School Counseling in the 21st Century
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School Counseling in the 21st Century

Sejal Parikh Foxx, Stanley B. Baker, Edwin R. Gerler, Jr.

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eBook - ePub

School Counseling in the 21st Century

Sejal Parikh Foxx, Stanley B. Baker, Edwin R. Gerler, Jr.

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About This Book

School Counseling in the 21st Century brings the theoretical aspects of school counseling to life. As they move through the book, school counselors in training will begin to identify and develop the significant pieces of a comprehensive school counseling program. They will also experience, through real and relevant case studies, how school counselors are using technology, assessment data, and leadership skills to implement effective programs aimed at serving their students. Each chapter reflects on how the national model for school counseling, standards of practice, multicultural skills, and ethical guidelines are the foundation of building comprehensive programs. School Counseling in the 21st Century comprehensively addresses the 2016 CACREP Standards: the beginning of each chapter outlines which core and school counseling standards are addressed, and chapters support CACREP's requirement for material on multicultural counseling, ultimately enhancing readers' knowledge and effectiveness in working with diverse populations.

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The School Counseling Profession

CACREP CORE F.1.a, d, f, g
Goal: To introduce the school counseling profession and present our ideas for building a comprehensive school counseling program.
As the authors of this textbook, we have together more than 17 years of experience as school counselors and educators in elementary, middle, and high school settings and 72 years of experience as counselor educators. We have informed our teaching practices through our own experiences in the field, continued partnerships with school districts, and ongoing professional development and research. Over this span of 72 years, we have also heard countless stories from our students about their decision to join this dynamic profession. Here are some of their reasons:
School counseling is a field that I am truly passionate about. I always knew I wanted to help youth navigate through all of life’s overwhelming challenges. Not only does this profession require having the compassion for young people but having the willingness and heart to work with others that have the ability to create impactful changes in their lives. I also think another important component of this work is being able to be an advocate for children. I strongly believe I have been called to work on behalf of children in order to help them become productive, successful individuals.
Karen Arrington, UNC Charlotte
The reason that I have chosen the path as a future school counselor is because I want to make a larger impact with students. Not only will I be able to reach a larger number of students, but I will also be able to emphasize many more areas other than the academic. In my current role as a special education teacher, it is my job in the classroom to push primarily academic success; I want more than that. I understand that development of individuals comes from many different factors. Even though I will not have access to a lot of those factors, it makes me feel good knowing that I can still help students proceed with their lives as more well-rounded people.
Bradley Demmin, UNC Charlotte
The calling to be a school counselor is both rewarding and daunting because it challenges you to serve one of the most oppressed populations. Children have so much to say but a lot of the times lack the platform to voice their opinions, thoughts, and concerns. I feel like I was led to school counseling so that I could advocate for adolescents, one of the most misunderstood populations (in my opinion), and help create a safe place where they can feel cared for and heard. The relationships created with these students is incredibly therapeutic and one that can positively impact them and their decisions throughout adolescences and into adulthood. My role is not to judge or discipline them but to allow them to be vulnerable and feel safe with whatever they bring to the table.
Carlyn Joseph, UNC Charlotte
Growing up I was very fortunate to have many different positive adult role models in my life, but some of the most impactful for me were my school counselors. My school counselors were very motivational and always advocated for myself and other classmates not only in our academic development, but our growth towards our social and career development as well. I am very passionate towards giving back to a profession that molded me into the individual that I have become today. My love for therapeutic and positive communication or connection amongst students is something that I strive to continuously implement in my practice going forward in being a school counselor.
Zachary Massey, UNC Charlotte
We imagine that you have your own reasons for joining the ranks of this profession. One assumption is what brought you here is a commitment and passion to help others. It is our hope that the thoughts and feelings during this time are carried with you long after you graduate from your training program. Therefore, in this chapter, we help aspiring counselors understand the school counseling profession and the challenges they face in preparing to become outstanding school counseling professionals. This textbook is unique in that it offers a place to not only acquire knowledge but also develop skills that will bring the graduate classroom and the practice of school counseling into closer harmony.
In addition, the end of every chapter in this book offers you the opportunity to
  • Develop a portion of a comprehensive school counseling program,
  • Share your voice on the material we presented using reflection points, and
  • Incorporate the use of technology, thereby helping you develop your technology skills.


“History in the Making”

In July 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama was the general session keynote speaker at the annual American School Counselor Association (ASCA) conference in Orlando, Florida. This moment was historic for a number of reasons. First, Mrs. Obama announced that, for the first time in history, the ASCA School Counselor of the Year would be honored at the White House. Second, she shared her Reach Higher Initiative, which aligns with President Barack Obama’s 2020 College Completion Goal (U.S. Department of Education, 2011) to expand postsecondary access for all students. In her speech, Mrs. Obama noted that school counselors were central to this mission. Although we now have a national stage to highlight the important work of our profession, this moment has not arrived in isolation. In fact, this moment has come to fruition from years of evolution.
The profession known today as school counseling began as individual manifestations of the Progressive Reform Movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is perhaps most clearly depicted today by the ASCA’s National Model for School Counseling Programs (AS CA, 2012). Gy sbers and Henderson (2000) refer to this century-long transition as “positions to programs” (p. 3). Just who determines what school counselors do has not been clear over the past century. School boards and administrators, state departments of education or public instruction, counselor educators, textbook authors, parents and students, and school counselors themselves have had their say while not speaking with a unified voice. Consequently, the role of professional school counselors still lacks clarity. We applaud the efforts of the ASCA to achieve clarity through the development and presentation of National Standards for School Counseling Programs (Ca mpbell & Dahir, 1997) and subsequently of the National Model for School Counseling Programs (AS CA, 2001).
School Counseling in the 21st Century is designed for an introductory course in school counseling to help build the groundwork for a strong professional identity. It is evident that virtually all higher education programs for training school counselors must meet the standards established by respective state departments of education/public instruction in order for their graduates to receive school counseling licenses or certificates. These minimum standards vary from state to state. Among the virtually universal requirements these standards present is coursework designed to socialize the students to the school counseling profession. Enhancing that socialization process is the general goal of this textbook.

Standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Although license/certification standards vary from state to state, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CA CREP, 2016) provides that most universal set of standards for training school counselors as well as those preparing for such fields a community/agency, college, and mental health counseling. The CACREP Standards for school counseling are equal to or more comprehensive than those established by the state departments of education/public instruction.
Table 1.1 presents the eight common core areas of the 2016 CACREP Standards. The present text is designed to highlight the eight standards in the Professional Identity core area so that students have the desired curricular experience and acquire “demonstrated knowledge.”
The 2016 CACREP Standards also present a section devoted to the standards for school counseling programs ( The three primary standards are as follows
  1. Foundation for School Counseling
  2. Contextual Dimensions of School Counseling
  3. Practice.
Appendix A presents the CACREP Standards for School Counseling Programs. This text addresses many of these standards, either in depth or via an overview. Some state departments of education/public instruction use the CACREP Standards completely or as an option in the school counselor licensure/certification process. Those individuals who have completed CACREP-accredited programs or state-approved programs not accredited by CACREP (who have acquired 2 years of postgraduate experience) and have received acceptable scores on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) can become National Certified Counselors by the National Board for Certified Counselors. In some states, successful completion of the NCE is one of the criteria for becoming a licensed professional counselor. We view the present text as a vehicle for providing information and exercises in support of instruction in courses designed to meet the professional identity goals established by CACREP and state departments of education/public instruction. As well, the text will help individuals prepare for the NCE and for the Educational Testing Service’s Professional School Counselor (#5421) PRAXIS II test that is required in some states as part of the licensure/certification process.
Table 1.1 CACREP Core Areas for Entry-Level Programs
Core Areas for Entry-Level Programs
1. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
2. Social and Cultural Diversity
3. Human Growth and Development
4. Career Development
5. Counseling and Helping Relationships
6. Group Counseling and Group Work
7. Assessment and Testing
8. Research and Program Evaluation
Note: CACREP = Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Our Background

Although we attempted to be evenhandedly objective on our treatment of ideas and information, the content covered and the point of view presented in this text is influenced by the experiences and philosophy of the authors. Each of us has been associated with the school counseling profession for a number of years, and this text has a history of five previous editions dating back to 1992. The first author (SPF) is the newest contributor and began her entry-level program at the University of North Florida. She began working as an elementary school counselor in Jacksonville, Florida, and, after 3 years, she made the transition into a high school counseling position in Orange Park, Florida. Her experience in academia comprises the University of North Florida (3 years), North Carolina State University (2 years) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (present). The second author (SBB) began his entry-level program at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1960 and opened his career as a high school counselor in 1964 at Janesville, Wisconsin, senior high school. His higher education career as a counselor educator spans over 3 decades from 1971 (doctoral degree from SUNY at Buffalo) to the present at both Penn State and North Carolina State universities. The third author (ERG) completed his entry-level program at Bucknell University in Louisburg, Pennsylvania in 1969 and opened his career as an elementary/middle school counselor in Millville, Pennsylvania, in 1972. His higher education career spans 3 decades from 1975 (doctorate from Penn State) to the present at both the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater and North Carolina State University. In the remainder of this opening chapter, we present topics presenting information that students enrolled in an introductory course should be aware of at the beginning of the course and the training program so they can carefully process the meaning of that information for them during the remainder of the course and the training program.

Professional School Counselors

Are school counselors professionals? If they are professionals, what defines them as such? Professional is a term used frequently and somewhat loosely in U.S. society because it seems to create an aura of respectability. Some individuals do not deserve that respectability, whereas others truly do. Some professionals assume the respectability and accompanying status without giving much thought to the real meaning of the word professional and to the responsibilities it implies. Others know full well the responsibilities associated with being a professional. Ideally, all professionals would fit into the latter category.
A profession is a vocation requiring special knowledge or education in some department of learning or science; a professional is one belonging to a learned or skilled profession; and professionalism is the character, spirit, or methods of a professional or the standing, practice, or methods of a professional as distinguished from an amateur, according to the American College Dictionary. If school counselors are professionals, then school counseling is a vocation requiring special knowledge or education in some department of learning or science. What is the department of learning or science from which school counselors receive their special knowledge? This is a somewhat difficult question to answer. The historical information presented in Chapter 2 reveals the guidance field from which school counseling evolved had several influences, including vocational guidance, psychometrics, mental health, and clinical psychology. Further, with the added emergence of social networking (B oyd, 2014; Casas, Del Rey, & Ortega-Ruiz, 2013) there are more complexities as to how school counselors can respond. Thus, the evolution of school counseling as a profession has not been clear-cut.
School counseling is a part of two larger applied professions: counseling and education. These broader fields draw from the behavioral sciences such as anthropology, political science, psychology, and sociology. They have developed their own knowledge bases. Both have influenced school counseling. School counseling has been developing its own knowledge base over the years, which also influences practicing and emerging school counseling professionals. Consequently, school counseling is a profession with the behavioral sciences and the applied fields of counseling and education as its foundational departments of learning, and a profession in the process of developing its own knowledge base.
Drawing on the work of Barber (1965) and Greenwood (1957), Herr and Cramer (1987) suggest additional criteria for attributing professional status to a vocation. In summary, those criteria are as follows
  • The members have a service orientation (they are educated to serve community rather than self-interests);
  • The degree of self-control is high (practitioner behaviors are regulated via community sanctions, ethical codes, and the like);
  • Systems of rewards (monetary and honorary) are included that are not only symbols of work-related achievements but also ends in themselves;
  • A professional culture is perpetuated via consistent training programs.
It is our contention that school counselors have a service orientation, are regulated by community sanctions and ethical codes, derive their monetary and honorary rewards from work-related achievements, and have consistent training programs. Therefore, the evidence indicates that school counseling is a profession and that school counselors are professionals who should be expected to behave in a professional manner.

Counseling in the Context of Education

According to Holla nd (1997), pers...

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