Counselors are the glue that holds everything together for high school students. School counseling programs are critical for students to achieve optimal personal growth and acquire positive social skills. Counselors guide students in setting career goals and help them to become productive, contributing citizens. They foster student needs by providing assistance in conflict resolution, college and career readiness, character development and grief counseling. Counselors interpret test data for students and parents and share academic information with them.
Counselors are student advocates. They help identify learning disabled students and facilitate their Individual Educational Programs. These plans outline student accommodations and modifications. Accommodations allow for such things as extended time on assignments and for use of large-print textbooks. Modifications allow students to use calculators to compute assignments and let teachers convey material in a less-rigorous manner. School administrators use counselors as mediators in behavior intervention helping to resolve conflicts between students, parents and teachers.
College and Career Preparation
High school counselors help students understand that achieving in school sets the stage for a productive future in preparing for college and career. They offer brief solutions that are student-friendly and that can easily be monitored. A report by "U.S. News and World Report" titled, "High School Guidance Counselors Underutilized," found that as students complete financial aid packets and college applications, high school counselors are crucial resources. High school counselors keep watchful eyes on students as they fulfill graduation requirements and transition into the world of college and career.
High school counselors teach guidance classes that explore topics on bullying, sexual harassment, coping skills and decision-making. They advise students on beneficial strategies for coping with test anxiety as the pressure for high-stakes testing increases, according to a study by the American School Counselor Association. Counselors advise students on beneficial and functional study habits and how these habits impact their academic future. They also conduct sessions on understanding and respecting students from various cultures and backgrounds.
According to a report by "Education Week," high school students and parents perceive counselors as change agents. Counselors at this level assist students with appropriate social and behavior skills that play pivotal roles in character development. Often, counselors conduct group and individual counseling sessions on citizenship, ethical decision-making, conflict resolution, maintaining friendships and getting along with others. Counselors advocate for high self-worth and self-esteem by engaging in dialogue to resolve these problems. High school counselors often partner with churches and other community mentors to aid in facilitating these programs.
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