Today’s young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse and mobile society, new technologies and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders and citizens, every student needs support, guidance and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that impact academic achievement.
Secondary School Students’ Developmental Needs
High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well and what they will do when they graduate. During these adolescent years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors involving sex, alcohol and drugs while exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behavior and mature, meaningful relationships. They need guidance in making concrete and compounded decisions. They must deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid application process and entrance into a competitive job market.
Secondary school counselors support student achievement by providing:
- Academic planning/support
- Crisis management
- Parent advising and conferencing
- Personal/social skills development
- Post-secondary college and career planning
- Scholarship/financial search process
- Whole-school, small-group, classroom, and individual advising
How and why do parents contact the school counselor?
- Academic programming
- Post-secondary and career advising
- Personal/Social counseling