Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

Using Technology to Promote Your Guidance and Counseling Program among Stake Holders

Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

Using Technology to Promote Your Guidance and Counseling Program among Stake Holders

Article excerpt

Both qualitative and quantitative research in the past decade has steadily revealed a lack of fundamental understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the school counselor with other professionals within both the mental health and education fields (e.g., see Ballard & Murgatroyd, 1999; Burnham, & Jackson, 2000; Carter, 1993; Hoyt & Wickwire, 2001; Struder & Alton, 1996). The visibility of a comprehensive school counseling program may give other professionals a clearer conceptualization of the goals and objectives of a counseling program within the school environment. Ultimately, this may allow other professionals greater opportunity to collaborate and offer appropriate assistance and resources to ensure effective implementation of the overall guidance and counseling program mission. Promoting one's comprehensive guidance and counseling program is one way to effectively develop, implement, evaluate, and justify all aspects of a comprehensive guidance and counseling program. Indeed, "A guidance program can be enhanced only by informing the public about the indispensable counseling program and its integration into the educational process" (Struder & Alton, p. 6). According to Keys and Lockhart (1999), gaining the support of stake holders for implementing comprehensive guidance and counseling programs may be considered crucial as research indicates multisystematic change must include all parties (parents, teachers, administrators, and communities). Through disseminating timely information, school counselors can advance understanding and confidence among many important others. For instance, they can:

1. Encourage administrators to support their work, especially when faced with competing, noncounseling related tasks (e.g., bus duty, substitute teaching, and handing out punishment as part of discipline)

2. Foster understanding and respect for how school counseling endeavors to advance students' personal, social, career, and academic competencies

3. Help parents and teachers learn how to appropriately refer children for developmental and other counseling-related issues

4. Network and collaborate with other school counselors, locally, nationally, or internationally

5. Interface with both business and industry for promoting school-to-career and other guidance and counseling related initiatives

6. Help to inform student counselors about practical, realistic, and innovative efforts for implementing a comprehensive developmental program. School districts and counselor educators may find that collaborating can serve as a "two-fold" purpose for both parties. Learning about the details of a comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling program can orientate future school counselors in training to the specific roles of school counselors and programs that are being implemented within local school systems. Also, as school counselors and counselor educators work together, a shared pool of expertise and experiences can advance specific student competencies which a guidance program endeavors to address and the means by which such competencies will be demonstrated and measured

7.Assist professionals in related fields such as school psychologists, social workers, mental heath therapists, family therapists, and expressive therapists to better learn how they may effectively collaborate and complement the work of a school counselor within a comprehensive guidance and counseling program

8.As suggested by Myrick (1997), communicate guidance and counseling activities as they are implemented as one form of an evaluative tool for administrators and other counselors to provide feedback. This way, any necessary modifications may be met for the present program/procedures

The public school system in particular has been challenged in the last two decades on a nationwide level with a diverse number of societal issues/problems which require specific educational, career, and socio-emotional interventions. …

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