Frequently Asked Questions 

What does a school counselor do? 

 

School counselors deliver a comprehensive developmental counseling program that covers three broad domains: personal and social development, academic development, and career development. Counselors deliver these services primarily through individual counseling, small-group counseling, and classroom lessons. 

How does a student get referred to see the counselor? 

 

A student can get referred in a number of ways. A student may request to see the counselor by filling out a referral form which is found outside of the counselor's office,  or a student may be referred by a concerned parent, teacher, or peer. 

Why do students see the counselor? 

 

Elementary school students see the counselor for a variety of reasons. Some common issues include academic concerns, family issues, divorce, anger, bullying, friendship issues, and grief. 

What are the limits of confidentiality? 

Although school counselors strive to keep information confidential whenever possible, there are situations that require counselors to break confidentiality. School counselors must break confidentiality when a student reports being hurt by others, a student threatens to hurt others, or when a student talks about or attempts to hurt their self. 

Who are school counselors here for? 

 

School counselors are here for everyone! School counselors offer support for every student, every teacher, and every parent who is part of their school community. 

What is the difference between a guidance counselor vs. a school counselor? 

The term guidance counselor and school counselor are often used synonymously but are actually very different. Guidance counseling began in the early 1900's as career and vocational guidance. These positions were often occupied by administrators and teachers, who became known as "guidance counselors." As school counseling evolved, the role changed from simply vocational assistance to addressing the needs of the whole child. Today school counselors are focused on delivering a comprehensive developmental school counseling program for all students. This is often achieved through individual and small group counseling, classroom lessons, and consultation. They must hold a master's degree in counseling and uphold the professional ethical standards. In 1999, the Tennessee state legislature passed a law legally changing the name of this position from guidance counselor to school counselor.