The Role and Functions of School Counselors: Straightening the Old Paradigm

Roles and Functions of School Counselors

Currently, the roles and functions of school counselors are undergoing a paradigm shift as a full-fledged profession and are beginning to address the various components of the model. The ASCA National Model identifies four systems that are critical to developing a counseling program, namely: foundation, service, management, and accountability. The following is a summary of four model guidance systems that have received government support in the school counseling profession, are now taught in counselor education programs, and adopted by the national school system. Here is a full description of this model:

1. Foundation/Basic

The foundation of the school counseling program includes three components:

  1. Beliefs and philosophies: Describes the basic principles that drive the program.
  2. Mission: Describe the objectives of the program, written for all students, demonstrate system-wide interrelationships, and identify long-term outcomes.
  3. Domain: Defines specific academic, career, and personal/social areas that will be aimed at enhancing student learning.

2. Service

This program service system describes how the program will be implemented. It consists of four components:

  1. Tutoring curriculum: Defines various tutoring lesson structures, developments offered through classroom, tutoring, and group activities to help students achieve their goals (eg, increase self-esteem, improve learning abilities). The purpose of this activity is for students, parents, teachers, and others to achieve these goals.
  2. Individual student planning: This is an activity designed to help each student manage his or her academic, career, and personal/social development. Generally, this is done through small group or individual counseling and assessment activities.
  3. Responsive Services: This includes a variety of counseling methods used to respond to student concerns and includes individual and small group counseling, crisis counseling, referring to other professionals facilitating activities (eg, mediation).
  4. System support: this refers to activities that support school counselors to effectively run the program. They cover such matters as developing professional activities, consulting, collaborating, and working with critical control holders, program and operational management (e.g., budgets), and ensuring that counselors and others do a fair share of responsibility than is necessary for effectively carrying out existing programs in schools.

3. Management

The management system includes the tools and processes necessary to successfully run the program. It consists of six components:

  1. Agreement management: This includes an agreement with administrators on what aspects of the program the counselors are responsible for and how responsibilities are divided between stakeholders.
  2. Advisory Board: This is the control group appointed to review the program (eg, students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc.).
  3. Use of data: this involves the use of data analysis and disaggregation of data to ensure that students achieve their goals and can reduce student achievement gaps.
  4. Action Plan: This involves a specific plan to achieve all student goals and to reduce student achievement gaps.
  5. Use of time: this describes the specific time spent providing services for all components of the counseling program.
  6. Calendar: This involves setting up weekly and semester calendars to ensure that all control holders know what is scheduled.

4. Accountability

The objective of accountability is "How to deal with problematic students as a result of this program?" (ASCA, 2005a, p. 23). There are three components of accountability:

  1. Report results: This includes an evaluation of the program run by the school counselor as well as an evaluation of student changes over time throughout the school. The results are used to change the program and should be shared with stakeholders.
  2. Performance Standards: This involves evaluating school counselors through rating scales and written comments to assess whether counselors have been effective in addressing the prescribed standards of thirteen each, which are based on the components listed in the four systems proposed (basic, delivery, management). , and accountability).
  3. Program Audits: Here, audits are of great value to look at parts of each of the four systems to see if they have been implemented successfully. While the purpose of the performance standard is whether the school counselor has implemented the component, and the audit serves to check whether the component has been successful in achieving that goal (Neukrug, 2007).

There are also four themes which are the implementation of the four systems of the guidance and counseling model above, namely:

    1. Leadership

    Ability to influence the actions of others, a good leader in collaboration, facilitative, professional, empowering, and supportive. When school counselors change the shape of the counseling program to a new paradigm grouped in the ASCA national model. If this helps significantly reduce the achievement gap and will use the role of leadership in schools. This includes service performances in collaboration with stakeholders. This means that school counselors will not be able to isolate themselves any longer from the mission of the education system itself, while there must be criticism and support within the system.

    2. Defense (Advocacy)

    School counselors need to defend that programs will address the needs of all students and some students who object to the system. That means there is a willingness to have an opinion in schools and a willingness to take risks to stakeholders. While a good advocate understands the state of the school and is a team player, he is also willing to make suggestions for changes when needed, especially when the changes refer to optimal development in students.

    3. Cooperation and team

    School counselors must be able to work with all stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other personnel. Ability to effectively use one's interpersonal skills in a supportive manner to build critical relationships for successful collaboration. Successful collaboration with key stakeholders is an appropriate way for school counselors to help identify the needs of all students.

    4. Systemic changes

    Due to the fact that they are one of the few individuals in the school who study broad data systems and because they are people who work collaboratively with all stakeholders in the school, school counselors are in a unique position to understand the systemic needs of schools. (Neukrug, 2007)


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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