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Comprehensive School Counseling

Comprehensive School Counseling

Published: 9/18/2020 2:16 PM
​On behalf of the Kentucky Department of Education, welcome to the Comprehensive School Counseling web pages. Within these pages are information, resources and tools designed to assist schools and districts in providing effective school counseling services that improve student achievement and support the needs of the whole child.

On this page, you will find core values for comprehensive school counseling in Kentucky and quick links to many of the tools school counselors use daily to enhance the success of students.
The vision behind Comprehensive School Counseling and our work as counselors is to provide access and opportunity to all students; providing effective school counseling services that improve student achievement and support the needs of the whole child ensuring the provision to our community of a college and/or career ready workforce.

New! Kentucky Framework of Best Practices for School Counselors
School counselors are an important component of K-12 educational leadership teams within Kentucky schools. The Kentucky Framework of Best Practices for School Counselors helps school counselors throughout the state better understand what they should be doing in this role. This document also allows for reflection that should be used to improve and expand comprehensive school counseling programs along with the practices utilized by individual school counselors.

Role of a Kentucky Counselor Defined
On December 17th, 2018, the Kentucky Counselor Standards Advisory Committee convened at the Kentucky Department of Education in Frankfort and defined the role of a KY school counselor as follows:

A school counselor is a certified mental health professional supporting all K-12 students in their social/emotional, academic and career development.  Through a Comprehensive School Counseling Program, counselors provide data-informed, universal and targeted learning experiences to develop the whole child in a diverse society.

Core Values of Comprehensive School Counseling
College and Career Readiness

Ensuring students attain the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to successfully transition to the next level of his/her education and career.

Opportunity and Access

Providing equitable availability to research-based student experiences and school factors that impact student success.

Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health

Cultivating the emotional, social and behavioral growth of students in becoming contributing and productive citizens.

Kentucky School Counseling Listservs
Collaboration among Kentucky school counselors is critical to the success of comprehensive school counseling programs.  Participation in networks of school counselors locally and nationally allows school counselors the ability to discuss, seek answers and stay current with best practices. 
KACTE: Kentucky Association of Career and Technical Educators (KACTE) is a listserv for all career and technical educators, administrators, college and/or career counselors, and school counselors.  Click the link above, look for KACTE in the list of options, and follow the directions to subscribe.
KYGUID:  Kentucky School Counselor (KYGUID) is a listserv specifically for Kentucky school counselors, although others may join. Click the link, look for KYGUID in the list of options, and follow the directions to subscribe.
Certification in Kentucky - School Counselors
Several Kentucky universities offer programs in school counseling certification.  Visit the websites of each school for specific details about programs they offer.
Kentucky’s Educational Standards Board offers additional certification information for school counselors.
Professional Organizations for School Counselors
Professional organizations for school counselors contribute to the collaborative efforts by school counselors to meet the needs of the whole child.  Each organization is comprised of school and community-based counselors to advocate for the rights and responsibilities of counselors and their desire to meet the needs of students.
Significant Message
In July 2014, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan communicated with educational leadership the extremely important role of school counselors in empowering all students to meet the academic and career preparation demands of the 21st century. He emphasized that for our neediest students, counselors provide expert and accessible guidance to assist them in navigating a challenging and complicated college admissions and career preparation landscape.
Secretary Duncan urged state (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs)
“. . . to support their school counselors by providing them the time, space and     resources they need to work effectively on behalf of students and not over burden them with non-counseling duties that can distract from their core work and ultimately leave students without the individualized attention needed to      complete academic course work, successfully navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes and/or prepare them for productive careers.” He went on to say that “. . . a systemic and sustainable approach to supporting school counselors in meeting increased professional demands should include consideration of how federal funds and programs can help improve and expand the reach of school counselors.” 
In closing, the Secretary urged “. . . SEAs and LEAs to use the summer months to strategize and develop policies and programs that enable school counselors to become more effective at helping greater numbers of students—especially low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities, and English learners—successfully access postsecondary education or career opportunities.”

Dr. ​Damien Sweeney
Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6639 Ext.4545 
Fax (502) 564-6470

School Counselor​Resources and Tools

Race-based Stress and Trauma Resources

Guidance on How Districts Can Facilitate Conversations About Race-based Stress and Trauma (June 3, 2020)

School counselors are advocates for the equitable treatment of all students in school and in the community. As race and equity issues continue to be at the forefront of the news, it's important for school counselors to be prepared to talk to students about race issues and anti-racism. Following are some resources to help. Additional resources will be added soon. 

Virtual School Counseling
While schools are utilizing non-traditional instruction days, the KDE is encouraging school counselors, school social workers and school psychologists to check-in on students and offer virtual chats or telephone sessions for students and families. Video chat and virtual calls are FERPA and/or HIPPA compliant on district-vetted virtual platforms and, thus, adequate for counseling with students once permission has been granted by guardians. The following resources may be helpful during this time:

  • The Virtual School Counseling During Emergency School Shutdowns slide deck

2020-2021 Counselor Connections

2019-2020 Counselor Connections

2018-2019 Counselor Connections

ASCA Templates

Resources for Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Kentucky

13 Reasons Why


College and Career Advising 
Community and Summer Programs

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