The School Counselor and Credentialing and Licensure
(Adopted 1990; revised 1993, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2015)
ASCA PositionASCA strongly supports a school counselor credentialing or licensing law in each state that includes: a definition of the profession, minimum qualifications for entry into the profession and requirements for continuing professional development. ASCA encourages all state education certification or licensure agencies to adopt the ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies from the ASCA National Model for school counselor credentialing or licensing.
The RationaleRegulations for school counselor credentialing or licensure ensure students and stakeholders are served by highly qualified and trained professionals. Such legislation should include:
- a description of the role of the school counselor as defined in the ASCA National Model
- standards for entry into the profession that minimally require a master’s degree or higher in school counseling or the substantial equivalent and are employed as school counselors, supervisors of school counselors or professors of counseling in a graduate program that prepares school counselors
- requirements for continuing education to further develop skills as a school counselor
The School Counselor's RoleSchool counselors need to be skilled in meeting the changing needs of students, families, schools and communities. Therefore, school counselors should endorse school counselor preparation programs and credentialing or licensing requirements that require practitioners to:
- be culturally competent (Guzman, Calfa, Kerne, & McCarthy, 2013; Moore-Thomas, 2010)
- have skills in evidence-based educational and school counseling practices (Carey & Dimmitt, 2008; Carey & Martin, 2015)
- focus on the mindsets and behaviors for student success, including K-12 college- and career- readiness standards for every student with specific attention to academic, career and social/emotional needs (ASCA, 2014)
- possess leadership and advocacy skills (Janson, Stone, & Clark, 2009; Mason & McMahon, 2009)
- have consultation skills and the ability to work collaboratively with educational professionals and stakeholders in the school and community (Baker, Robichaud, Dietrich, Wells, & Schreck, 2009; Williams & Wehrman, 2010)
- be able to develop, implement and assess school counseling programs (Gysbers & Henderson, 2012)
Finally, school counselors should work with district personnel and local or state associations to provide ongoing professional development for the acquisition and updating of necessary skills, which may be identified through the effective use of the ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies.
SummaryASCA strongly supports the use of the ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies in establishing state certification or licensure guidelines for school counselors.
ReferencesAmerican School Counselor Association (2014). Mindsets & behaviors for student success: K-12 college- and careerreadiness standards for every student. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Baker, S. B., Robichaud, T. A., Dietrich, V. C., Wells, S. C., & Schreck, R. E. (2009). School counselor consultation: A pathway to advocacy, collaboration, and leadership. Professional School Counseling, 12(3), 200-206. WWW.SCHOOLCOUNSELOR.ORG [ 23 ]
Carey, J. & Dimmitt, C. (2008). A model for evidence-based elementary school counseling: Using school data, research, and evaluation to enhance practice. Elementary School Journal 108(5), 422-430.
Carey, J. C., & Martin, I. (2015). A review of the major school counseling policy studies in the United States: 2000-2014. Amherst, MA: The Ronald H. Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation.
Guzman, M. R., Calfa, N. A., Kerne, V. V. H., & McCarthy, C. (2013). Examination of multicultural counseling competencies in school counselors. Journal of School Counseling, 11(7), 27.
Gysbers, N. C. & Henderson, P. (2012). Developing and managing your school guidance program (5th ed). Washington, DC: American Counseling Association.
Janson, C., Stone, C., & Clark, M. A. (2009). Stretching leadership: A distributed perspective for school counselor leaders. Professional School Counseling, 13(2), 98-106.
Mason, C. E., & McMahon, G. H. (2009). Leadership practices of school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 13(2), 107-115.
Moore-Thomas, C. (2010). Multicultural counseling competence in school counseling. In B. T. Erford (Ed.) Professional school counseling: A handbook of theories, programs, and practices (2nd Ed.) (pp. 70-77). Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed.
Williams, R. L., & Wehrman, J. D. (2010). Collaboration and confidentiality: Not a paradox but an understanding between principals and school counselors. National Association of Secondary School Principals. NASSP Bulletin, 94(2), 107-119.