Claudia Eldridge and Dr. Lonnie Smith are just two of the district's innovative and student-centered counselors who integrate counseling strategies and implement comprehensive programs that contribute to positive student academic, personal/social and career development. Counselors are charged with answering the question, "How are students different as a result of school counseling programs, interventions, and service delivery?" They are trained and equipped to provide prevention, remediation and responsive services to students, parents, and staff.
School counselors must hold a Master's degree in counseling and GCS school counselors must be licensed by the State of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Some counselors also hold doctorate degrees. Many of them are National Certified Counselors, National Certified School Counselors, and National Board Certified Teachers. Quite a few are also licensed by the state of North Carolina as Licensed Professional Counselors.
School counselors work with students, administrators, teachers, parents, families and the community. Through comprehensive school counseling programs of developmental, preventive, remedial, and responsive services, school counselors address academic (cognitive) development, career development, and personal/social (socio-emotional) development of students (NC Department of Public Instruction).
Utilizing leadership, advocacy, and collaboration, school counselors promote student success, provide preventive services, and respond to identified student needs by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses academic, career, and personal/social development for all students (NC Department of Public Instruction).
School counselors conduct individual and small group counseling sessions as well as classroom guidance. School counselors understand the developmental stages of students and are trained to assist with developmental milestones that may challenge academic achievement.
School counselors receive specialized graduate level training to provide system support by coordinating programs and outreach activities in the community to assist with the development of students. As part of their 48 to 60 hour master's programs and through continuing education, school counselors have specialized training in child development, career planning, and suicide and crisis intervention.
There are approximately 200 school counselors in the Guilford County Schools. All schools in the system with the exception of a few elementary schools have at least one full-time counselor, middle schools have least two (with a few exceptions) and high schools have at least three or four (with a few exceptions).
Additional information about school counselors can be found on the following links:
NC Department of Public Instruction