High school counselors have multiple roles within the school but one aspect is to ensure all high school seniors make it to graduation. They have to focus on not only credits of seniors who are making their way to graduation, but also start at the freshmen level to ensure their track is paving its way to the big day. An aspect of graduation is finding the track students want to pursue through their high school journey and what classes make the most sense to take for their career plan. School counselors want to ensure all students have an idea of where they want to end up and have a successful plan to do it. Support, encouragement, trust, and flexibility are huge factors that are incorporated in school counselor’s role to guarantee all students end up at graduation at the end of their senior year.
One aspect of a school counselor’s role is to provide resources for students who for one reason or another end up off track for reaching Graduation. While at first glance Graduation may appear to be a relevant issue for high school seniors only, a school counselor must consider the requirements and implications of decisions for students at every grade level. For example, a student who fails a necessary math class in his or her freshman year will then be off track for the remainder of high school. To combat this issue, a school counselor must be informed of additional possibilities for a student to regain academic momentum. Alternate credit, which replaces failed or missed courses places students back on the path of success. Online courses, work-study programs, and independent study are all potential options for making up standard class credit. In order to be a strong helper and advocate for his or her students, a high school counselor must understand and have the ability to implement these alternate forms of credit.
In addition to making sure students are able to graduate, a school counselor must give careful time and effort to helping students figure out what they are doing beyond high school. In Spokane Public Schools, teachers and counselors emphasize a program called T24.
This program explains to students that there are a multitude of educational options available after high school; yes, a person could go to a four year university, but he or she could also attend a two year community college or a technical school.
By providing information about career and educational possibilities, high school counselors help their students to create goals and then tailor their schedules to meet the requirements necessary to accomplish those goals. High school counselors are also helpful resources when students have questions about SATs, resumes, and all the other elements of applying to college or a career. School counselors are professional encouraging motivators, helping students to see their own academic and professional capacity, to reach high, and to dream big.
A high school degree is the ultimate goal for every student in the school system because it is necessary for the widest and most lucrative and productive array of careers and further education. A wide variety of obstacles can hamper a student’s capacity to graduate in a timely manner if at all. By facilitating alternate forms of course credit and informing students of prospective professional and educational opportunities and their requirements, high school counselors can open the door for students to reach their fullest potential.