Category Archives: Importance of School Counselors

Never a Dull Moment for School Counselors

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Editor’s Note: National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, is always celebrated the first full week in February. Learn more about this year’s celebration and use the comment section below to let us know why you love being a school counselor. 

Why do I love being a school counselor?

If I had a dime for every time a parent or friend commented, “I don’t know how you do your job,” I think I could pay for my trip to the national conference with money left over to buy treats for the rest of my colleagues all over the country.

My response is always, “I love my job! There is never a dull moment.” And that is the truth.

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Finding Meaning as a School Counselor

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Editor’s Note: National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, is always celebrated the first full week in February. Learn more about this year’s celebration and use the comment section below to let us know what drew you to the counseling profession.  

There is an iconic scene in the movie Clerks (1994), Kevin Smith’s first film, which centers on a suited man sitting on the floor of a convenience store searching for the perfect carton of eggs.

According to a random customer and the titular clerks, Dante and Randal, this man is suffering from shell shock as a result of working as a counselor.

The customer says, “Well, if your job was as meaningless as theirs, wouldn’t you go crazy, too?”

My response, “Et tu, Mr. Smith?”

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Brian Coleman Named School Counselor of the Year

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Congratulations to NACAC member Brian Coleman, the 2019 School Counselor of the Year.

The American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) School Counselor of the Year award “honors professionals who devote their careers to advocating for the nation’s students and addressing their academic and social/emotional development and college and career readiness needs.”

Coleman, a school counselor and counseling department chair at Jones College Prep in Chicago, IL, has worked to make sure his school takes a holistic approach to counseling.

“As a school with college in our name, there tends to be a great deal of focus and energy placed exclusively on students’ college and postsecondary planning processes,” Coleman told ASCA. “However, we have worked to create a broader awareness that students’ holistic well-being is just as important to their current and future successes.”

Coleman was honored by Jill Biden at a ceremony Friday in Washington, DC.

“It can be so hard to be a teenager. We’ve all been there. It can be so hard to know where you fit in and where you fit in to your community, especially as you plan your future. But Brian gives his students confidence in their abilities. He helps them find the best in themselves, and he pushes them to reach higher,” Biden said.

“He represents the best of this profession, but he’s certainly not alone.”

Learn more about Coleman and watch a livestream from the SCOY award ceremony.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at adobson@nacacnet.org.

Celebrate National School Counseling Week 2019

National School Counseling Week kicks off on Monday. The annual five-day event, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), celebrates the many ways counselors make a difference in the lives of students.

Online contests and local events are scheduled across the country, making it the perfect time to highlight the profession we love.

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Students Believe School Shootings are Top Issue Facing US

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School shootings are a primary driver of student activism and political interest, a new study found.

In a study shared by Axios, 68 percent of people aged 14 to 29 said school shootings are the most important issue facing the US.

“The issue connects young Americans unlike anything except 9/11 in the last 20 years,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, told Axios.

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Survey Shows Schools Plan to Use Grant Dollars to Improve School Counseling

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Preliminary findings from a survey administered by AASA: The School Superintendents Association show that many school districts plan to use funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program to improve school counseling.

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Former NACAC President Offers Strategies to Prevent Summer Melt

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Nearly one-third of college-bound high school graduates don’t arrive at any college campus the following fall.

This pervasive problem is known as summer melt and Patrick O’Connor, a former NACAC president and current school counselor ambassador fellow at the US Department of Education, has some advice for combating it.

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Texas District to Hire Additional Counselors to Better Meet Social/Emotional Needs of Students

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Texas has an average of 449 students per counselor. Citing school safety concerns, one public school district in the state is looking to change that ratio.

Frisco ISD will add 44 counseling positions next school year, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The new staff members are expected to take over standardized testing duties and oversee services for students with disabilities. The hope is that these new counselors will make it possible for existing counselors on staff to spend more time focusing on the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.

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Charter School System Embraces New Approach to College Counseling

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About 40 percent of undergraduates at four-year institutions do not complete a degree within six years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And the number is even higher for low-income students.

One charter school system wants to change that statistic for their alumni. They have retooled their college counseling program and instead of focusing solely on getting into college, they now address what it takes to graduate from college.

Continue reading Charter School System Embraces New Approach to College Counseling