The School Counselor and the Use of Non-School-Counseling Credentialed Personnel in Implementing School Counseling Programs
(Adopted 1994, Revised 2000, 2006, 2012, 2018)
ASCA PositionSchool counselors and the school counseling programs they design and implement serve a vital role in maximizing student success (Dimmit & Wilkerson, 2012; Olsen, Parikh-Foxx, Flowers, & Algozzine, 2017; Wilkerson, Perusse, & Hughes, 2013). School counselors are uniquely qualified and solely eligible to meet the requirements of designing and implementing these programs. School counselors recognize that personnel who do not hold a master’s degree in school counseling are not qualified to deliver a school counseling program that supports academic, career and social/emotional development and positively affects achievement for all students.
The RationaleResearch shows students who attend a school with a fully implemented school counseling program earn higher grades and are better prepared for life after high school (Carey & Dimmitt, 2012; Carey, Harrington, Martin, & Hoffman, 2012; Carey, Harrington, Martin, & Stephenson, 2012; Dimmit & Wilkerson, 2012; Stone & Dahir, 2015; Wood, Wilkerson, Perusse, & Hughes, 2013). School counselors recognize students face many challenges that may place them at risk for school failure. Communities and school districts across the country are seeking solutions to these complex challenges and may establish a variety of positions to address student needs.
School districts work diligently to employ the most highly trained personnel for dealing with these issues and may employ non-school-counseling credentialed staff for specific functions. Although non-school-counseling credentialed staff members provide valuable services to students, they do not have the training or skills to design or implement a school counseling program nor are they qualified to be placed in the role of school counselor. Non-school-counseling credentialed staff may include, but are not limited to, the following jobs:
- peer helpers
- clerical support staff
- student assistance team members
- social workers, psychologists
- mental health counselors including marriage and family counselors, social emotional coaches, and day treatment workers
- college or graduation coaches/academic advisors
- behavior support specialists
- deans/assistant deans of students
The School Counselor's RoleSchool counselors recognize student needs can best be met through the collaborative efforts of all school personnel (Auger, 2013; Bardhoshi, Duncan, & Erford, 2017). In situations in which non-school-counseling credentialed personnel are performing interventions or prevention activities, school counselors advocate these activities be limited to the scope of the individual’s training and capabilities. The school counselor collaborates with administrators, teachers and staff to establish appropriate guidelines, responsibilities and supervision for non-school-counseling credentialed staff as well as the activities provided. To ensure integrity, school counselors and non-school-counseling credentialed personnel should be aware of who is claiming credit for services to avoid duplicated reports of service.
When referring students to non-school-counseling credential staff, school counselors inform students and families of these staff members’ role within the school. The school counselor may also provide information related to the individual’s education level and scope of practice.
SummarySchool counselors play an important role in the academic, career and social/emotional development of all students. Nonschool-counseling credentialed individuals do not have the training or skills to design or implement a school counseling program nor are they qualified to be placed in the role of the school counselor. School counselors collaborate with administrators, teachers and staff to establish appropriate guidelines and supervision of services provided by non-schoolcounseling credentialed personnel and make referrals to these individuals as appropriate for the student.
ReferencesAuger, R. (2013). School counselors and children’s mental health: Introduction to the special issue. Professional School Counseling, 16, 208-210.
Bardhoshi, G., Duncan, K., & Erford, B. (2017). Effect of a specialized classroom counseling intervention on increasing selfefficacy among first-grade rural students. Professional School Counseling, 21, 12-25.
Carey, J. & Dimmitt, C. (2012). School counseling and student outcomes: Summary of six statewide studies. Professional School Counseling, 16, 146-153.
Carey, J., Harrington, K., Martin, I., & Hoffman, D. (2012). A statewide evaluation of the outcomes of the implementation of asca national model school counseling programs in rural and suburban Nebraska high schools. Professional School Counseling, 16, 100-107.
Carey, J., Harrington, K., Martin, I., & Stephenson, D. (2012). A statewide evaluation of the outcomes of implementation of asca national model school counseling programs in Utah high schools. Professional School Counseling, 16, 89-99.
Dimmit, C. & Wilkerson, B. (2012). Comprehensive school counseling in Rhode Island: Access to services and student outcomes. Professional School Counseling, 16, 125-135.
Olsen, J., Parikh-Foxx, S., Flowers, C., & Algozzine, B. (2017). An examination of factors that relate to school cousnelors’ knowledge and skills in the multi-tiered systems of support. Professional School Counseling, 20, 159-171.
Stone, C. B. & Dahir, C. A. (2015). The transformed school counselor. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Wood, C., Wilkerson, K., Perusse, R., & Hughes, A. (2013). Comprehensive school counseling programs and student achievement outcomes: A comparative analysis of ramp versus non-ramp schools. Professional School Counseling, 16, 172-184.
ASCA Empirical Research Studies Supporting the Value of School Counseling: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Careers-Roles/Effectiveness.pdf
California Department of Education: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/cg/rh/counseffective.asp
Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation: https://www.counseling.org/PublicPolicy/PDF/Research_Support_School_Counseling-ACA-CSCORE_02-11.pdf