Comprehensive School Counseling Program Benchmark_MS.docx -...

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Component #1: ASCA National Model Themes Student describes how each of the four themes of leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change are incorporated into the professional functioning of a school counselor and the framework of the ASCA National Model. There are four themes of the ASCA National Model: leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change. These themes are incorporated into the professional functioning of school counselors. School counselors are leaders within schools who promote achievement, change in development as well as school climate. Leadership is a crucial role of school counselors because they develop school counseling programs within schools. School counselors are considered to be leaders because he or she influences school staff, parents, students, and the community. School counselors influence individuals to achieve goals, such as academic achievement, career success, and personal-social success (American School Counselor Association, 2012). According to Dollarhide (2003), “As leaders of school counseling programs, school counselors have a role in addressing the problems of today’s schools” (p. 304). The roles of a leader involve them being a role model, advocate, communicator, educator, organizer, collaborator, consultant, and motivator (Dollarhide, 2017). In order to enhance the educational experience for students, Dollarhide (2003) recommends school counselors have multicultural awareness, pupil assistance committees, mentoring programs, student leadership development, and a connection with external constituencies. As a leader, school counselors need to encourage healthy decisions, respect students and families, advocate for social justice, develop a healthy school environment, and promote development of students and families (Dollarhide, 2017). According to ASCA (2019), advocating for academic success of every student is one of the main priorities of a school counselor. School counselors are a crucial part of education reform (ASCA, 2019). School counselors advocate for students by addressing academic achievement, career planning as well as social and emotional development (ASCA, 2012). School counselors can advocate for students by assessing the need for direct intervention, identifying potential allies and carrying out a plan of action (ASCA, 2012). Advocating for students and the counseling profession involves understanding educational and developmental issues that hinder student development and learning (Dollarhide, 2017). School counselors are a part of a team, which requires being a collaborator. In order to provide excellent care for the well being of students, school counselors need to collaborate with other professionals inside and outside the school system (Dollarhide, 2017). This involves collaborating with students, families, stakeholders, colleagues, school professionals, mental health professionals, etc. For example, school counselors collaborate with their colleagues by examining issues and developing skills in order to help students work through issues (Erford, 2019). As an effective collaborator, school counselors need to establish open communication. It

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