The Guidance Counseling Department offers services to all students including individual and group counseling sessions, guidance counseling core curriculum, response services, and indirect student services. Counselors meet regularly with students, parents, administrators, teachers, college representatives, and community resources people who assist students in their educational journey. The department is committed to providing the school community with services and programs that will support and enhance the overall educational goals of our school.
Getting to know students individually is the first step counselors take at ECA. Our department’s primary goal is to help our students on the path to self-actualization and make informed decisions regarding their future plans and life.
Domains of Counseling Services:
Academic Counseling Services
Guidance counseling also involves academic counseling at ECA. It is understood that facets of emotional, physical, personal, and social developments directly impact academic learning. Therefore, our counseling program works diligently in creating appropriate prevention and intervention programs that center around facets of development. Using standards blending, the counseling program takes on a systems-focused, student centered approach in implementing and supporting the curriculum. Such standard blending allows for the school counseling program to directly align with the academic mission of ECA, and this allows the academic learning to cross over into real life lessons and emotional intelligence development inside and outside the school environment. Classroom guidance lessons support the academic and career components of a student’s developmental process, and they also pave the way for a solid personal-social foundation that helps to positively impact academic achievement.
School counselors work with students, teachers, parents, and administration with issues involving:
- Failing grades
- Organizational skills
- Time management
- Goal setting
- Self advocacy
- Students with disabilities
College/Career Counseling Services
The Guidance Counseling Department currently offers curricula, activities, and programs throughout the High School (Grade 9 – 12) years in college/career development, with an intent to extend this program into Middle and Elementary School. Encouraging students to develop their interests and abilities at a young age and discover how those can translate into career options can help students to understand how they can positively contribute to society and find meaning in their career choice. Developing those interests and continuing to broaden their range of career options is important for students as they progress in their education. Our guidance department provides students with information on college and career choices, and seeks to help them research and determine their post-secondary options and beyond.
Social/Emotional Counseling Services
Guidance counseling is not solely focused on the academic needs of our students, but it also focuses on the overall well being of the student which include their social and emotional skills and abilities. Services offered within the school counseling program will allow early identification and intervention for struggling students, help in decreasing problematic behaviors, and improve academic achievements. Some focuses of the school counseling program include:
- Crisis intervention
- Counseling and behavioral support
- Identification of suspected child abuse
- Bully and harassment prevention
- Dropout prevention and mediating attendance issues
- Decision making and goal setting
The guidance counselors work with the ELT (Executive Leadership Team) in response to situations that require proactive and/or immediate actions. Referrals to outside agencies are made when the level of required support is more than the school can reasonably provide.
Crisis is a situation in which immediate action must be taken to avoid disaster or breakdown, or to protect the health and safety of students and staff. In such cases, we contact an administrator, counselor, and/or first aid officers IMMEDIATELY. All involved will coordinate with the ELT and appropriate staff to assist in managing the crisis. We have policies and procedures set in place for each of the following situations:
- Natural disaster or major accident
School Counselors work with students, families, and staff in addressing behaviors such as:
- Anger management
- Relationships and friendships
- Family situations
- High risk behaviors
Child abuse is the ill treatment of a child by a parent, caregiver, someone living in his/her home or anyone who works with or around children in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust, or power. Abuse of a child is any action (or lack of action) that causes injury or endangers or impairs a child’s physical, mental, or emotional health and development.
ECA follows the Child Safety Protection Network in identifying and properly reporting suspected child abuse.The school will work with local agencies and other local authorities to protect our students.
Strengths-based approach is another comprehensive intervention that will help students succeed educationally with empowering strategies to help them develop lifelong coping skills. The strengths-based approach embraces the philosophy that counseling is not based on “fixing” a problem, but rather it is about bringing out the best within oneself that can allow nurturing and healing. This approach allows our guidance department to build on students’ unique assets by empowering, instilling hope, and strengthening resilience (Schellenberg, 2013). Such categories include:
- Support and empower
- Boundaries and expectations
- Constructive use of time
- Commitment to learning
- Positive values and positive identity
- Social competencies
While working under the Child Protective Safety Network, our guidance department realizes and understands that they may become aware of information regarding faculty, staff, volunteers, students and other individuals that is sensitive and confidential. Therefore, it has agreed to strictly observe the following, in order to preserve confidentiality:
- Counselors shall treat all information with utmost confidentiality.
- Counselors will agree to not to disclose to anyone any information including identities, any counselor provided services, or any confidential information of which they became aware while working in the guidance department.
A guidance counselor cannot assure confidentiality we are mandated reporters of information related to the following:
- If a student is hurting him/herself
- If a student is being hurt by someone else
- If a student plans to hurt others