National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), focuses public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students benefit from a comprehensive school counseling program. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and post-secondary plans.
The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who "implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century," according to Erin O'Malley, Dean of Student Services and Director of Counseling.
This week we celebrated our counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and college/career development; and for working with teachers and other educators to provide a system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. All of our school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.
"School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students' academic concerns, awareness in post-secondary options and personal/social skills," said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. "Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success."
More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week's festivities. Many school counselors will be hosting special events and activities to call attention to the myriad benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program.
As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, Bishop O'Connell celebrated counselors with decorations, announcements, and lunch. We also celebrated our comprehensive program by highlighting events within our 3 areas of our program focus: Academic Counseling by hosting an Electives Fair for our students; College/Career counseling by holding our Junior College Planning Night, and Social/Emotional counseling by ending our week with our Free Mental Health Symposium for our school community on Saturday, Feb. 11.