The Role of the School Guidance Counselor

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  • 0:02 What's a School…
  • 1:21 Leadership and Advocacy
  • 2:25 Support
  • 3:14 Academic Planning
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

School guidance counselors are essential parts of the education system. This lesson will discuss the role of school guidance counselors and the important contributions they make.

What's a School Guidance Counselor?

Do you remember your school guidance counselor? Depending on the type and size of the school you attended, you may have had more than one. What do you remember about their role? Did he or she:

  • Help you with school-related or personal issues?
  • Assist you in selecting classes?
  • Help you apply to college or even search for scholarships?

These are just a few of the many helpful tasks performed by guidance counselors.

A school guidance counselor is a highly trained individual who helps with academic issues, career questions, college prep, and personal or social issues of kids from kindergarten to 12th grade. They are an essential member of a school district's administration team.

School guidance counselors usually have a Bachelor's degree in either Education or Psychology, and a Master's degree in Counseling. Some school guidance counselors may also have a doctoral degree in either counseling or education. The responsibilities of school guidance counselors may seem endless, but there are specific duties that are required to satisfactorily fill these roles.

School guidance counselors have many responsibilities each day in their service to students, families, and the school itself. Let's discuss some of the most important roles of the school guidance counselor.

Leadership and Advocacy

School guidance counselors serve as leaders in the school. They are trusted and reliable members of the administration team. They work with students, parents, teachers, and other members of administration to ensure that the needs of students are being met. They help to organize and plan events geared toward empowering students for success. School guidance counselors also work with the community to increase opportunities for student engagement.

School guidance counselors work tirelessly as advocates for students and their families. This role means that they work on behalf of students and families to ensure that fairness and equality are the driving forces behind the educational system in which they are employed.

In other words, they make sure that each and every student has the same opportunity for success regardless of socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, or gender differences. This responsibility requires school guidance counselors to be ethical professionals who are well informed of related laws and regulations.


When you were asked to think back on your school guidance counselor, support is probably what you remembered most. The support role of school guidance counselors is probably the most well know and visible part of their jobs.

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