the time period in the semester, and the student who requires assistance. On some days, the school counselor confers with administrators to determine course offerings and scheduling solutions for the student body. Other days, the school counselor meets with students and parents, planning for High School and beyond. Other days, the school counselor conducts sessions with students, helping them develop better time management, attendance and organization skills.

The responsibilities of a school counselor include:

  • Academic planning

  • Providing student counseling relative to:

    • attendance and excessive absences

    • academic concerns

    • career and college readiness

  • Identifying student needs and working with administrators to meet those needs

  • Advocating for students at Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings

  • Consulting with teachers as to foment academic growth.

  • Designing and instructing school counseling core curriculum classes.

Scope of Practice

The primary goal of the counselor is to facilitate a learning environment that helps the student have a successful academic career and the opportunity for growth. While many school counselors undergo training in programs similar to that of mental health counselors, it is not the job of the school counselor to provide routine mental health counseling sessions to students. Instead, school counselors are responsible for using their background knowledge in mental health principles to identify primary areas of concern and refer students to available services on as-needed basis.