Middle School Counseling
What Are Middle School Counselors?
Middle school counselors are educators uniquely trained in child and adolescent development, learning strategies, self-management and social skills. Middle school counselors hold a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes ongoing professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students.
What Do Middle School Counselors Do For Students?
Middle school counselors implement a school counseling program to support students through this important developmental period. The school counseling program provides education, prevention and intervention activities, which are integrated into all aspects of students’ lives. The program teaches students the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for academic, career and social/ emotional development. Delivery of the program occurs through direct and indirect student services.
Direct student services
instruction – teaching the school counseling curriculum to students focused through the lens of selected student standards from the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success.
appraisal and advisement – assessing student abilities, interests and achievement to help them make decisions about their future.
counseling – providing professional assistance and support to a student or small group of students during times of transition, heightened stress, critical change or other situations impeding student success. School counselors do not provide therapy or long-term counseling in schools. However, school counselors are prepared to recognize and respond to student mental health needs and assist students and families seeking resources.
Indirect student services
consultation – share strategies supporting student achievement with parents, teachers, other educators and community organizations
- collaboration – work with other educators, parents and the community to support student achievement
- referrals – support for students and families to school or community resources for additional assistance and information
Academic Domain at the Middle School Level
Middle school counselors support students' academic success by delivering information to students and teachers within the school counseling curriculum on best practices in mindsets and behaviors (i.e., learning strategies, self-management skills, social skills) and metacognition skills critical in academic success. They work to remove barriers to access and provide students with the opportunity for academic challenge in the most rigorous coursework possible. They also establish data analysis methods to identify and target systemic barriers deterring equitable access. Middle school counselors work with administration, teachers, and other school staff to create a school environment encouraging academic success and striving to one's potential.
Career Domain at the Middle School Level
Per Section 1003.4156, Florida Statutes (F.S.), middle school students must complete a Career and Education planning course to help them determine educational and career options and goals. Through this course, each student will achieve a completed personalized academic and career plan. This plan may be revised as the student progresses through middle and high school.
At Volusia County Schools students fulfill this requirement through the use of the MyCareerShines Kuder Navigator platform during their US History course.
Social/Emotional Domain at the Middle School Level
Middle school counselors play a critical role in supporting social/emotional development. They collaborate with classroom teachers to provide the school counseling curriculum to all students through direct instruction, team-teaching or providing lesson plans for learning activities or units in classrooms aimed at social/ emotional development. They are trained in counseling theories that they use to inform, identify, and employ appropriate appraisal methods for individual and group interventions that support students’ social/emotional development.
Florida CPALMS Character Education Standards