School Counseling Services

General Information

The professional school counselor is a certified/licensed educator trained in school counseling, holding a master’s degree or higher, with unique qualifications and skills to address all student’s academic, personal/social and career development needs. Professional school counselors implement an age appropriate comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student achievement. Professional school counselors are employed in elementary, middle and high schools. Their work is differentiated by attention to developmental stages of student growth, including the needs, tasks and student interests related to those stages.

Professional school counselors serve a vital role in maximizing student achievement through leadership, advocacy and collaboration. Promoting equity, access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences for all students is a vital part of the Professional School Counseling experience. Professional school counselors are student advocates that support a safe learning environment and work to safeguard the human rights of all members of the school community. Collaborating with other stakeholders to promote student achievement, professional school counselors address the needs of all students through prevention and intervention programs that are a part of a comprehensive school counseling program based on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model.

Professional school counselors develop confidential relationships and help students resolve or cope with problems and developmental concerns. They work diligently to uphold ethical and professional standards and to promote the development the ASCA National Model framework to improve student achievement: foundation, delivery, management and accountability.

Foundation

Professional school counselors identify personal beliefs and philosophies as to how all students benefit from the school counseling program and act on these beliefs and philosophies to guide the development and implementation of an ASCA based comprehensive school counseling program. Professional school counselors create a mission statement supporting the school’s mission and collaborate with administrators, teachers, parents, students and community leaders to promote all students’ academic, career and personal/social development.

Delivery

Professional school counselors provide services to students, parents, school staff and the community in the following areas:

  • School Guidance Curriculum: This curriculum consists of structured lessons designed to help students achieve the desired competencies and to provide all students with the appropriate developmental level knowledge and skills. The comprehensive school guidance curriculum is delivered throughout the school's overall curriculum and is systematically presented by professional school counselors in collaboration with other professional educators in P-12 classrooms and group activities.
  • Individual Student Planning: Professional school counselors design and coordinate ongoing systemic activities to help students establish and achieve academic, career and personal/social goals.
  • Responsive Services: Responsive services are prevention and/or intervention activities to meet immediate and future needs. These needs can be necessitated by events and conditions in students’ lives and may require any of the following:
    • individual or group counseling
    • consultation with parents, teachers and community representatives
    • referrals to other school support services or community resources
    • peer helpers/mediation
  • System Support: System support consists of establishing, maintaining and enhancing the total school counseling program. These activities include professional development, consultation, collaboration, program management and operations. Professional school counselors are committed to continual personal and professional development and are proactively involved in professional organizations promoting school counseling at the local, state and national levels.

Management

Professional school counselors incorporate organizational processes and tools that are concrete, clearly delineated and reflective of the school’s needs. Tools and processes include:

  • Professional agreements developed with and approved by administrators to the school counseling program goals and objectives
  • Advisory councils made up of students, parents, teachers, counselors administrators and community members make recommendations for program improvement
  • Use of student data to affect systemic change
  • Action plans for prevention and intervention services defining the desired student competencies and achievement results
  • Allotment of 80 percent of the professional school counselor's time in direct service with students
  • Use of master and weekly calendars to keep students, parents, teachers and administrators informed of the school counseling program

Accountability

Professional school counselors report using measurable terms, immediate, intermediate and long-range results showing how students are different as a result of the school counseling program. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the school counseling program the Professional school counselors use data show their impact on overall school improvement and student achievement. Professional school counselors conduct school counseling program audits to guide future action and improve future results for all students. The performance of the professional school counselor is evaluated on basic standards of practice expected of professional school counselors implementing a school counseling program.

Summary

Professional school counselors are certified/licensed professionals with a master’s degree or higher in school counseling or the substantial equivalent and are uniquely qualified to address the developmental needs of all students. Professional school counselors deliver a comprehensive school counseling program encouraging all students’ academic, career and personal/social development and helping all students with the goal to enhance all student achievement.
ASCA 2016

Documents and Resources

Bridge Bill and College and Career Ready Performance Index
Character Education Word of the Month
School Counselor Referral Form
School Counseling Tiers of Intervention
ACT vs SAT
ACT Registration and Test Prep
American School Counselor Association
Behavior Interventions
Call 2-1-1 Community Resource Database
Fastweb Scholarship Search
Georgia College 411
Georgia Crisis and Access Line
Georgia Department of Education
Georgia School Counselor Association
Khan Academy
Mental Health Resources for Parents and Caregivers
Military Child Education Coalition
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
SAT Registration and Test Prep
United Way

Contact Information

Dr. Trikella L. Nelson LPC, NCC, PSC, YMHFA
Director of Guidance and Counseling Services

706-748-2226

Tania Rogers
Administrative Assistant

706-748-2226 or 706-392-2372
706-748-2227 Fax