School Counselor Online Resources
- The American School Counselor Association
- The American Counseling Association
- The Journal of Professional School Counseling
- The International School Counselor Association
- Your State's School Counselor Association
Being a school counselor has always been more of a calling than a simple career path. With its required expertise in communications, education, developmental psychology and administration, it places a laundry list of demands on its constituent professionals. Additionally, the number of parties to whom the school counselor is responsible, from parents and teachers to students themselves, makes the profession all the more challenging. It is also an extremely rewarding occupation: one which allows the dedicated counselor to help large numbers of students overcome a diverse array of new and challenging situations within their own academic careers. To this end, the school counselor needs to take advantage of any resources made available to them, in order to accomplish their professional goals successfully.
Here are five resources for school counselors, which can aid in achieving this measure of success with efficiency and effectiveness:
The American School Counselor Association
One of the foremost academic guidance professional associations in the world, the ASCA maintains an expansive online presence dedicated to providing its members with a library of resources, which is meant to help manage a wide range of professional challenges efficiently. The association also sponsors annual conferences, workshops and other events, providing networking opportunities for school counselors and other educational leadership professionals.
The American Counseling Association
While not specifically dedicated to academia, the ACA is a not-for-profit professional association which represents the interests of every existing field of counseling. Their available resources include an expansive list of materials relating to the support of educational counseling, as well as a strong focus on continuing education opportunities for counselors seeking to further expand their specialized expertise. Their emphasis on leadership within the counseling field makes them an excellent source of networking for professionals engaged in education administration and higher education, as well as school counselors.
The Journal of Professional School Counseling
While it is maintained by the ASCA, the Journal of Professional School Counseling is maintained separately, with its own website. Its expansive list of volumes and individual issues goes back for a number of years, and includes resources not available elsewhere, including through the website for the American School Counselor Association. The journal is available online, as well as in a traditional print format. Its website provides guidelines for article submissions, information about special issues, and further opportunities for networking with other educational counseling professionals.
The International School Counselor Association
The ISCA is a well-respected professional association, which offers a range of support services for school counselors worldwide. The lack of centralized focus on the American educational system allows the dedicated professional counselor to gain access to ideas and strategies that might not otherwise be readily available, and the annual conferences held by the ISCA provide an unrivaled scope of professional networking opportunities.
Your State's School Counselor Association
Every state has a professional association for school counselors, which will frequently offer conferences and workshops with other professionals who — thanks to their close proximity, and similar educational climate — may be dealing with many of the same issues. By joining your state's professional association, you balance out some of the more far-flung opportunities with additional perspective that originates closer to home. This is an excellent way to ensure a well-rounded source of information, support, and learning opportunities.
By following suggested best practices, and taking advantage of available resources for school counselors, guidance counselors and related educational professionals will be better prepared to handle the challenges with which their job confronts them on a day-to-day basis. This will translate directly into a greater degree of professional success, and the ability to help more students overcome their own difficulties, as they adjust to the ever-changing pace of academic life.