The School Counselor Toolkit
School Counseling is not a simple method involving a basic set of duties that can fit neatly into a well-defined box. The duties and actions school counselors undertake are as vast and colorful as are the types of individuals who populate our communities.
Hence, the necessity of an ever evolving and growing bag of resources… a School Counselor’s toolkit…
- Top Picks
Featured Universities with School Counseling Programs
NYU Steinhardt's accredited master of arts program in Counseling and Guidance: School and Bilingual School Counseling. Through this online program, you will gain the skills you need to become a professional Pre-K-12 school counselor, working with children and families in your community to foster academic achievement and success. Click here to contact New York University and request information about their programs.
Become a professional school counselor in K-12 settings with an online Master of Education (ME) in School Counseling from top-ranked USC Rossier School of Education. Complete in as few as 20 months. Click here to contact USC Rossier School of Education and request information about their programs.
Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling online from the University of Denver. Learn from doctoral-level faculty in live classes and gain experience through mock counseling and in-field training. No GRE required. Click here to contact University of Denver and request information about their programs.
Below is a list of responsibilites typically associated with school counseling and web resources that will help you satisfy these responsibilities successfully.
- Anger Management Lesson Plan from PBS
- For the struggling school counselor, it is good to remember anger is simply an emotional state that is accompanied with a physiological change, the degree of which can vary greatly. So, it is important to realize that reactions coming from anger are often not directly correlated to bad decision making in the eyes of a student. The student needs a better understanding of his or her self and the right tools to help make better decisions in times of heated debate or irritation.
- The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – The Anxious Child
- “The Anxious Child” offers a good base of knowledge to help you recognize and understand the typical causes for anxiety in children and teenagers. This is a great place to refresh your understanding and a is also a good jumping point for taking the next step. The following link is another article/resource by the AACAP that provides more information and resources for diagnostics and help, Anxiety Disorders.
- Behavior Advisor
- Created by “Dr. Mac”, this website at first glance appears to be a half-hearted attempt to breach the topic. No offense to Dr. Mac! However, on further inspection, you will find a fairly comprehensive list of behavior management topics, concept explanations, and intervention strategies for addressing each issue.
- Connecticut Labor Market Information: Career Paths
- The Connecticut Department of Labor has put together a great guide to help students (and school counselors) introduce themselves to the various career path options available to them. You will find typical wages associated with careers, required education and the necessary interest levels for success in particular industries.
- Going to College
- Help students use this tool to get a better understanding of their strengths and to distill their career desires from their personalities and future goals. You will also find teaching and counseling resources on this website that will aid in your college preparation curriculum development.
- College Planning for Students with Disabilities
- A PDF document provided by Education Quest Foundation with various procedures and tools aimed at helping school counselors provide career guidance to students with disabilities.
- Learning to Communicate – The Journal
- Web 2.0 tools and explanations for the direction communication skill development is taking and how a school counselor or teacher can take advantage of web tools to better understand students, their needs, and what is required for contemporary students to best develop skills of communication.
- American Student Achievement Institute (ASAI) – Webcasts
- The ASAI Institute is only offering full services to a few states so far. However, their webcasts provide a great conceptual framework for initiating evaluations of students by clearly organizing and stating the goals of school counselors. In particular, it may be helpful to listen to the following ASAI Webcast regarding Guidance and Counseling Priorities.
- Sample IEP Document from the Virginia State Education Department
- The development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) involves the coordination of multiple professionals and their unique skill set and knowledge base. The Virginia State Department of Education has created a fantastic document that walks the reader through the entire process of IEP development from the concepts underlying the goals of an IEP, to roles associated with the various assortment of professionals involved, to the actual application of the IEP.
- Young Women’s Health: a counseling guide for teenagers
- This guide is a useful resource for female teenagers to learn of the benefits of counseling.
- Individual and Group Counseling In Schools (eBook): by Stewart Ehly and Richard Dustin
Professional Counseling Organizations
- American Counseling Association
- American Mental Health Counselors Association
- American School Counselor Association
- Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
- National Board for Certified Counselors
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- Continuing Education Requirements – American School Counselor Association
- Through this link you will be able to find the continuing education requirements in your state that are mandatory for keeping a school counseling license current.
Referring to Outside Agencies
For most situations, school counselors are the professionals educators refer troubled youth to. However, occassionally situations arise that are beyond the scope of a school counselor’s expertise. At these times, school counselors need to refer students and their issues to outside agencies. The following are some of the more typical outside agencies school counselors work with.
- National Mental Health Information Center – Children and Adolescents
- Through this link you will find a list of national mental health organizations focusing on various specialties who provide information and resources for counseling students suffering with various mental illnesses.
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA) – U.S. Department of Labor
- Through this link you will find a list of websites that provide information on thousands of career opportunities and instructional information to help school counselors inform students of their career options.
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention website hosts a variety of resources for the school counselor from information about various programs meeting different demographic issues to contact information for agencies in each state.
- American Public Human Services Association
- The above link goes to a webpage that provides Human Service Agency contact and website information for each state.
- National Association for Self-Esteem
- Find links to various self-esteem development resources and materials for developing self-esteem development programs for your own students.
Social Skills Development
- National Association of School Psychologists – Social Skills fact sheet
- The National Association of School Psychologists have developed a great page explaining in detail the benefits associated with having good social skills as a child and adolescent. There are also various tools to help school counselors develop their own methods for creating social skill development programs.
Transition Support for Students with Disabilities
- U.S. Department of Education: Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Ed Fact Sheet
- This is a great guide for school counselors who are helping students with disabilities apply for postsecondary education and to transition into the life of a postsecondary educational student.
- Center for Parent Information and Resources
- The above link will take you to a webpage where you will find resources for transition support for students with disabilities for each state.