•  What Do School Counselors Do?


    ASCA National Model


    Why Junior High School Counseling?

    School Counseling has come a long way over the years.  Why is it critical for your junior high school child to know who their counselor is?

    Junior High  school students are characterized by rapid physical growth, curiosity about their world and an emerging self-identity. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, counselors work as team members with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success. Middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community. The professional middle school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership is encouraged as it enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.



    Junior High School Students’ Developmental Needs

    Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.


    Meeting the Challenge

    Junior High school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Junior High school counselors do not work in isolation; rather, they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve success in school. Professional school counselors align with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. The ASCA National Standards in the academic, National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs, with its data driven and results-based focus serves as a guide for today’s school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.


    Junior High School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:


    • School Guidance Curriculum
      • 8th grade transition lessons
      • Academic skills support
      • Organizational, study and test-taking skills
      • Education in understanding self and others
      • Coping strategies
      • Peer relationships and effective social skills
      • Communication, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution
      • Career awareness, exploration and planning
      • Multicultural/diversity awareness


    • Individual Student Planning
      • Goal-setting/decision- making
      • Academic planning
      • Career planning
      • Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
      • Transition planning


    • Responsive Services
      • Individual and small group counseling
      • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
      • Peer facilitation
      • Consultation/collaboration
      • Referrals


    • System Support
      • Professional development
      • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
      • Program management and operation



    Junior High School Counselors Collaborate With:


    • Parents
      • Parent information nights
      • Communication/networking
      • Academic planning programs
      • Parent and family education
      • One-on-one parent conferencing
      • Assessment results interpretation
      • Resource referrals
      • College/career exploration


    • Teachers
      • Assistance with students’ academic plans
      • Classroom guidance activities on study skills, career development, etc.
      • Academic support, learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically
      • At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success
      • Parent communication/education


    • Administrators
      • School climate
      • Behavioral management plans
      • School-wide needs assessment
      • Student data and results
      • Student assistance team building
      • Leadership


    • Students
      • Peer education
      • Peer support
      • Academic support
      • School climate
      • Leadership development


    • Community
      • Job shadowing, service learning
      • Crisis interventions
      • Referrals
      • Parenting classes
      • Support groups
      • Career education