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5 Roles of a School Counselor

School Counselor Duties

  • Behavioral, Academic, Aptitude and College/Job Counseling
  • Bridge Between Students, Administrators, Teachers and Parents
  • Maintain Student Records
  • Make Referrals to Outside Agencies
  • Identify and Address Issues That Interfere With Education

School counselors are trained professionals employed by individual schools or school districts to address issues that affect students’ education. These can be emotional/personal, behavioral, academic, institutional, or even related to home life. According to Forbes, school counselors are a central part of a productive educational experience.

Behavioral, Academic, College/Job Counseling

A major aspect of the school counselor’s role is helping students choose a college or career path. The school counselor acts as a student guide throughout the years of a student’s education. They help students find interests and aptitude through discussion and tests, assist with behavioral issues and other social aspects of student life as well. They are someone any student can come to talk to when they are having trouble at school or life in general.

Bridge Between Students, Administrators, Teachers and Parents

One very important role of a school counselor is being a liaison between all the human parts of the educational system. Some or all parties may need to be involved in an issue. The counselor examines how problems can be addressed, and deal with each individual group or with all groups together to reach a solution. They can also help diffuse or act as a mediator in a situation when two or more parties can’t work things out together.

Maintain Student Records

Student records are made up of more than just lists of classes taken and grades earned. Counselors must be able to look at the student as a whole during their school years in order to advise them properly or address areas that may need improvement to help them succeed. This is also helpful when assisting students with what to do after high school. They help students look at possible future employment/careers, what college major they might like to pursue, what colleges to apply to, financial aid, and other options.

Make Referrals to Outside Agencies

School counselors are often the first people in a child’s life to realize that there may be a serious problem that has to be addressed outside of the school system. They are also what are called mandated reporters: people (especially professionals) required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the proper authorities. When counselors talk to students, they are trained to notice signs of abuse, neglect, psychological, behavioral, or other problems, and when necessary, refer students and/or their families to outside professionals for help.

Identify and Address Issues That Interfere With Education

The school is an intricate system of people, situations, and institutions that must work smoothly together in order for a child to get a good education. The school counselor is trained to understand how the different parts of that system work and observe their own school or school system to be certain all the parts are fulfilling their purpose. If a problem is brought up by students, teachers, the administration, or parents, the school counselor can address that problem with other parties and contribute to a satisfactory solution for everyone to create the best possible educational environment.

Related Resource: Top 30 Online Master’s in School Counseling

The duties of a school counselor vary according to the age of their students. All school counselors are central in helping students navigate social and educational issues and help them develop the skills they will need to succeed to get an education as well as in their future. The role of a school counselor can be central to the success of any student.