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The Tennessee School Counseling Program:
A Framework for Action!

Vision Statement:  The "Framework for Action" envisions a school counseling program supporting all students in their educational, career, personal and social development thus enabling them to become life-long learners and productive citizens in our communities and around the world.

Tennessee School Counseling Program Definition:  School Counseling is an integral part of each school's total educational program.  It is developmental by design and includes sequential activities organized and implemented by licensed school counselors with the support of teachers, administrators, students, and parents.  A school counseling program shall deliver services in four areas:

  1. School Counseling Curriculum

  2. Individual Planning

  3. Responsive Services

  4. Program Support

The program addresses the needs of all students by helping them to:

* Achieve educational success
* Develop competencies in career/life planning
* Acquire and apply personal and social knowledge.

Roles In Relationship To The School Counseling

The Role of the School Counselor:

  • To counsel with students individually and in small groups

  • To present developmental lessons in the classroom and in small groups

  • To serve as a student advocate

  • To consult with teachers, administrators, school support personnel, parents and business/community agencies

  • To participate in school meetings

  • To work with parents in teaching effective parenting skills, creating a positive environment, and encouraging parent participation

  • To provide staff development in identified areas of need and in orientation to the school counseling program

  • To provide leadership in career development of all students

  • To coordinate school activities pertaining to the school counseling program

  • To facilitate the evaluation of the school counseling program.

Program Components:  School Counseling Curriculum

  • Provides ALL students at ALL grade levels with knowledge and assistance in acquiring and using life skills as identified in competencies.

Structured Developmental Experiences:  School Counselors and other qualified personnel provide structured groups and classroom guidance presentations in accordance with the scope and sequence.

Domains:  The content of the school counseling curriculum focuses on three widely accepted and interrelated areas:  educational, career, and personal/social development.

Individual Planning

  • Consists of school counselor directed activities that help ALL students plan, monitor, and manage their own learning as well as their personal and career development.

Individual Assessment:  School counselors assist students in analyzing and evaluating abilities, interests, skills, and achievement.

Individual Advisement:  School counselors assist students in establishing educational, career, personal and social goals by involving parents, students, school, business and community.

Transition/Placement and Follow-up:  School counselors assist students in making the transition from home-to-school, school-to-school, and school-to-career.

Responsive Services- Consists of activities to meet the immediate needs and concerns of students.

Individual/Small Group Counseling:  Counseling is provided on a small group or individual basis for students.

Consultation:  School counselors consult with parents, teachers, other educators and community agencies regarding strategies to assist students. (Examples:  S-teams, M-teams, 504 meetings, parent/teacher conferences)

Referral:  School counselors use referral sources to deal with crises such as suicide, violence, abuse, illness, and death.

Program Support

  • Consists of management activities which establish, maintain, and enhance the total program.

Professional Development:  School counselors are actively involved in updating their professional knowledge and skills.

Program Management:  School counselors coordinate planning and management tasks which support the activities of a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program.

Consultation:  School counselors consult with teachers and other staff members to provide and receive information on emerging needs of students to support the staff.

Community Outreach:  School counselors participate in activities designed to help them become knowledgeable about business and industry, community resources and referral agencies.

Public Relations:  School counselors orient staff and the community to the comprehensive, developmental school counseling program.

Student Standards and Competencies

The school counseling framework provides a developmentally based sequence of standards and competencies.  Students work toward the competencies through planned counseling and learning activities facilitated by the school counselor through the four Program Components.

Students competencies define the specific knowledge, attitudes and skills students should obtain.  These competencies have been carefully identified and are grounded in developmental theory.  Students pass through sequential developmental stages vital to their educational, career and personal maturation.  At each stage, learning and development must occur to insure the optimal achievement of each student.

Developmental knowledge and skills can be broadly divided into three domains:

*  Educational

*  Career

*  Personal/Social

The scope and sequence contain a list of K-12 student standards and competencies presented in a sequence appropriate for each developmental stage.

Suggested Distribution Of Total Counselor Time

Percentage Rate

Based On Counselor/Student Ratio

Elementary School

High School

High School

*School Counseling Curriculum
Individual Planning
Responsive Services
Program Support

20 - 35

5 - 10
30 - 40
10 - 15

20 - 30

15 - 25
30 - 40
10 - 15

15 - 25

25 - 35
25 - 35
15 - 20

*This percentage reflects the total time involved in planning, consulting, organizing, and presenting classroom or structured group activities.  It does not indicate just the time spent in the activity by the counselor.