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The Role of the Guidance Counselor

What role does your guidance counselor play in your academic success?

At the middle-school level, guidance counselors help students in a variety of ways, such as:

•Meeting individually with students about their course work, their relationships with teachers, and other issues such as building self-confidence.

•Conducting group sessions on course selection, summer employment, working papers, self-assessment, and more.

•Listening carefully to students and making appropriate referrals.

•Coordinating parent, teacher, and/or team conferences to help students with difficulties they may be having--academically and socially.

•Scheduling for the next grade level and high school.

•Lending support for planning beyond high school.

•Reviewing test results to provide information on abilities, needs, achievements, and interests.

•Provide an transition information day for elementary school students moving into the middle school.

At the high-school level, guidance counselors help students plan their courses and prepare for what comes after high school, be it college or work. This includes helping students search and apply to colleges or places of employment, assisting students in finding financial aid packages or scholarships, and arranging college visits for students.

Additionally, if a student is having difficulty with course work or is experiencing other academic problems, the guidance counselor is often the person who helps find solutions. The counselor also is the key person who facilitates communication between and among the students, parents, and teachers.


How often and when do counselors meet with students?

The guidance counselors meet with students at least once a year, but typically more often.

Middle School

In January or February, the middle school guidance counselor conducts an information night for 8th graders and parents that touches on a variety of topics, such as how the high school schedule works and what to expect in high school.

Throughout the year, the counselors meet with students who have questions or who are having academic problems. This is done on as as-needed basis.

High School

In the fall, the high school guidance counselor focuses on helping seniors start the college application process. For freshman, they help them to orient themselves to the high school by meeting with them individually. In addition, counselors may also go into classrooms and go over graduation requirements, SATs, career options and information that may be of interest to students.

Beginning in January, the school counselors meet first with juniors, then sophomores, and finally freshman to help them schedule their classes for next year. During that period, they also are busy helping juniors begin the college selection process and prepare for college visits.

Throughout the year, the counselors meet with students who have questions or who are having academic problems. This is done on an as-needed basis.


When do counselors meet with parents?

In the junior and senior years, parents and students are invited to meet with the counselor to go over the students records. Parents will receive a letter from the counselor with a date and time. Parents are also invited to set up a meeting --especially if they are concerned about their child's personal or academic development.

There also are a variety of events held throughout the year, at which parents can interact with their child's guidance counselor. These include open houses and information and college financial aid nights.