Final Project: The Role of a Professional School Counselor
Books, television, and movies are full of stories revealing the day-to-day realities of various professions. These stories provide a behind-the-scenes look at the often unknown stress, joy, and effort involved in being a physician, a law enforcement agent, or an educator. What do you think the day-to-day professional life of a school counselor is like? What constitutes a typical day for a school counselor, or is there no such thing? For the Final Project in this course, you uncover the hidden realities of the daily life of a school counselor.
The Final Project requires you to interview (in person) a school counselor who works with pre-K through 12th-grade students in a school setting. For example, if you are interested in working with children in a specific grade level, search for and identify a counselor for that grade. Then, apply the information from this course, as well as in an interview you conduct, to your understanding of what it means to be a school counselor.
For this Assignment, review the Final Project Overview and the Final Project Template documents located in the Final Project Guidelines area of the course navigation menu.
Using the Final Project Overview and Final Project Template located in the Final Project Guidelines area of the course navigation menu, complete your Final Project. Be sure to address all criteria and the three components listed in the Final Project Overview.
Support your Assignment with specific references to resources, using appropriate APA format and style. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the resources for this course
Introduction to School Counseling
Final Project Overview:
The Role of a Professional School Counselor
Books, television, and movies are full of stories revealing the day-to-day realities of
various professions. These stories provide a behind-the-scenes look at the often
unknown stress, joy, and effort involved in being a doctor, a law enforcement agent, or
even a chef. What do you think the day-to-day life of a professional school counselor is
like? What constitutes a typical day for a school counselor, or is there no such thing?
For the Final Project in this course, you uncover the hidden realities of the daily life of a
professional school counselor.
The Final Project requires you to interview (in person) a licensed or certified school
counselor who works with the age group that interests you. For example, if you are
interested in working as an elementary counselor, interview a school counselor at this
level. You then apply the information from this course, as well as in an interview you
conduct, to your understanding of what it means to be a professional school counselor.
Please note that it is not acceptable to interview a school social worker, a school
psychologist, a school-based mental health counselor, or any other mental health
provider for this Assignment.
Although the Final Project includes interview material, this is not the only component of
this Assignment. Please make sure to review the full project description below.
The Final Project is a 7- to 10-page paper that consists of a summation of an interview,
a story, and a reflection.
Final Project Due Date
Day 7 of Week 10: Although the Final Project is not to be submitted until Week 10, you
should become familiar with the project requirements and have them in mind as you
proceed through this course. The Final Project requires you to prepare and complete
your project throughout the course, including an Assignment due in Week 6. A
suggested time frame and tasks for completing the project are at the end of this
Final Project Criteria
1. Using the Final Project Template located in the Week 10 resources, include all
three project components explained below in the Overview of Final Project
2. Demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking
appropriate to graduate-level scholarship.
3. Follow APA Publication Manual guidelines; avoid typographical, spelling, and
grammatical errors; and adhere to Waldens Academic Integrity guidelines.
(Information on scholarly writing may be found in the APA Publication Manual
and at the Walden Writing Center website.)
4. The paper should be 7 to 10 pages in length (double-spaced), not including the
title and reference pages.
5. Support your points with specific references to the Learning Resources from the
course and the interview.
Final Project Grading
It is graded on a 135-point scale according to the specifications identified in the Final
Project Rubric located in the Course Information area of the course navigation menu.
Overview of Final Project Components
Component I: Narrative Summation of Interview
Your summation should be presented as a narrative rather than a list of questions and
answers. It is recommended that you audiotape the interview so that you can review it
as you complete the Final Project.
For the interview, use the following questions. Several questions relate to topics
covered in this course in order for you to gain an understanding of how the course
topics apply to the life of a school counselor. If a question is related to a weekly topic,
the week number is in parentheses after the question.
During the interview you may add additional questions of your own that are prompted by
1. When someone asks you how being a school counselor is different from being a
mental health counselor, a social worker, or a school psychologist, what do you
tell that person?
2. Please explain what counseling credential you have (e.g., license or certificate)
and what the qualifications are for this in your state. What examinations, if any,
are required (e.g., Praxis)?
3. Please describe what a typical day looks like for you as you do your job?
4. What ethical and legal issues do you have to keep in mind each day?
5. How does understanding and respecting multiculturalism help you as a school
6. How do you use assessments to help you with your work as a school counselor?
7. How do you partner with a students family and other stakeholder when
addressing a students issue?
8. Talk about your experiences with referring students to outside mental health
counseling. Do you have a protocol to follow?
9. Does your school have a crisis plan for use in case of an emergency? Talk about
a time when you had to respond to a critical situation in your school or district on
either an individual basis (e.g., death of a student or a students family member,
a house fire, etc.) or on a larger basis (e.g., community crisis or natural disaster).
10. What is the role of accountability for a school counselor? In what ways are you
accountable and how do you address that accountability?
11. How have you engaged in advocacy (for students or for the profession)? If so,
what did that involve and how did it go?
12. What do you do to maintain self-care and wellness?
13.What is your personal view about the future of the school counseling profession?
14. What are the most significant personal development issues you face as a school
counselor? How have you addressed personal and professional growth and
Component II: A Day in the Life of a Professional School Counselor
Using the information from the interview, the course Learning Resources, and course
assignments, create the story of a day in the life of the school counselor you
interviewed. Embed in your story the significant information from both the course and
the interview. Be specific, use examples, and include what you believe to be the most
significant topics, even if they might not come up in a typical day.
The purpose of this project component is for you to demonstrate your understanding of
what day-to-day life is like for a school counselor, related to and referencing the material
in the course as well as information gleaned elsewhere. It also is to demonstrate how a
counselor might address/handle issues.
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