VISTAS School Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Rethinking the Organization and Delivery of Counseling in Schools

Randall L. Astramovich, Wendy J. Hoskins, and Kerry A. Bartlett


The roles and functions of school counselors have been widely discussed for many decades (Gysbers 2004; Herr, 2003). Although a few guidance and school counseling models have been developed in recent years (e.g., ASCA, 2005; Gysbers & Henderson, 2006), uncertainties about the professional functions of school counselors persist (Hoskins & Astramovich, 2007). Recent models of school counseling appear to primarily focus on the academic advising function of school counselors, perhaps as a reaction to the changing climate of school reform and accountability (Herr, 2002). As Whiston (2004) highlighted, school counseling models are moving away from a focus on direct services including individual and small group counseling for students. Consequently, the counseling function of school counselors has been minimized while the mental health needs of today’s youth continue to rise (Astramovich, Hoskins, & Markos, 2007; Kaffenberger & Seligman, 2003). In order to address the lack of professional counseling services in elementary and secondary schools, the authors propose the development of comprehensive school-based counseling centers to help promote student psychosocial development in addition to supporting academic success and career readiness. This article overviews the rationale and organization of comprehensive school-based counseling centers and identifies new staff positions critical for fostering healthy student development.

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