The School Counselor and Gifted and Talented Student Programs
(Adopted 1988; revised 1993, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2013, 2019)
ASCA PositionThe school counselor delivers a school counseling program to meet students’ academic, career and social/emotional needs. Gifted and talented students have unique and diverse developmental needs that are addressed by school counselors within the scope of the school counseling program and in collaboration with other educators and stakeholders
The RationaleResearch suggests gifted and talented students may share common personality characteristics, such as perfectionism, sensitivity and idealism (Mammadov, Cross & Ward, 2018). Within the school counseling program, school counselors create an environment in which the academic, career and social/emotional development of all students, including gifted and talented students, is fostered (Kennedy & Farley, 2018).
Purposeful gifted and talented education programs include several benefits: assisting the gifted student in college and career goals, defining postsecondary and career plans and increasing achievement levels. (Colangelo, Assouline & Gross, 2004; Delcourt, 1993; Hébert, 1993; Taylor, 1992). School counselors consider these needs when implementing developmentally appropriate activities as a part of a school counseling program (ASCA, 2019).
Research also suggests that ongoing exposure to micro-aggressions directed at marginalized students creates an environment where students fear the label of gifted and talented (Staumbaugh & Ford, 2014). The issue of overrepresentation of Asian and white students in gifted education programs was described in a data collection from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The data reveals American Indian, Hispanic and African American student groups have been underrepresented in elementary and secondary school gifted education programs since 1978 (US OCR, 2004).
The School Counselor's RoleSchool counselors provide consultation in the identification of gifted and talented students when appropriate through the use of a districtwide, multiple-criterion system (i.e., intellectual ability; academic performance; visual and performing arts ability; practical arts ability; creative-thinking ability; leadership potential; parent, teacher, peer nomination; expert assessment) when appropriate. The definition of gifted and talented requirements differs by state and district. School counselors are involved in the analysis of data obtained from multi-criterion sources and are not responsible for the coordination, collection, and/or administration of the multi-criterion system or any assessment used in the selection process.
School counselors advocate for the inclusion of, and the participation in, activities that effectively address the academic, career, and social/emotional needs of gifted and talented students at all academic levels. School counselors assist in promoting understanding and awareness of the unique issues that may both positively and negatively affect gifted and talented students including:
- accelerated learning
- advocacy for access to rigorous and appropriately challenging programs
- meeting expectations
- stress management
- dropping out
- difficulty in peer relationships
- twice exceptional (e.g., identified as gifted and talented and an identified disability; Foley Nicpon & Cederberg, 2015)
- advanced talent in various fields
- intellectual abilities
- high-achieving outcomes
SummarySchool counselors deliver a school counseling program to meet students’ academic, career and social/emotional needs. Students identified as gifted and talented have unique developmental needs and special abilities, which are considered when implementing a school counseling program. Specifically planned educational experiences can greatly enhance the continued development of gifted and talented students (Sohailat, Soua’d & Mouhamed, 2013). School counselors work in collaboration with other school personnel to maximize opportunities for gifted and talented students.
ReferencesAmerican School Counselor Association. (2019). ASCA National Model: A framework for school counseling programs (4th ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.
Colangelo, N., Assouline, S., & Gross, M. (Eds). (2004). A nation deceived: How schools hold back America’s brightest students. Iowa City, IA: The University of Iowa, pp. 109-117.
Colangelo, N. & Davis, G. (2003). Handbook of Gifted Education, Third edition. Boston, Allyn & Bacon.
Delcourt, M. A. B. (1993). Creative productivity among secondary school students: Combining energy, interest, and imagination. Gifted Child Quarterly, 37, 23-31.
Foley Nicpon, M., & Cederberg, C. (2015). Acceleration practices with twice-exceptional students. In S. G. Assouline, N. Colangelo, J. VanTassel-Baska, A. Lupinski-Shoplik (Eds.) A Nation Empowered. Iowa City, IA: Belin-Blank Center.
Hébert, T. P. (1993). Reflections at graduation: The long-term impact of elementary school experiences in creative productivity. Roeper Review, 16, 22-28.
Kennedy, K. & Farley, J. (2018). Counseling gifted students: School-based considerations and strategies. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 10(3), 363–367. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.26822/iejee.2018336194
Mammadov, S., Cross, T. L., & Ward, T. J. (2018). The big five personality predictors of academic achievement in gifted students: Mediation by self-regulatory efficacy and academic motivation. High Ability Studies, 29(2), 111–133. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/13598139.2018.1489222
Mitcham-Smith, M. (2007). Advocacy-professional school counselors closing the achievement gap through empowerment: A response to Hipolito-Delgado and Lee. Professional School Counseling, 10(4), 341-343.
Sohailat M. B., Soua’d, M. G., & Mouhamed, S. B. (2013). The reality of counseling services provided by the school counselor for gifted and talented students in the Jordanian government school. Journal of Educational and Psychological Studies, 7(2), 151-166. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.24200/jeps.vol7iss2pp151-166
Stambaugh, T., & Ford, D. Y. (2015). Microaggressions, multiculturalism, and gifted individuals who are Black, Hispanic, or low income. Journal of Counseling & Development, 93(2), 192–201. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2015.00195.x
Taylor, L. A. (1992). The effects of the Secondary Enrichment Triad Model and a career counseling component on the career development of vocational-technical school students. Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.
U.S. Office for Civil Rights. (2004). Office for civil rights elementary and secondary school survey projections and documentation. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Author.
Wood, S. (2010). Best practices in counseling the gifted in schools: What’s really happening? Gifted Child Quarterly, 54, 42-58.
Bakar, A. Y. A. & Ishak, N. M. (2014). Counseling services for Malaysian gifted students: An initial study. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 36(4), 372- 383.
Greenspon, T. S. (2014). Is there an antidote to perfectionism? Psychology in the Schools, 51(9), 986-999. doi:10.1002/pits.21797
Hogan, T.P. (2015). Psychological testing: A practical introduction (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, JJ: John Wiley & Sons.
McClain, M., & Pfeiffer, S. (2012). Identification of gifted students in the United States today: A look at state definitions, policies, and practices. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 28, 59-88. doi:10.1080/15377903.2012.643757
Zeidner, M., & Shani-Zinovich, I. (2013). Research on personality and affective dispositions in gifted children: The Israeli scene. Gifted and Talented International, 28(1), 35-50.