SECTION i: DEFINE
The role of the School Counselor has changed dramatically since the inception of the "Guidance Counselor" position in the late 1800's.
In the late 1800's in response to the Industrial Revolution, vocational guidance counselors were instituted in schools to guide students to an appropriate profession to ensure a smooth transition from school into the workforce. Over the next 50 years, the role of the vocational guidance counselor was utilized to help prepare students for college and to select, recruit, and train young people for the military.
In step with the famous space race in the 1950's, vocational guidance grew in popularity as the US government placed more and more importance on creating more mathematicians and scientists. The American government passed the National Defense Education Act, which provided funding to support the work of vocational guidance counselors in helping to guide students into science and math related fields.
By the 1990's, however, the emphasis on school counseling was dwindling as there was not a lot of evidence supporting the efficacy of school counseling. In 1997, with data provided by Campbell & Dahir, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) published the ASCA National Standards for School Counseling, which outlined a more comprehensive understanding of the role of the school counselor in K-12 education. This prompted a shift from the term "Guidance Counselor" to "School Counselor" in the profession.
Since the publication of the ASCA National Standards for School Counseling & the ASCA National Model, school counseling has evolved to provide students with a comprehensive Service that focuses on providing students with services in the domains of social/emotional counseling, career counseling, and academic counseling. This shift from vocational guidance to comprehensive school counseling has been critical to providing students with a Service that meets the needs of all students in the K-12 setting based on data and outcome measures.
In order to assist school counselors in advocating for their role in educational settings, ASCA has provided many resources to educate stakeholders on the services that school counselors can provide. ASCA has provided an official statement on the role of the school counselor as well as statements for each level of school counseling: elementary, middle and high. ASCA has also provided information regarding appropriate/inappropriate duties for comprehensive school counselors in order to help school counselors advocate for their Service.
When advocating for a school counseling Service, it is critical to utilize data in order to demonstrate the efficacy of the work that you do. ASCA provides many tools that can be used in order to demonstrate the efficiency of the Service. Tools include the annual administrative conference template, calendars, results reports, and appropriate S.M.A.R.T. goals that align with your school's mission.
In 2004, the Vermont School Counselor Association (VTSCA) adopted a vision to create a Comprehensive Model of School Counseling for Vermont; a committee was formed and work began. This Vermont Model was informed by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model and was created to serve as an extensive guide for schools to use in their effort to promote optimal academic, career and social/emotional development for all students. As a rural state in New England, with local control, it is important to have a framework specific to Vermont that supports Vermont students and families.