School Counseling

Illustration of teacher talking to two students remotely

Mission of the School Counseling Program:

The school counseling program is an integral part of the total educational process and is a shared responsibility of the entire school community. The professional school counselor collaborates with other school professionals in helping students learn. A successful program requires the support and participation of all school personnel, parents, guardians, outside agencies, and the community at large. 

Our mission as school counselors is to provide a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program that will assist all students in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to become effective students, responsible citizens, productive workers, and lifelong learners. The school counseling program supports the school's academic mission by promoting and enhancing the learning process for all students through an integration of academic, career and personal/social development.

The program's ultimate goal is for all students to graduate with the competencies necessary to make self-directed, realistic, and responsible decisions and to be successful contributors to society.

The American School Counselor Association sets forth four sets of school counseling standards that define the school counseling profession. These standards help school counselors develop, implement, and assess their school counseling program to improve student outcomes.

Ethical Standards
The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors serve as a guide for the ethical practices of all school counselors, supervisors/directors of school counseling programs and school counselor educators regardless of level, area, population served or membership in this professional association. ASCA also has Ethical Standards for School Counselor Education Faculty.

School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies
The ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies outline the mindsets and behaviors school counselors need to meet the rigorous demands of the school counseling profession and the needs of pre-K–12 students.

Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success
The "ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Every Student" describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to achieve academic success, college and career readiness and social/emotional development. Each standard has corresponding grade-level competencies that are specific, measurable expectations that students attain as they make progress toward the standards. Use the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors database to search for grade-level competencies that support the standards. 

ASCA School Counselor Preparation Program Standards
The ASCA School Counselor Preparation Program Standards are a unified set of principles guiding school counselor preparation programs in training effective future school counselors in areas of professional practice and ethical behavior. The standards are intended to define the training of school counselors and ensure school counselors are prepared to implement school counseling programs and advocate on behalf of the profession.

For more information on the ASCA National Model, please visit their website

Philosophy of the ACPS Counseling Program:

An effective school counseling program is based on the following beliefs:

  • All students have dignity and worth.
  • All students can learn, grow, and achieve.
  • Each child is unique and has unique developmental needs that impact learning.
  • The school counseling program supports the school's academic mission by promoting and enhancing the learning process for all students through an integration of academic, career, and personal/social development.
  • Each student has certain educational responsibilities and rights.
  • The school counseling program serves all students.
  • The school counseling program is comprehensive and systematically implemented.
  • The school counseling program functions in collaboration with students, school staff, parents, guardians, and the community to ensure student success.
  • The school counseling program is managed by state certified counselors.
  • The Virginia Standards for School Counseling Programs and the ASCA National Standards for Students shall set the standards for the school counseling program.
  • Professional School Counselors shall uphold the ethical standards specified by the state of Virginia and prescribed by the American School Counselor Association and the American Counseling Association.

For further information regarding the Albemarle County School Counseling Program, please contact Miles Nelson.

Albemarle County Schools
Office of Instruction
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 296-5820