Sunday, February 2, 2014

National School Counseling Week: Advocacy

What would happen if there were fewer school counselors available to work with students?

Sadly, we have first hand knowledge of what happens.  Philadelphia is a prime example, having cut school counseling positions prior to the start of this school year.  As recently as last month, there have been discussions about how this has disenfranchised students as it relates to the college and post-secondary process.

As school counselors who work tirelessly advocating for students' academic success, social-emotional well-being, and college and career readiness skills, we know that without our services being offered at reasonable ratios, it is the students who stand to lose the most.  There is much work to be done at the state and national level with regards to education about our role in student achievement and how that role is vital in supporting the whole child, the family, and the community.  However, the real work begins at the local level.  Schools are primarily funded and guided by the communities that they serve.  Thus, I was impressed when I came across the video series below (many thanks to the Virginia School Counselor Association for sharing this via social-media), as it is a prime example of a local community examining the loss of school counseling positions and how that directly impacts students and schools.  Yes, they interchangeably use the term "guidance" and "school" counselor, and they refer to ASCA as the "American Counseling Association" (a fine organization of which I am a member, but not the organization to which they are referring in these news segments).  What I find particularly amazing is that in this community, the loss of school counselors was seen as a story of such importance that it was given two nights, not just one.  Take a look at the segments below:

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