State College Area School District is responsible for providing high quality learning opportunities for all students to assist them in reaching their potential as capable and confident learners. The comprehensive school counseling program aligns with the school district and state education mission, and enhances learning by assisting students to acquire critical skills in the academic, career and personal/social aspects of student development. School counselors use a variety of prevention and intervention models and programs to assist students in overcoming barriers to learning, to make strong connections with educational opportunities in their schools, and to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. The program is proactive and preventative in its focus and aligns with the educational mission of districts and with school improvement plans. School counselors are in a strategic position to support school improvement initiatives and to be leaders in advocating for better outcomes for all students.
The SCASD Comprehensive School Counseling Program provides a focus on key student competencies based on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national standards. The nine standards shift the focus from a traditional service-provider model to a program model that defines what students “will know and be able to do” as a result of participating in the comprehensive program. School counselors use their skills in the areas of leadership, advocacy and collaboration to support out districts in its mission to prepare each student to meet high academic standards and to complete school fully prepared to choose from an array of substantial post-secondary options. The new model focuses on student development of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, self-direction and leadership, as well as teaching essential professional skills such as teamwork, time management, interpersonal skills and cultural awareness.