WHY IS SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL) SO IMPORTANT IN SCHOOL?
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Role of the School Counselor
Parents, the press, administrators and the general public often wonder just what it is that school counselors do on a daily basis. Gone are the days of school counselors sitting in their office simply handing out college applications, making schedule changes for students who want to drop a class or waiting for a crisis to occur. Today's school counselors are vital members of the education team. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, career and social/emotional development, ensuring today's students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. Learn more about the school counselor's role or download an infographic about the school counselor's role.
Why Elementary School Counselors?
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 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 required state certificate 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.
The ASCA National Model provides a flexible framework elementary school counselors use to develop a school counseling program designed to meet their students’ unique needs. The delivery of this program includes: Direct student services including: instruction – teaching the school counseling curriculum to students focused on the lens of selected student standards from the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success. Appraisal and advisement – assessing student abilities, interests and achievement to help them make decisions about their future. Counseling – providing professional assistance and support to a student or small group of students during times of transition, heightened stress, critical change or other situations impeding student success. School counselors do not provide therapy or long-term counseling in schools. However, school counselors are prepared to recognize and respond to student mental health needs and assist students and families seeking resources. Indirect student services include: consultation – share strategies supporting student achievement with parents, teachers, other educators and community organizations collaboration – working with other educators, parents and the community to support student achievement referrals – support for students and families to school or community resources for additional assistance and information.
RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL COUNSELING
Numerous studies demonstrate the value of school counseling for students in the domains of academic development, college and career readiness and social/ emotional development. Results of research about the effectiveness of school counseling can be found at schoolcounselor.org/effectiveness. THE ASCA NATIONAL MODEL: A FRAMEWORK FOR SCHOOL COUNSELING For more information about school counseling programs based on the ASCA National Model, go to schoolcounselor.org/ascanationalmodel. (Revised, 2019)