New Hampshire School Counselor Association

Role of School Counselors

The task of school counselors is to advance the development of all students'. Counselors are the human development and human relations specialists in their school. While the needs of students may change and evolve throughout their school career, the counselor's program, interventions, and services, remain fairly stable. The method of delivery, however, is adjusted from the elementary to the middle to the secondary level to meet all students' needs.

Counselor functions generally fall into three categories: counseling, consultation and coordination. Counseling is perhaps the most obvious of the interventions provided by the school counselor. Parents however, may not always understand the various ways that their child receives this service.

Large group (or classroom) guidance is the most efficient way to ensure that all students receive counseling in areas of development such as interpersonal and communications skills, conflict resolution, decision making and problem solving. The successful acquirement of these skills is fundamental to the healthy development of any child.

They are also those skills that have been identified by the US Dept. of Labor as necessary for successful job performance in any future occupation. Large group work involves the counselor identifying a specific developmental need and addressing it with a large group of students. This might be as diverse as doing a unit on feeling words with first graders, to teaching conflict resolution skills, to talking to a group of high school juniors about completing successful college applications.

Small group counseling involves a counselor working with two or more students who may have similar issues in their lives, or in school, or who may be experiencing developmental difficulties. These smaller groups are generally problem centered and short term (6-8 weeks).

They focus on students' needs. in areas such as study skills, behavioral concerns and the many challenges associated with social development and the family such as divorce, substance abuse or family violence. The small group experience involves sharing ideas and feelings. The group offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge and practice skills learned.

Individual (one-on-one) counseling is built upon a relationship of trust and acceptance. The student is helped to manage their own personal, educational, social and career development. Crisis counseling is one component of individual work. Individual counseling also deals with issues of academic progress and the planning of educational and career goals. The student's goals are discussed based upon the outcome of the school's student assessment program, and the student's own portfolio of work.

The school counselor is also a consultant in the school and in the community. The counselor works with teachers, administrators and education specialists regarding classroom problems or concerns about individual students. As a member of the school's team, all of these educational professionals work collaboratively to see to it that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

In most schools, the counselor works with the special education team both in the referral process and in the development of the student's educational plan. In the community, school counselors are involved in school/business partnerships and serve on advisory boards. School counselors are catalysts for change and involved in school improvement programs.

NH Qualifications for School Counseling

In New Hampshire, all school counselors at every educational level (elementary, middle/junior and secondary) are required to have a Master's Degree specializing in School Counseling.

All counselors must be certified by the State Department of Education. Certification is renewed on a three-year basis and continuing education is required

*Click here more information and resources on school counseling in N.H.


School Counseling Job Description k-12

School counselors collaborate with all stakeholders through a comprehensive school counseling program aligned with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model, ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success and NH (K-12) state standards (including the K-12 Career Development Curriculum Frameworks). 


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New Hampshire School Counselor Association

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