The Duties of Counselors at Various Levels of School Education

School Counselor Work Background

While there are many similarities in the training of elementary, junior high, and high school counselors, there are some major differences in the actual duties of school counselors as a regulatory function. Looking at the distribution of services, we find that, compared to elementary school counselors, junior high school and high school counselors are less likely to engage in group guidance and counseling activities and more administrative, and non-guidance activities. 

On the other hand, the percentage of time doing testing, professional development, consulting, resource coordination, and individual counseling remained fairly constant. As the National Model becomes more and more infused, there is little doubt that the percentage will dramatically change and that additional roles and functions will be added.

Although the ASCA recommends a school-student ratio of 1:250, the current ratio ranges from 1:150 to 1:1000 with the national average being 1:478. As a result, what school counselors do is sometimes not in accordance with a predetermined function of the number of students. 

The law of parsimony, or how to serve the greatest number of students effectively, often dictates the manner in which counseling and guidance services are delivered and is a common challenge for all counselors. With that in mind, and based on the National Model, let's examine what school counselors do as a regulatory function.

a. Elementary School Counselor

Elementary school is the school year of life consisting of formative stages of child development. During this time, children build their academic self-concepts as they deal with issues of competence and confidence in learning. They also work on decision-making, communication skills, and developing values. 

In addition, they begin to develop social relationships and examine their position in their family. School counseling at this level should be comprehensive, developmental, preventive, and academically appropriate to the student's needs, career, and personal/social development. Under the ASCA National Model, a service is needed for elementary students that offer the perspective of an elementary school counselor who is being asked to transition to the way he or she works using the National Model.

b. Junior High School Counselor

As children move into adolescence, they face many high developmental tasks caused by the need to understand their interests, their abilities, the world of work, their peer relationships, their sexuality, and various life roles. They begin to define who they are and begin to gain a unique sense of self and identity. It is at this point in their lives that they rely increasingly on law enforcement for feedback and control from their peers, rather than from parents, and social relationships become important. 

As with primary school counseling, secondary school counseling is increasingly comprehensive, developmental, preventive, and must address students' academic, career, and personal/social development. Based on the ASCA National Model, Services Required for high school students offers the perspective of a high school counselor who is being asked to transition the way he or she works using the National Model.

c. High School Counselor

As high school students, they take an important step into adulthood as they become closer to entering the workforce and begin to experience increased clarity about how they define themselves. High school students are better able to describe their grades, skills, and abilities. At the same time, they are increasingly influenced by their peers and will face important life decisions regarding such things as alcohol and drugs, sexual behavior, and developing meaningful relationships with others. 

Students will face important decisions about their future, and academic pressure will be heavy on them. As with primary and secondary school counseling, high school counseling is ongoing, developmental, preventive, and must address students' academic, career, and personal/social development. Under the ASCA National Model, a service for high school students is needed that offers the perspective of a high school counselor who is being asked to transition the way he or she works using the National Model

References

Ed Neukrug (2007).The World of The Counselor: An Introduction to the Counseling Profession. United States: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Page 445-474

Samuel T.Glading (2012). Konseling: Profesi yang Menyeluruh. Jakarta: Permata Puri Media. Hal.459-494


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