National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), was celebrated February 5–9, 2018, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do.
The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who "implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century," according to Valdosta City Mayor, John Gayle who signed the proclamation designating February 5–9 as National School Counseling Week.
In a proclamation, Mayor Gayle cited school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.
As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, Valdosta State University School Counseling Program hosted the 3rd annual “Winnersville Counselor Collaborative” at VSU on Tuesday, February 6th. During this professional learning event school counselors from Valdosta City Schools, Lowndes County Schools, Echols County Schools and Berrien County Schools joined VSU professors and school counseling interns to celebrate the impact school counselors have in our schools and communities.
More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide participated in the week's festivities. Many school counselors hosted special events and activities to call attention to the countless benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program.
"School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career awareness in post-secondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. “Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success."
The American School Counselor Association is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. Founded in 1952, ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, career planning and social/emotional development to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. ASCA has a network of 50 state associations and a membership of more than 34,000 school counseling professionals. More general information can also be found on ASCA's website, www.schoolcounselor.org.