School counseling education programs are often accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) which evaluates programs for counseling education on the basis of standards set forth by their respective counseling profession. There are many school counseling educational resources available to counselors-in-training to help guide their academic studies. Professional organizations offer student memberships for access to some academic journals as well as providing liability insurance that is required for most internships in various states.
The field of professional school counseling is expansive and incorporates many roles and responsibilities apart from working with students. There are several different levels of educational settings that school counselors can pursue a career in: elementary, middle, high school, post-secondary, or as a school counseling director/coordinator. For all of these settings, school counselors should make strides to be informed on legal concerns that affect their students and profession to include educational mandates and legislation.
Although often overlooked, another resource for professional school counselors and graduate students is professional education blogs by other school counselors or teachers. Through these, readers are able to receive insightful experiences through the eyes of another professional in many different educational settings. Some blogs also provide counseling resources and/or examine new trends, research or techniques.
After earning a Master’s degree in School Counseling, professional school counselors can choose to pursue different career pathways. From helping 1st graders learn about friendship to preparing high school seniors to pursue their career goals, the field of school counseling supports today’s students in various ways.
Elementary: Assist first time and young students in developing their academic self-concept, feeling of competence and confidence while establishing decision-making, communication and life skills.
Middle/Junior: Guide students through exploration of self, world, and relationships paired with the development of their identity, relationship, communication, and decision-making skills to connect their learning to practical applications in life and the world of work.
Secondary: In the final transition to adulthood, students are guided by school counselors in defining their independence and career goals while providing support on decision-making with relationships, post-secondary planning, and joining a competitive job market.
Post-Secondary: Through additional certifications, licensures, and/or professional development, school counselors can pursue a career in post-secondary settings to support counselors-in-training in becoming professionals through supervised field experiences, in-service seminars, and post-master’s research.
Directors/Coordinators: Supporting school counselors in their guidance of students, directors/coordinators help to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling programs that are aligned with school, district, and state missions to promote the achievement of every student by leading and encouraging professionals to advocate for student needs.
Because school counselors work with students in educational settings, it is important that departments and professionals keep up-to-date with the educational and counseling legislature. The ASCA has thoughtfully compiled a list of the most pertinent educational legislature as well as laws that affect school counselors.
Learn more on legislature and professional school counseling:
Academic Journals for Professional School Counseling
Professional School Counseling: Through membership of the American School Counselor Association, this journal provides school counselors with peer-reviewed information on theory, research, and best practice for the profession as well as techniques, materials, and tools to help school counselors with their professional development and curriculum.
American Counseling Association (ACA) Journals: The ACA publishes several journals: on development of the profession, career growth, counseling and values, education and supervision, addictions, college counseling, employment, humanistic counseling, and multicultural development.
The Professional Counselor: Published by the National Board of Certified Counselors, this academic journal offers peer-reviewed, open-access manuscripts on mental and behavioral health, couple, marriage, and family counseling, supervision, theory development, multicultural issues, program applications, and integrative perspectives from counseling and related fields.
Journal of School Counseling (JSC): Sponsored by Montana State University, the JSC is dedicated to providing professional school counselors with information on effective practices of school counseling through the promotion of thoughts, practices, and research from school counselors across the country.
Through most school counseling programs, electronic library access permits students to explore some of these journals and more for research, theory development, and practice growth. ProQuest could be the most commonly used access point for searches and organization of these developmental and informational journals.
Other universities may also offer public access to academic publications such as Princeton on The Development of Children Ages 6 to 14 by Dr. Eccles from the University of Michigan. Utilizing Google Scholar could prove valuable as a point of reference to begin research if counselors-in-training do not have access to academic journals through their program’s library.
One of the perks of membership to the American School Counselor Association is the automatic enrollment in liability insurance. This certificate of insurance is required for pursuing internship or field experience hours for completion of your school counseling master’s degree. Some students may be required to pursue a membership from the American Counseling Association as well, to supplement the minimum coverage needed.
Teachers Pay Teachers: Lesson plans and tools provided for free or at low-cost on a wide variety of school counseling topics from character education to career development.
Resources for School Counselors: from ACA → School counselor advocacy, student loan forgiveness, No Child Left Behind, Bullying, Disaster Preparedness, and more are offered from the ACA.
Therapist Aid → Providing counseling and mental health professions with free worksheets, interactive tools, guides, videos, articles, and more to support their practice and guidance of students and clients.
Psychology Tools → Offering free worksheets and resources for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
The Classroom → Free education resource for educators, administrators, and school counselors. The Guidance section offers a plethora or resources for students, parents, and school counselors.
BullyProof Classroom → Offering information specific to bullying prevention and intervention, author James Burns provides educators and school personnel with an in-depth look into addressing this behavior.