What is a School Counselor?

What is a School Counselor?

  • A school counselor has a master's degree in school counseling and is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). He or she is trained in human behavior, relationships, career development, and child development. 
  • The goal of a school counselor is to help students meet academic, career, social, emotional, and personal needs and to help remove barriers to success. There are counselors at the Elementary, Middle, and High School Levels.
  • School Counselors follow the standards set by the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) and PDE.

What Services do School Counselors offer?

  • Individual Counseling - Meeting with students one-on-one to talk about thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and problems. School Counselors DO NOT provide long-term counseling, but are happy to refer families to a therapist.
  • Group Counseling - Working with two or more students that share similar concerns. Groups have discussions and structured activities for students to learn and practice new skills.
  • Classroom Lessons - Teaching lessons to classes of students based on the developmental level and the needs of students. Lessons focus on social, emotional, behavioral, and career skills and growth. Topics include problem solving, developing coping skills, feelings, conflict resolution, diversity, and communication.
  • Consultation - Meeting with parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and representatives from outside agencies to support students. 
  • Referral - Referring families to outside agencies for support outside of school.

What Concerns Can a School Counselor address?

Help Students with Issues related to:

  • Strong Emotions (such as sadness, anger, anxiety, and worry)
  • Family Concerns
  • Grief and Loss
  • Self-Esteem
  • Social Skills
  • Academic Concerns (motivation, study skills, stress management, etc.)
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Behavior Problems
  • Crisis or Traumatic Events
  • Other Mental Health Concerns

Questions and Concerns regarding the following:

  • 504 Plans
  • The Special Education and Gifted Referral Process
  • Rostering Requests
  • PSSA Testing
  • Psycho-educational Small Groups run by the Caron Foundation

  • How Can Students See the School Counselor?

  • Request by parent/guardian via phone, email, or Class Dojo
  • Referred by teacher, staff, or administrator
  • Referred by school counselor
  • Self-referral