The Challenge to Change from Guidance Counseling to Professional School
Counseling: A Historical Proposition
Professional school counselors (PSCs) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) have been working diligently to reconfigure the professional identity of PSCs from its historical guidance epistemology to a comprehensive developmental model. Nevertheless, the historical influence defining a school counselor’s identity has been difficult to alter. The purpose of this article is threefold: (a) to review the historical origins of school counseling, (b) to outline the current PSC identity model promoted by ASCA, and (c) to introduce steps to support the transition to a consistent professional identity for the school counselor. II. Value of the Article to the Field of Counseling
The value of this article to the field of counseling is that school counselor preparation programs and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) advocate professional roles and standards of practice for school counseling professionals. However, incongruence is apparent between what is advocated and the actual duties most professional school counselors (PSCs) are performing. Role ambiguity is present in school counseling to the extent that even PSCs have different perceptions of their roles in the school environment. Role ambiguity exists when (a) an individual lacks information about his or her work role, (b) there is a lack of clarity about work objectives associated with the role, or (c) there is a lack of clarity about peer expectations of the scope and responsibility of the job (Lambie, 2002; Sears & Navin, 1983). PSCs are required to perform increasing nonprofessional duties in a limited amount of time (e.g., attendance, record keeping, testing coordination, hall and bus duty). Furthermore, other noncounseling duties commonly reported include scheduling; transcripts; office sitting; clubs and organizations; parking lot, restroom, and lunch...
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