School Counseling

If you are looking for the Guidance Essential Standards, please visit the NCDPI Standards Course of Study pages.

The NCDPI consultant for school counseling and these school counseling web pages serve to support school counselors, school and district administrators, institutions of higher education, and others interested in the implementation of effective comprehensive school counseling programs in North Carolina. Contact Kisha Bryant, School Counseling Consultant, for more information or support. Sign Up for the School Counseling Listserv to receive regular updates related to school counseling.

As vital members of the education team, school counselors play an essential specialized role in promoting a school culture that helps to achieve the school’s mission of successfully educating the whole child to be a lifelong learner and career and college ready. School counselors design, deliver and assess data-driven school counseling programs that are comprehensive in scope, preventive in design and developmental in nature to improve a range of student learning and behavioral outcomes. School counselors help all students

  • apply academic achievement strategies
  • manage emotions and apply interpersonal skills
  • strengthen mental wellness and
  • explore and plan for postsecondary options such as higher education, military, and work force

School counselors accomplish this through a variety of activities delivered similarly to the Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model with core school counseling services for all students, supplemental small-group and individual services for some students, and individual  intensive services for select students. Some examples include:

  • developmentally appropriate classroom and school-wide guidance curriculum activities focused on emotional intelligence and behaviors all students need for postsecondary readiness and personal success
  • career awareness, exploration, and readiness activities
  • student academic planning and goal setting
  • short-term individual and small group counseling to improve personal skills, address barriers to learning, and support mental wellness
  • referrals for long-term support
  • collaboration with families/teachers/administrators/other SISP/community for student success
  • data analysis to identify student needs and plan appropriate counseling services.

Research studies show positive associations between comprehensive school counseling and improved student outcomes.

For more details on North Carolina Professional School Counselor Standards, North Carolina § 115C-316.1, Duties of school counselors, and national best practices, please see the Professional Standards and Evaluation page and the Policy/Legislation page.

School Counselor vs. Guidance Counselor



Kisha Bryant, Ed.D

School Counseling Consultant


Information and Resources

For more information and resources, visit the subpages below or on the side-rail:


Professional Development

Professional Standards and Evaluation


Guidance Essential Standards