The American Counseling Association celebrates professional school counselors and their work in schools across the nation, in recognition of National School Counseling Week, Feb. 3 – 7, 2020.
School counselors have a profound effect on the future of the United States. In the current school year, they are mentoring 56.6 million learners enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. and 19.9 million students attending U.S. colleges and universities.
Professional school counselors focus on students’ mental health, academic success, and college and career planning. As trained mental health professionals, they strive to build safe, positive and trusting relationships with their students.
Throughout the U.S., school counselors are helping students deal with mental health issues including bullying, anxiety, trauma, a sense of isolation, mental health wellness and life strategies and more. They support, guide and advocate for their students and are on the front lines of helping students with critical decisions about their education and their future, including their career and college plans.
The American Counseling Association supports school counselors with an array of resources. The ACA school counselor resources page provides links to trauma-informed approaches for counselors in elementary schools, school counseling issue briefs, professional development and training resources, and more. In addition, ACA advocates for school counselors on legislation such as the Counseling for Career Choice Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The Counseling for Career Choice Act was introduced in November 2019 by Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA), the co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus. This bipartisan legislation amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide grants to states for the development and implementation of statewide career counseling frameworks supported by a local educational agency or secondary school, in conjunction with local businesses and industry organizations.
The bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (SSAE) includes a flexible block grant program under Title IV, Part A, which Congress authorized at $1.6 billion through FY 2021. The SSAE grant program, authorized under Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a federal program that the American Counseling Association has supported from its inception.
About the American Counseling Association
The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the largest member organization of counseling professionals in the world. Our 54,000 plus members work in various practice settings and our mission is to promote the professional development of counselors, advocate for counselors, and to ensure that ethical, culturally-inclusive practices protect all people who seek counseling services. We work to raise awareness about the myriad benefits provided by counseling and counseling professionals.