Department encourages recognition of school counselors during National School Counseling Week

The Department is reminding Mainers about the unique contributions of professional school counselors and how students are more prepared for success in college and career as a result of what school counselors do as the nation recognizes National School Counseling Week, which is sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

National School Counseling Week, Feb. 2-6, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. 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.

In Maine schools, professional counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Professional 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, career 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.”

Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the school counselors at their local schools. For more information about school counselors in Maine, visit www.maine.gov/doe/counseling or the Maine School Counselor Association’s website at meschoolcounselor.org.