Bulloch County Schools celebrated school counselors earlier this month during National School Counseling Week 2021. This year was “School Counselors: All In for All Students”, which highlighted the tremendous impact that school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. The week also focused attention on the impression counselors have on the social and emotional well-being of children.
From Bulloch County Schools: Bulloch County Schools employs 26 school counselors. In the midst of a global pandemic, the roles of school counselors are more critical than ever before. They have historically primarily assisted with academic needs; however, in recent years there has been an increasing demand to provide more social and emotional support.
With the onset of COVID-19, that need has increased even more. In response, the school district’s counselors and district leaders collaborated to create online social and emotional resources for students and families on the school district’s website.
Social and emotional learning is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.
Counselors offer services directly to students through individual and group counseling, classroom instruction and crisis response. Indirect services supplied by counselors on behalf of students include referrals for additional aid, consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, other educators or community organizations.
High school counselors focus heavily on career and college advisement. High school students contact their counselors for help with academics in the areas where they are struggling, inquiring about career pathways, getting information on clubs and extracurricular activities, the discussion of personal issues interfering with school and researching possible careers, military requirements or college opportunities.
School counselors are certified, licensed instructors who must hold at least a master’s degree in school counseling. They also have to meet certification and licensing standards, fulfill continuing education requirements and uphold the ethical and professional standards.