Counseling in Schools

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Comprehensive Programs of Responsive
Services for All Students


John J. Schmidt
East Carolina University, Emeritus

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This text was previously published under the title Counseling in Schools: Comprehensive
Programs of Responsive Services for All Students.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Schmidt, John J.,
Counseling in schools : comprehensive programs of responsive services for all students / John J.
Schmidt, East Carolina University, Emeritus.––Sixth edition.
pages cm
ISBN-13: 978-0-13-285171-8
ISBN-10: 0-13-285171-7
1. Educational counseling––United States. 2. Student counselors––United
States. 3. Counseling in elementary education––United States. 4. Counseling in middle school
education––United States. 5. Counseling in secondary education––United States. I. Title.
LB1027.5.S2585 2014
371.4––dc23 2012044279

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN 10: 0-13-285171-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-13-285171-8

With affection and admiration to
Dawn and Eric Bergquist,
daughter and son-in-law,

and most important, devoted parents of
Evelyn, Erica, Aidan, and Addyson

About the Author

Dr. John J. (Jack) Schmidt is professor emeritus of counselor education at East Carolina
University, Greenville, North Carolina, where he chaired the Counselor and Adult Educa-
tion Department from 1989 through 2002. He completed bachelor and master’s degrees at
St. Michael’s College in Vermont, and earned a doctorate in counseling from the Univer-
sity of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jack has been a social studies teacher; an elemen-
tary, middle, and high school counselor; a school system director of counseling and testing
services; and the state coordinator of school counseling with the North Carolina Depart-
ment of Public Instruction.

In addition to Counseling in Schools, Dr. Schmidt has authored other books, includ-
ing The Elementary/Middle School Counselor’s Survival Guide; Intentional Helping: A
Philosophy for Proficient Caring Relationships; Social and Cultural Foundations of
Counseling and Human Services; Invitational Counseling with Dr. William Purkey; and
From Conflict to Conciliation, with Drs. Purkey and John Novak.

Recipient of many career awards, Dr. Schmidt served as President of the North
Carolina Counseling Association and the North Carolina Association for Counselor Edu-
cation and Supervision. He has been an editorial board member of national and interna-
tional journals, including The School Counselor , Counselor Education and Supervision ,
and the Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice, and served two terms on the North
Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and one term as a director on the
National Board of Certified Counselors.

Jack lives with his wife, Pat, in Clemmons, North Carolina. They have one daughter,
Dawn; a son-in-law, Eric; and four grandchildren, Evelyn, Erica, Aidan, and Addyson,
who live in Pennsylvania.



This sixth edition of Counseling in Schools: Comprehensive Programs of Responsive Ser-
vices for All Students continues the effort of providing information about the school coun-
seling profession and the leadership role professional counselors have in schools. This
edition advocates for the development of comprehensive programs of services that identify
the role of counselors in schools while assisting all students in the areas of academic,
career, and social/personal development.

As with previous editions, this revision of Counseling in Schools traces the develop-
ment of school counseling, presents contemporary roles and functions for school counsel-
ors, and explores future possibilities for the profession. This text is for students who are
preparing for a career in school counseling as well as for professionals seeking information
about the nature of school counseling services.

New to This Edition

This edition of Counseling in Schools includes 13 chapters, updated with the most recent
references, trends, research, and views about professional school counseling. In presenting
this information, the revised text includes the following:

• New tables, diagrams, figures, and forms to highlight material in each chapter and
to help readers follow content and connect it with salient issues in the profession.

• Perspectives placed in all the chapters that encourage readers to explore personal
insights and relate them to specific content.

• Updated websites and suggested readings at the end of each chapter to provide
readers with contemporary resources.

• Exercises at the conclusion of each chapter to offer opportunities for practical

• Fresh information about the ASCA National Model ® (2005 , 2012 ) and com-
parisons with other comprehensive school counseling approaches, such as models
developed by Gysbers and Henderson (2012) , Myrick (2003) , and Dollarhide and
Saginak (2012) . Revised content offers professional counselors opportunities to ex-
amine similarities and differences among popular models of comprehensive school
counseling programs.

• Updated information about current counselor preparation standards from
the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
( CACREP, 2009 ).

• New competencies of professional practice by the American School Counselor
Association ( ASCA, 2008 ) and ASCA’s 2010 Ethical Standards for school counseling.


vi Preface

This new content about counselor preparation, competencies, and current ethical
standards of practice will help students learn what the school counseling profession
believes are important knowledge bases, competencies, and standards of practice in
the twenty-first century.

What Is Retained from Previous Editions

Counseling in Schools continues to illustrate a divergence of professional practice. The
ways that professional counselors function in schools are often determined more by state
and local educational, political, and administrative decisions than by the mission and mod-
els promoted by the school counseling profession; consequently, school counselors rely on
numerous resources to expand their professional knowledge of current practice. As part of
that effort, this edition of Counseling in Schools presents a programmatic description of
school counseling giving a broad overview of professional practice. It touches briefly on
many of the components and services of a comprehensive program without giving exten-
sive treatment to specific aspects. Other courses and specialized texts in counselor prepa-
ration have that mission.

This revision continues to offer a professional foundation with which new school
counselors can take leadership roles in advocating for comprehensive school counseling
programs and responsive services for all students. Professional counselors who work in
schools face the dual challenges of clarifying their own roles while designing an appropri-
ate program of services to complement the mission of the school. Although the profession
has made progress in meeting these two challenges, many counselors find themselves in
situations in which they are unable to provide adequate responsive services to students,
parents, guardians, and teachers. Other assigned functions, often unrelated to their prepara-
tion as professional counselors, frequently prevent them from providing crucial educa-
tional, career, and personal assistance. This sixth edition encourages counselors in schools
to establish an appropriate professional identity through an assertive posture that conveys
who they are and what they can offer to schools.

How This Book Is Organized

Counseling in Schools promotes the philosophy that the most efficient and effective way to
provide counseling in schools is through comprehensive programs of services designed to
meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers during the elementary, middle, and high
school years. Thirteen chapters illustrate the common goals and various functions found in
the practice of school counseling at these three levels of education, as well as aspects that
influence the role of counselors in schools. The book is divided into three sections:

• Chapters 1 through 4 describe the historic development of school counseling; pro-
vide an overview of the diverse students, communities, and schools served by counselors;
summarize the role of counselors in elementary, middle, and high schools; and present
basic components of general comprehensive school counseling programs.

• Chapters 5 through 10 focus on the functions of counselors in schools and provide
practical ideas for developing a program of services. Chapter 5 introduces these func-
tions as responsive services of the school counseling profession, and Chapter 6

Preface vii

provides an outline of practical strategies for planning, organizing, implementing, and eval-
uating a comprehensive counseling program. Chapters 7 through 9 illustrate how profes-
sional counselors incorporate each function and responsive service into the practice of
school counseling. Chapter 10 offers an overview of educational and career development,
two primary purposes for counselors to work in schools. An important responsibility of
school counselors is to help students with educational and career decisions—a process that
begins in the primary grades and expands in secondary schools with the involvement of
parents, teachers, and counselors guiding students toward occupations, postsecondary edu-
cational opportunities, and adulthood. Three case studies close Chapter 10 , and illustrate
how core services of a comprehensive program come together in a collaborative effort to
assist all students. The cases represent three levels of school counseling—elementary, mid-
dle, and high school.

• Chapters 11 through 13 present professional issues related to the practice of school
counseling. Chapter 11 explores issues related to program evaluation and reviews methods
of assessing counseling services, as well as those related to performance appraisal and
supervision of school counselors. Chapter 12 summarizes legal and ethical issues related to
the practice of counseling in schools and presents the ethical standards of the school coun-
seling profession as put forth by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA,
2010b). Chapter 13 considers the future of school counseling, relating schools of tomorrow
to students of tomorrow, and examining both visions within the context of school counsel-
ing programs and services. Technological advances and their impact on learning and coun-
seling are explored, as are some of the social changes expected in years to come.

As noted earlier, lists of further readings, exercises, and relevant websites appear at
the end of each chapter. Learning about a profession’s heritage and the functions and
responsibilities that make up its identity becomes more significant when students absorb
the information through practical exercises and outside reading. These added experiences
give special meaning to a person’s professional development.

Also Available for Instructors

• Instructor’s Resource Manual and Test Bank. A comprehensive Instructor’s
Manual with Test Bank is available electronically to qualified adopters. Please ask your
Pearson sales representative to obtain a copy.

• PowerPoint® Presentations. PowerPoint® slides for each chapter are also available.

These instructor supplements are available online on the Instructor’s Resource Center on
the Pearson Higher Education website ( ).


This revision is the product of effort by many people. I sincerely appreciate the leadership
of Meredith Fossel, my editor at Pearson, and her assistant, Krista Slavicek, who directed
this project. I also am grateful to the reviewers for this sixth edition: Charlene Alexander,
Ball State University; Laurie Carlson, Colorado State University; Shelley Jackson, Texas

viii Preface

Woman’s University; Carolyn Kern, University of North Texas. Their suggestions guided
much of the editing and many of the additions to this revision. In addition, Jeffrey M.
Warren, counselor educator at UNC–Pembroke, provided excellent assistance in coau-
thoring the Instructor’s Manual and PowerPoint® presentations as supplemental material
for this text. Finally, I am deeply indebted to my wife, Pat, whose love and guidance have
allowed me to be successful in my life and career.

Brief Contents

1 The School Counseling Profession 1

2 Diverse Students, Communities, and Schools 30

3 The School Counselor and Program Leadership 56

4 Comprehensive School Counseling Programs 88

5 Services of a Comprehensive Program 108

6 Program Development 138

7 Individual Counseling and Group Processes 166

8 Collaboration and Consultation 193

9 Student Assessment 218

10 Educational and Career Development 246

11 Evaluation of School Counseling Programs 269

12 Professional Ethics and Legal Issues 297

13 School Counseling Today and Tomorrow 325

References 342

Author Index 352

Subject Index 356



Preface v

1 The School Counseling Profession 1
Counseling as a Profession 2

Historical Background 4
Counselor Identity 5

Development of School Counseling 7
Emergence of Guidance and Counseling in Schools 9
Expansion of School Counseling 15
The Twenty-First Century 20

A Professional Identity 23
Professional Development and Accreditation 24
Comprehensive School Counseling Programs 25
Additional Readings 28
Websites 28
Exercises 29

2 Diverse Students, Communities, and Schools 30
Increased Diversity 31

Culture 31
Enculturation 32
Acculturation 33
Assimilation 33
Encapsulation 34
Collectivism 34
Individualism 34
Subcultures 35
Worldview 35

Race and Ethnicity 36
Race 36
Ethnicity 37

Sex, Gender, Activity, and Orientation 38
Sex 38


Contents xi

Gender Identity 39
Sexual Orientation 40

Families and Communities 42
Spirituality and Religion 42
Exceptionality 43
Socioeconomic Status 45
Rural and Urban Schools 47

The School Counselor and Multicultural Competency 48
Awareness 49
Knowledge 50
Skill 50

School Counseling and Diversity 51
Assessment of School Environment 51
Developmental Counseling 52
Appreciating and Celebrating Diversity 53
Advocacy and Social Justice 53
Program Leadership 54
Additional Readings 54
Websites 55
Exercises 55

3 The School Counselor and Program Leadership 56
Defining School Counseling 56

Advisory Committee 58
Consultation 58
Counseling 58
Counseling Center 58
Developmental Guidance and Counseling 59
Guidance 59
Parent Education Programs 59
Peer Helper and Mediation Programs 59
School-wide Guidance 60
Student Services Team 60

Varying Roles of School Counselors 60
The Elementary School Counselor 61
The Middle School Counselor 67
The High School Counselor 73

Program Leadership 76
Employment by Schools 77
School Counselor Preparation 78
Maintaining Balance 79

Preparation and Identity of School Counselors 80
Development and Review of National Standards 80
CACREP 2009 Standards 80

xii Contents

Credentials of School Counselors 85
State Certification 85
National Certification 86
Additional Readings 87
Websites 87
Exercises 87

4 Comprehensive School Counseling Programs 88
The Purpose of School Counseling Programs 88

Educational Development 90
Career Development 91
Personal and Social Development 92

A Comprehensive Program 94
The Comprehensive Guidance Program Model 96
Developmental Guidance and Counseling Approach 96
ASCA National Model 97
Domains/Activities/Partners Model 98

Facilities 99
The Counseling Center 100

Materials and Equipment 104

Personnel 104
Counselors 105
Clerical Assistants 106
Paraprofessionals and Volunteers 106
Additional Readings 107
Websites 107
Exercises 107

5 Services of a Comprehensive Program 108
Counseling 108

Individual Counseling 109
Group Counseling 110
Student Counseling 111
Parent and Teacher Counseling 112

Consulting 112
Information Services 113
Instructional Services 116
Problem-Solving Services 118
Other School Services 120

Coordinating 122
Data Collection and Sharing 122
Collaboration and Systemic Change 126

Contents xiii

Appraising 132
Student Evaluation 133
Environmental Evaluation 134
Additional Readings 137
Websites 137
Exercises 137

6 Program Development 138
Planning 139

Assessing the Current Program 139
Seeking Input and Support for Change 140
Assessing the Needs of Students, Parents, and Teachers 141
Determining Resources 142

Organizing 144
Setting Goals 145
Assigning Responsibilities 147
Marketing the Program 148
Using Technology 149

Implementing 153
Scheduling Services and Setting Priorities 153
Balancing Time 155
Counseling 157
Consulting 161
Coordinating 162
Appraising 162

Evaluating 163
Additional Readings 164
Websites 165
Exercises 165

7 Individual Counseling and Group Processes 166
What Is Counseling? 166

Who Needs Counseling? 168

Goals of Counseling 170

Individual Counseling in Schools 171
Establishing a Relationship 171
Exploring Concerns 173
Taking Action 173
Ending the Relationship 174

Brief Counseling 175

Crisis Counseling 177

xiv Contents

Counseling Approaches 178

Group Processes 179
A Rationale for Group Processes 179
Group Counseling and Group Guidance 180
Purpose and Nature of Groups 180
Leading Groups 183

Research on Counseling 186

Research on Groups 187
Group Guidance Research 188
Group Counseling Research 190
Additional Readings 192
Websites 192
Exercises 192

8 Collaboration and Consultation 193
School Services 194

Parents and Guardians 195
Teachers 197
Principals 200
Nurses, Psychologists, and Social Workers 201

Community Agencies 202
Health Departments 202
Mental-Health Centers 202
Social Services 203
Family Services 203
Private Practitioners 205

Counselors as Consultants 205
Consulting Processes 206

Research on Consulting 215
Additional Readings 217
Websites 217
Exercises 217

9 Student Assessment 218
Standardized Testing 219

Standardization 221
Selection of Tests 224
Validity and Reliability 226
Determining Test Usefulness 227

Using Standardized Tests 228
Test Security 228

Contents xv

Administration 228
Interpretation 228

Types of Assessment Instruments 232
Achievement Tests 232
Aptitude Tests 233
Interest Inventories 234
Personality Inventories and Tests 235

Other Assessment Techniques 236
Observations 236
Interviews 241
Sociometric Methods 241
Child Study Conferences 242
Biographical and Self-Expression Techniques 243

The DSM-IV-TR and the School Counselor 244
Additional Readings 245
Websites 245
Exercises 245

10 Educational and Career Development 246
Primary Purpose of School Counseling 246

Educational Planning for All Students 249
Student Advocacy 250
Lifelong Learning 252

Career Planning and Decision Making 254
The Changing World of Work 254
Student Awareness 257
Exploration 260
Decision Making 261

Case Illustrations of Comprehensive Programs of Responsive Services 262
Case Study of Johnny 262
Case Studies of Latisha, Rhonda, and Rebecca 264
Case Study of Gertrude 265
Additional Readings 268
Websites 268
Exercises 268

11 Evaluation of School Counseling Programs 269
Types of Program Evaluation 273

Program Outcomes 274
Student Outcomes 277
Consumer Satisfaction 278
Expert Assessment 280

Data and Evaluation 283

xvi Contents

School Counselor Evaluation 285
What Will Be Evaluated? 286
How Will Evaluation Be Done? 287
Who Will Evaluate? 292

Performance Appraisal Processes and Instruments 293
Additional Readings 296
Websites 296
Exercises 296

12 Professional Ethics and Legal Issues 297
Ethical Standards for School Counselors 298

Responsibilities to Students 300
Responsibilities to Parents/Guardians 303
Responsibilities to Colleagues and Professional Associates 305
Responsibilities to the Schools, Communities, and Families 306
Responsibilities to Self 307
Responsibilities to the Profession 308
Maintenance of Standards 309

The Nature of Law 311
The Law and Schools 311
The Courts 313
School Board Policies 314

Legal Issues for School Counselors 314
Students’ Rights 315
Parents’ Rights 317
The Buckley Amendment 318
Public Law 94-142 319
Child Abuse 319
Counselor Liability 320
Title IX 322
Additional Readings 324
Websites 324
Exercises 324

13 School Counseling Today and Tomorrow 325
Students of Tomorrow 326

Remedial Concerns 327
Preventive Issues 328
Developmental Needs 329
Poverty 330
Diversity 331

Schools of Tomorrow 332
Technology 335
Parental Involvement 336

Contents xvii

Teacher Collaboration 337
School-Based Services 338
Youth Service 338

The Future of School Counseling 339
Additional Readings 341
Websites 341
Exercises 341

References 342

Author Index 352

Subject Index 356

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C H A P T E R 1

The School Counseling Profession

School counseling began as the guidance profession in the late 1800s, and today it is a
significant specialty area within the broader counseling profession ( Gladding, 2009 ;
Granello & Young, 2012 ; Nystul, 2011 ; Schmidt, 2008 ). A relatively new field of study
and practice compared with teaching, medicine, law, and others, school counseling has led
the development of a growing counseling profession that includes members working in a
variety of educational and community agency settings.

In addition to schools, professional counselors help in hospitals, mental-health
centers, industries, family centers, and countless other arenas. Although they practice in
different settings with divergent missions, these counselors are united by their under-
standing and command of basic communication and helping skills; a common knowl-
edge base of psychological, sociological, and human development theories; and similar
goals that identify them as colleagues within the counseling profession. The work set-
tings of these counselors may differ, but their professional practices are founded in
related theories of counseling and human development, an appreciation of the power of
the human spirit, and a commitment to changing systems and relationships for the better-
ment of all concerned.

Each new school year, children and adolescents across the country enroll in
classes and begin instruction to acquire skill and learn information to enhance their
personal, social, and career development. In schools, students relate to many different
professionals who assist them in pursuing and achieving their educational goals. School
counselors in elementary, middle, and high schools are among the professionals who
assist students with these developmental tasks. They also help parents and teachers
challenged by the countless needs of children and adolescents in today’s society. These
counselors provide program leadership and offer services to students, parents, and
teachers so that students have equal opportunity to reach their educational goals, choose
an appropriate career direction, and develop as fully functioning members of a demo-
cratic society.

In this text, you will learn about professional counseling in schools. As noted, com-
pared with other notable vocations, school counseling is a relatively young profession,
but its growth has been remarkable since the beginning of the twentieth century, particu-
larly in the United States. To fully appreciate the role of school counselors in U.S. educa-
tion during this period and the role that these counselors continue to have in the
twenty-first century, it is appropriate to begin with an understanding of the counseling
profession as a whole. What is this field we call counseling , and who are these profes-
sionals we call counselors ?


2 Chapter 1

Counseling as a Profession

Throughout history, different laypersons and professionals have accepted roles as confi-
dants and helpers for people who have sought assistance in making decisions, who have
been less fortunate than others, or who have simply needed the comfort of a friend. Many
literary and historical accounts refer to philosophers, wizards, fortune-tellers, medicine
men, and others who in their unique and sometimes mythic ways were the advent of the
helping professions. It is likely that the ancestors of professional counselors were the
elders of ancient tribes who advised their youthful members, guiding them toward respon-
sible decisions and behaviors. In ancient times, helping relationships among tribal mem-
bers probably …

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