High school counseling began during the 20th century in American high schools. However, the department has been left out over the years during education reform movements until 2002, when the development of the ASCA model took place. The ASCA model sets standards through which school counselors should observe to help them promote the effectiveness of their services. The model has four components to promote core competencies among counselors; foundation, delivery, management, and accountability. However, there is no evidence on whether the new model is bettering high school counseling or not. This paper analyses the article in question to evaluate the effectiveness of high school counseling practices and expectations towards learners ‘success.
Over the years, education reforms have shifted focus on traditional counseling services to adopting new standards that are centered around helping students achieve academic success. In their article titled “Transforming High School Counseling: Counselors’ Roles, Practices, and Expectations for Student’s Success,” Wei-Cheng et al. investigate how counselors’ practices adhere to ASCA National Model and meet the requirements of best practices as described by the American School Counselors Association. While some schools fail to embrace transformative counseling, this article analyses how high school transformational counseling is effective in roles, rules, and attitudes towards students’ success.
Different policies and model designs aim to help students achieve better academic results, career choices, and progress. The authors explain the necessity of having professional counselors in high school to promote overall student success. The authors further give insight into the impact that counselors have on students. They elaborate that learners from institutions with fully functioning, well outlined, and outcome-based counseling programs depict a greater probability of the learners achieving high grades and acquiring more preparations for college educations and their careers. Wei-Cheng et al. further argue that, from the study, it is clear that students who receive standardized counseling services exhibit a positive attitude towards schooling in comparison to those in schools that do not value counseling. Apart from counseling changing students’ perceptions of education, ASCA best practices also aim to help mold students’ behaviors, attitudes and connectedness, helping them develop coping strategies in various environments (McMahon & Mason, 2019). With counseling services, students develop a sense of belonging, promoting high performance in their studies.
The study further elaborates that the new transformative model broadens counselor’s role, and success entirely depends on the specific groups of students they are serving. The article quotes that “ASCA molds counselors to be ‘uniquely qualified to help all students’ academic, career, social or personal development needs” (p.3). However, even with the transformative model, this may not be the case in actual practice. Different factors influence students’ attitudes, starting from family background, personality challenges, fears, and anxieties, which are diversified depending on other specific elements such as genetic characterization. The discrepancies between the actual practices leave a gap that needs addressing. Eleven with ASCA instance on the inappropriateness of instilling discipline among students, counselors may need to involve disciplinary measures in severe cases (Dollarhide & Lemberger, 2018). What influences personal motivation is related to counseling services and the background, parental upbringing, religion, culture, and other factors out of human control. Furthermore, every individual has their choice of options they take in resolving the changes they take.
The article outlines that the counseling goals, according to ASCA, are centered towards the enhancement of students’ achievement and accomplishment. The study explains that the counselors spend their time consistently prioritizing the counseling goals. Furthermore, the article elaborates that various factors redefine the role of school counselors by reinstating them as school administrators from their previous inappropriate responsibilities. According to the theory of change, sometimes it is challenging to engage students when you lack a relationship with them. Even with the ASCA model insisting on following the set goals, particular cases might call for practice out of the best practices expected. For example, sometimes bullying may take place in schools towards an obese student; even with the psychologists’ support and motivation, guiders may not help to elicit the stereotypes associated with obesity (Nice et al., 2021). The outline of how counselors set, prioritize, and develop counseling goals is a compelling ideology in that goals significantly influence the possible outcomes. When counselors set the right goals, they can draw students close and hence be able to help them through schooling.
From the study, it is clear that counselors concentrate on preparing students for post-secondary education, and a significant percentage considers academic achievements the most important goal. This goal aligns with the ASCA standards of students’ success in academic, career, and personal development. However, the authors fail to reflect on how establishing strength-based environments would help students grow socially and academically. In line with the ASCA goals, the counselors should promote a friendly atmosphere by incorporating positive behavior interventions. Furthermore, school counselors should guide students through education alone and include helpful resources to help students balance their school life with home life. Although the concepts of academic success are admirable, other areas of life need addressing.
The research explains the implications of transformative high school counseling, arguing that they follow national model requirements and best practices of ASCA. The scholars say that students’ success is the core goal of school counseling in recent times, and with the current emphasis, positive results are evident. The authors further surmise that despite the success, many principals and teachers do not see the need for school counselors, which causes misunderstanding. The 21st century is characterized by diversification of cultural values, which makes it hard for counselors in schools because apart from principals and teachers, some students and parents also do not recognize the need for school counselors. However, with the prevailing global conditions and increasing numbers of youths experiencing mental health challenges, school counselors must help students overcome both academic and life challenges through their studies.
In conclusion, high school counselors’ practices in high schools are pretty in line with the ASCA practices. Counselors mainly concentrate on assisting students in making career choices and guiding them in applying and selecting college processes. Counselors are motivated to improve student success in career readiness since it is an essential source of their career success. There is still a gap in the support teachers and school administrators give to high school counselors that limit their success. ASCA model has seen tremendous success through these challenges because the set standards help identify and meet school goals. Counselor educators play a critical role in assisting students to align to the school climate, increase academic progress, and developing personal social skillets. Therefore, the transition of high school counseling has promoted increased success, confidence, and students making suitable career choices, hence achieving success.
Dollarhide, C. T., & Lemberger-Truelove, M. E. (Eds.). (2018). Theories of school counseling for the 21st century. Oxford University Press.
McMahon, H. G., & Mason, E. C. M. (2019). Ecological school counseling.
Nice, M. L., Joseph, M., Kolbert, J. B., Hilts, D. N., Crothers, L. M., & Kratsa, K. (2021). Development of the School Counselor Efficacy for College Knowledge Questionnaire. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 07342829211021680 p. 15-30. Web.