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Your School Counselor Connection

The ACA Center for Policy, Practice and Research is committed to providing professional support, tools and content to meet the needs of ACA school counselor members. We serve school counseling graduate students, school counseling professionals (including those new to the field) and counselor educators focused on school counseling.

We hope this web page will provide ACA school counselor members with the latest resources to address topics such as the academic, personal/social and college- and career-readiness needs of students; counselor licensure requirements; ethics; career opportunities; legislative advocacy; trauma and disaster relief; and school counseling research.

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American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association Announce New Collaborative Relationship

Professional Development and Training Resources

ACA offers a number of resources with school counselors in mind, addressing many topics including anxiety/stress management, bullying and violence prevention, grief and loss, crisis and trauma readiness, substance use, counseling children and adolescents, and counseling LGBTQ youth.

We offer an array of books that can help you in many areas, including:  We also provide More ACA Resources
School Counseling Issue Briefs

The purpose of these briefs purpose is to provide counselors working in schools with concise resources.

College and Career Counseling Tools

ACA offers a variety of college and career counseling resources to enable school counselors to help all students “reach higher,” starting at the elementary school level.

College Scorecard – Developed by the U.S. Department of Education and Transparency Center, this tool is geared toward helping students find a college that is a good fit for them.

Net Price Calculator Center – Helps students calculate the net price of any college program. 

College Navigator – This site is designed to help students, parents, counselors and others find information on more than 7,000 colleges and universities. 

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet – Students can use this tool to compare financial aid offers from different schools. – This website is filled with resources for students, parents and educators about financial aid, FAFSA information and FAFSA completion tips. 

State Academic Performance and Improvement Tool – Looking for state-level data to drive your annual program plan? Look no further than this Educational Trust webpage.

Eight Components of College- and Career-Readiness Counseling – Learn how to focus your college- and career-readiness preparation and advising in developmentally appropriate ways for K-12 with this National Office for School Counseling Advocacy (NOSCA) guide.

Learn how to establish a college-going culture by fostering preparedness for college and career pathways with these National Office for School Counseling Advocacy (NOSCA) guides:
Licensure Requirements

Many professional school counselors choose to seek licensure in mental health to become more knowledgeable about mental health disorders and better able to recognize them when they occur in their students. In addition, licensure is key in setting up a private practice.

Many school counseling graduate students opt to include the additional courses necessary for licensure while still in graduate school. As the licensure process may vary from state to state, it is best to check with your local Licensure Board to determine the necessary steps, including the required coursework and the required number of clinically supervised hours. Some jurisdictions will count all hours worked by school counselors in their schools, while others count only the hours of direct contact with students. Some jurisdictions will not count any hours worked as a school counselor.


Professional school counselors must follow federal, state and local laws, as well as the policies of the school district and the school in which they work. Difficult ethical dilemmas may arise when counseling minors—especially in the areas of confidentiality and managing boundaries. The 2014 update to the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics helps school counselors address ambiguous situations that may arise.

Career Opportunities for School Counselors

Using ACA Career Central, school counseling professionals have access to a comprehensive digital job board to facilitate finding a rewarding position.

School Counseling Legislative Advocacy

ACA is in your corner, tirelessly advocating for changes such as lower counselor-to-student ratios and more funding for school counseling programs.

Trauma and Disaster Relief

Schools face many natural and human-generated disasters. ACA is committed to providing resources to support school counselors in addressing the mental health needs of students, parents and staff affected by such events. In addition, ACA supports preventative programs for school counselors, including school-wide anti-violence programs and social skills training.

School Counseling Research

ACA is actively involved in supporting and disseminating research that addresses the needs of the school counseling profession.

A Review of the Major School Counseling Policy Studies in the United States: 2000-2014 prepared by John C. Carey and Ian Martin of the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation (CSCORE). This paper presents a review of the major policy studies concerning school counseling in the United States that were disseminated between 2000 and 2014.

Of Special Interest for Counselor Educators Focused on School Counseling

ACA offers the opportunity to order desk copies of books for consideration for course adoption, such as  Evaluating Student Learning Outcomes in Counselor Education, written and edited by Casey A. Barrio Minton, Donna M. Gibson and Carrie A. Wachter Morris.

The ACA Annual Conference & Expo helps keep counselor educators up-to-date on the latest evidence-based approaches to school counseling, and, along with ACA Connect, a networking portal for ACA members, provides opportunities to interact with other counselor educators in this country and around the world.

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Of Special Interest for School Counseling Graduate Students

As ACA members, school counseling graduate students will find many valuable resources, including free liability insurance, which is required by most counseling programs when doing in-school fieldwork (practicums and internships).

ACA also offers Learn More
Related Organizations

ACA collaborates with many school counselor-focused organizations to support the needs of professional school counselors.

The Council of National School Counseling & College Access Organizations unites many school counseling-focused national organizations representing almost 20 million professionals, students and families, and believes that every student should have access to counseling and advisement to achieve postsecondary success.

The Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL) promotes excellence in the field of school counseling and assists school counselors and site administrators as they design, implement and evaluate school counseling programs.

The Center for School Counseling Outcome Research Evaluation (CSCORE) is a national center dedicated to school counseling outcome research. Teams of graduate students, along with Center founder Ron Fredrickson, evaluate the best available research on school counseling practices and provide evidenced-based resources for consultation, training and technical assistance.

The American School Counseling Association supports school counselors in helping students focus on academic, career and social/emotional development.

Counseling at the Crossroads: The perspectives and promise of school counselors in American education is a survey of high school and middle school counselor perspectives on educational policies, practices and reforms. The report was released by the College Board’s National Office for School Counselor Advocacy, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the American School Counselor Association.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is dedicated to serving students and helping them pursue their postsecondary educational goals.

College Board webinars offer information on best practices and ways to remove barriers to college access.