The professional school counselor is a certified/licensed educator trained in school counseling with unique qualifications and skills to address all students’ academic, personal/social and career development needs. Professional school counselors implement a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student achievement." (ASCA, The Role of the Professional School Counselor).
Stafford County Public Schools School Counseling Program
Together with parents and educators, Stafford County’s school counselors assist all students to respond to educational, career development, and social and emotional needs. Children’s lives are constantly changing and their lives are affected by today’s societal issues. Such issues may cause children to have difficulty achieving their academic potential. All students can benefit from the assistance provided by a school counselor.
Standards for School Counseling Programs in Virginia Public Schools (Virginia Department of Education)
STAFFORD COUNTY’S SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM GOALS AND PROGRAM AREAS
The overall goal of the school counseling program of the Stafford County Public Schools is to help young people develop to their maximum potential and to enhance their lives, for their future is our future. The Counseling and Guidance program is preventative in its focus and is based upon the developmental stages of students in grades K-12. Because student needs vary at different age levels, the areas of emphasis will vary accordingly. The program builds a foundation for learning in the following areas:
Academic and Educational Area:
- orientation/transition to the educational environment;
- pursuit of a planned and balanced academic program consistent with abilities, interests and educational needs;
- resolution of problems which interfere with learning;
- awareness of academic abilities, strengths, needs and interests;
- awareness of curricular alternatives, graduation requirements, and career goals;
- awareness of academic and career opportunities after high school.
- awareness of, and knowledge about, the world of work and career;
- acquisition of information about educational and vocational/training opportunities with and beyond high school;
- use of knowledge of self as it relates to career planning; establishment of tentative career objectives;
- preparation for future education and employment.
- development of increased self-understanding;
- establishment of positive relationships through effective communication skills;
- acquisition of problem-solving/decision-making and coping skills;
- encouragement of self-directive and responsible behavior;
- understanding the need for positive attitudes toward school, learning, community, and society.
School counselors abide by the professional ethical standards of the Virginia/American School Counselor Association and the Virginia/American Counselor’s Association. School Counselors’ relationships with others comply with all laws, policies, and ethical standards pertaining to confidentiality. Information and records of personal and social counseling with students are kept confidential and separate from a student’s educational records and will not be disclosed to third parties without prior parent consent or as otherwise provided by law.