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Role & Function of the School Counselor Introduction Robbins

The role of the school counselor is becoming increasingly complex. Once a profession devoted to guidance, testing and assessment, this role has extended from within the walls of the school into the homes and personal lives of students, parents and the conscience of the community as a whole. (p. 398)

Robbins' remarks highlight the importance of understanding the role and functions of school counselors. The purpose of the review of literatuare presented here is to examine counselors' (and other education personnel's) perceptions of the school counselor's role and functions.

With respect to the foregoing, the reviewed research can be broken down into two discrete categories: (1) literature related to different characterizations of school counselors' roles and functions; and (2) research on the perceptions of educational groups (counselors, administrators, teachers, etc.) regarding the counselor's role and functions. The literature in each of these areas is delineated and discussed.

What is the role and function of school counselors? According to Scholten (1991) the literature on school counseling consistently states that:

...the counselor's role should focus upon the student's occupational, educational and personal/social needs. Emphasis should be placed upon current educational choices, future career decisions and present/future personal/social needs. (Scholten, 1991, p.16)

Bailey, Deery, Gehrke and Perry (1989) report a similar characterization of the role and functions of a school counselor by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). However, in addition to the counseling functions stipulated above, the authors note that the ASCA would add the funtions of program development, ongoing self-audit, and program evaluations.

Boy and Pine (1983) emphasized problem solving and resolution as one of the primary counseling functions. However, the authors pointed out that in order to fulfill this function co...

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