High school is a challenging time for many teenagers. They often struggle with a number of issues that can affect their studies, such as self-esteem, confidence, family troubles, social pressure and adjustment issues. High school counselors are important and necessary to help students work through these issues and try to remove potential barriers to learning. High school counselors are essential members of multidisciplinary educational teams that include social workers, psychologists, teachers and administrators.

Classroom Guidance

Offering classroom guidance is one of the main responsibilities of a high school counselor, according to the American School Counselor Association. These services generally focus on developmental, social and academic concerns. They help groups of students develop test-taking and study skills, discuss career options, teach effective ways of interacting with peers or educate students about self-esteem, substance abuse and diversity issues.

Individual Academic Advice

In addition to advising groups of students, high school counselors also offer academic advice on an individual basis. They meet with students and discuss their specific concerns pertaining to their studies, future plans and goals. High school counselors help students decide on career paths and help them identify their specific academic strengths and weaknesses. They help students locate suitable post-secondary educational opportunities and assist students with the college, university or vocational school application process.

Counseling Services

High school students deal with a number of problems that stretch beyond academic issues. Counselors try to foster trusting, supportive relationships with students to help them work through their problems and issues. They offer individual counseling to students on a variety of social and psychological concerns, such as depression, family problems or relationship issues. They provide referrals to students who need additional support in specific areas, like mental health or educational services. School counselors also intervene in crisis situations.


School counselors don't just advise students, they also consult with parents, educators and other professionals to provide advice on relevant issues. For example, they discuss mental health issues with teachers and advise them how to handle problematic students in the classroom. They also consult with parents or involved professionals regarding student progress or other concerns. Counselors offer information to parents and professionals in areas such as violence prevention, substance abuse and early sexual behavior.