What Does a School Counselor Do?

School CounselorLooking at what a school counselor does is something that every student interested in this field should do as an undergraduate. School counselors must have both an undergraduate and graduate degree, a license from the state and some fieldwork or experience that shows they are capable of working with children. As you’ll need to invest a lot of time and energy in your future career, looking at the duties of the job now can help you decide if this is the right path for you.

Plan and Implement New Programs

When searching for information on what a school counselor does, many students find that these counselors plan and implement new programs in a single school or across an entire school district. They design programs that look at a specific problem affecting the students and help students understand how those problems can affect them. Counselors might host a rally to show students the dangers of drinking and driving, talk with those students about bullying from their peers or discuss the dangers of inappropriate relationships between students and teachers or other adults in the community.

Offer Behavioral Counseling

As this is a counseling field, school counselors must also be capable of offering behavioral counseling. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school counselors may offer group counseling sessions or individual counseling sessions with a single student. They use these sessions as a way to broach different topics with students and to make those students feel more comfortable. A school counselor might work with a student experiencing harassment from his or her peers. They also work with students nearing the end of their high school careers to help them apply to colleges or find employment after graduating.

Identify Common Issues

Looking at what a school counselor does will show you that these counselors identify common issues affecting the school or the community at large. They need to know how to identify the signs of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and how to identify those signs in their students. Once a counselor finds signs of a common issue, he or she must contact the administrators working for the school and the parents of the child. In cases of abuse or neglect, counselors have the legal right to contact law enforcement for additional help. Police officers and government agencies can use the testimony of counselors to file charges against others.

Work with Teachers

Counselors working in all types of schools must also know how to work effectively with others and especially how to work with teachers working in the school. They might talk with other teachers about concerns they have regarding other students or to find additional proof of a problem with that child. They’re also responsible for informing teachers of problems that might make a child act out, including the death of a parent or another major change at home. Teachers and counselors work together to make students feel more comfortable and safer while at school.

Related Resource: Vocational Counselor

Not all schools employee counselors, but those that do know that counselors can make students feel safer and more protected. They help students with everything from applying for college or a job to dealing with abuse at home. Those searching for what a school counselor does will also find that they design and implement new programs and work directly with teachers and administrators.