ASCA Sets National Counseling Standards

Techniques, October 1997 | Go to article overview

ASCA Sets National Counseling Standards


The way Nancy Perry sees it, Sputnik was the culprit that set the U.S. school counseling system askew. In the 1950s, when the Russian space program's successes spurred the U.S. to pump more federal funds into education, counselors had to follow a new mission.

"The general message was that school counselors were to get students to go to college and, if possible, to get them to major in math and science," says Perry, head of the American School Counselor Association.

A lack of standards and definitions for counselors meant an increasing amount of clerical and administrative tasks, such as scheduling and test administration, fell to them. States further compounded the problem when they began issuing varying standards for school counselors in the 1980s.

ASCA hopes to change all that with the first set of national standards for school counselors, which were agreed to this year by its membership. It's up to school leaders, of course, to choose whether to adopt the standards for their counseling programs. Here's a summary of the standards: I. Academic Development

Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span. …

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