Why Postsecondary School Counselors?
Increased needs of students, parents, teachers and other school personnel require that school counselors/supervisors and counselor educators continually expand their knowledge and skills. State certification requirements for school counselors in supervisory roles have increased for both initial certification and continuing education. In addition, national professional certification organizations require continuing in-service training and supervision.
A Certified and/or Licensed Professional
All school counselors must hold a master’s degree and meet additional certification requirements as defined by each state. These degree and certification requirements include the completion of supervised practicum and internship experiences. Many states require that school counselors/supervisors hold administrative and/or supervisory licenses in addition to school counseling certification.
The Professional Development Needs of School Counselor Supervisers, Postsecondary School Counselors and Counselors/Educators
The professional preparation and continuing education of school counselor supervisors, post-secondary counselors and counselor educators includes:
Supervision of a Comprehensive and Developmental School Counseling Program
Pre-service instruction and supervision in the development of counseling skills and school counseling program curricula
Supervised field experiences and internships in public schools
In-service seminars and workshops, which enhance program implementation through individual and group supervision
Appropriate state credentials
Post-master’s study and/or doctoral degree in school district administration, supervision, counselor education, counseling psychology or a related area
A comprehensive and developmental school counseling program focuses on the needs of all students in three areas of development: academic, career and social/emotional. The primary responsibility of the school counselor supervisor in a school district is to design and implement a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program based upon the identified needs of the students in the individual school building or system. The coordination and supervision of the school counseling program at college/university level ensures the quality of the program students study throughout their K-12 educational training.
School Counselor Supervisors and Counselor Educators also:
Why School Counselor Supervisors/Educators?
Coordinate the implementation of school counseling program services, K-12
Provide individual and group supervision to school counselors in practice
Collaborate in the supervision of school counseling interns
Coordinate continuing education for school counselors
Coordinate the integration of school counseling programs with the total educational curriculum of the school district and state
Provide instruction to pre-service counselor education students in the development of counseling skills and counseling program curricula
Provide individual and group supervision to pre-service counselor education student
The development and implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs requires a collaborative effort among well-trained, highly competent school counselors. Counselor supervisors and educators provide in-service and pre-service instruction and supervision to promote the development and enhancement of school counselor training and professional development. This ensures school counselors deliver school counseling programs in a comprehensive and systematic manner to all students.
Employment setting probably determines accountability. For examples, school counseling supervisors generally report to district-level administrators, superintendents and school boards. A school counseling supervisor for a student being supervised for licensure would be governed by that body's code of ethics and criteria for licensure. A postsecondary school counselor would be supervised or governed by the hierarchy within its employing body.
In summary, school counselors in the postsecondary/supervisor category must be viewed in their total employment environment when considering credentialing requirements, program delivery and context, co-workers and job associates, and evaluation/accountability standards.