What is School Counseling?

ASCA National Model

"The ASCA National Model for School Counseling Programs will help school counselors become one vision and one voice for students' academic success."
-Pam Gabbard

The ASCA National Model recommends the majority of the school counselor's time be spent in direct service to all students so that every student receives maximum benefits from the comprehensive school counseling program.

School counseling programs are collaborative efforts benefiting students, parents, teachers, administrators and the overall community. School counseling programs should be an integral part of students' daily educational environment, and school counselors should be partners in student achievement. 

The question has been posed, "What do school counselors do?" The more important question is:

"How are students different as a result of what school counselors do?"

School Counseling Domains

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, career and personal/social development so they achieve success in school and prepare to lead fulfilling lives beyond formal education. 


Academic development guides school counseling programs to implement strategies and activities to support and maximize each student's ability to learn. 


Career development guides school counseling programs to provide the foundation for the acquisition of skills and knowledge that enables students to make a successful transition from school to the world of work, and from job to job across the lifespan. 


To address the personal/social development of students, school counseling programs focus on providing the foundation for personal and social growth as students progress through school and into adulthood. 

These domains inform the types of programs and resources provided by school counselors.  In addition, they form the foundation for the National Standards set for students by ASCA.

ASCA National Standards for Students

ASCA National Standards for Students was established to help school counselors help students. ASCA National Standards identify and prioritize the specific attitudes, knowledge and skills that students should be able to demonstrate as a result of participating in a school counseling program. These standards address the academic, career and personal/social development of all students.  Best of all, by adopting and implementing ASCA National Standards, school counselors change the way school counseling programs are designed and delivered across our country.