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NLU - School Counselor Job Description

School Counselor Job Description

School counselors (also called "guidance counselors") work with students to address their academic and developmental needs.1 A school counselor may work in elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools and high schools, either in a direct supervisory position or a counselor education position.2

School counselors play a vital role in the education system by providing valuable assistance to students through leadership, advocacy and collaboration. A professional school counselor helps create a safe learning environment for all students that meets each student's individual needs3 and adheres to professional and ethical standards to plan, implement and oversee results-based school counseling programs that promote student welfare.4

Duties of a School Counselor

A school counselor's job duties may vary based on where he or she is employed, but the duties of a typical school counselor can include:5

  • Developing, implementing and managing school guidance programs
  • Working with students in individual, small group and classroom settings
  • Assisting students with creating an academic plan for their education
  • Helping students plan for college and a successful career after graduation
  • Working with students to develop critical life skills such as organization and time management
  • Helping students work through difficult situations, such as a divorce or death in the family
  • Collaborating with other educators and administrators to ensure counseling programs meet school goals
  • Monitoring and recording student progress to ensure counseling programs are effective

Studies have shown that the role of the school counselor is essential to any school's leadership team. One 2004 study which analyzed Florida students in grades five through nine found that "students in schools with a comprehensive guidance program scored significantly better on state standardized tests for reading and math."6 Another 2007 study concluded that "school counselors provide solutions to help curb rates of school failure and dropout by addressing broader contexts that include personal, social, emotional and career development."7

School Counselor Competencies

In order to meet the demands of professional school counseling, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) has outlined the core competencies needed by 21st-century school counselors. Among other things, these competencies include:8

  • Thorough understanding of the American educational system, including social, cultural and political influences on educational practices
  • Knowledge of the organizational structure and elements of a successful school counseling program, in alignment with the ASCA National Model
  • Understanding of leadership theories and principles, developmental theory, social justice theory, learning theories, multiculturalism and career counseling theories
  • Knowledge of the full continuum of mental health care services, such as prevention and intervention
  • Thorough understanding of barriers to student learning and the use of counseling strategies to eliminate those barriers
  • Knowledge of individual counseling, group counseling and classroom instruction that promote academic achievement
  • Understanding of the legal, professional and ethical issues that affect American schools
Source References [+]
  1. "Who Are School Counselors?"
  2. "The Role of the Professional School Counselor."
  3. "The Role of the Professional School Counselor."
  4. "Who Are School Counselors?"
  5. "Who Are School Counselors?"
  6. "Who Are School Counselors?"
  7. "Who Are School Counselors?"
  8. "ASCA School Counselor Competencies."

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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