What Does a School Counselor Do?

Before deciding on a career path, it is important to know what a school counselor does. Anyone interested in counseling students at the elementary, secondary, vocational, or college setting should take the time to learn about the job functions and responsibilities of a school counselor. Understanding the major tasks of a school counselor could help a person know if this is the right career path for them. You will not only need a college degree but a master’s degree as well.

Evaluate Student Abilities

Counselors are responsible for evaluating student abilities. They may perform reading level testing for new students or students who speak English as a second language. The counselor may also give general aptitude tests or subject tests to identify a special skill or advanced ability of a student for proper placement in classes. Counselors also conduct interviews with students and their teachers to assess a student’s ability in one or more subjects.

Help Students Overcome Problems

Counselors assist students with a variety of academic, social, and personal problems. If a student has been bullied, the counselor may work with the student on strategies for avoiding the bully. The counselor would also work with the bully to change the behavior. Counselors may connect students with resources to help them with academic problems, such as a writing tutor. School counselors also help students with personal issues. For example, a student who cannot afford the school’s uniform may be able to work with the counselor to get connected with local resources for clothing, food, and school supply assistance.

Teach and Counsel About Specific Topics

Counselors offer academic and personal guidance counseling for individual students, small groups, and entire classes. If a child in a classroom develops a serious illness, the counselor might speak to the class as a whole and worry students individually. If a tragedy befalls the school or community, the counselor may offer information about grief, anxiety, fear, and other emotions. Counselors offer instruction on identifying bullying, reporting bullying behavior, and preventing bullying situations. They may counsel individual students about the pros and cons of getting a job versus continuing one’s education upon graduation. They also work with students to determine class schedules or course planning to fulfill school requirements.

Work With Students for Skill, Habit and Career Planning

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school counselors also work with students and help them develop specific skills. For example, the counselor might work with a student on an individual basis to help them with organizing their assignments in a folder or binder. Counselors may also help students develop healthy study habits and identify which studying techniques work and which ones do not for that particular student. Counselors also assist students with career planning and applications for vocational schools, colleges, and jobs.

School counselors perform a wide variety of functions in the educational setting. They work with all types and ages of students as well as parents, guardians, school administrators, teachers, social workers, school resource officers, and many other professionals in the community. Knowing about these primary job functions for a school counselor allows degree candidates to decide whether or not this is the right career for their strengths and preferences.

Related Resources: 

Top 35 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Higher Education Online

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Higher Education Administration Online

5 Great Podcasts for those in Higher Education