Program Focus: To establish program focus, school counselors identify personal beliefs that address how all students benefit from the school counseling program. Building on these beliefs, school counselors create a vision statement defining what the future will look like in terms of student outcomes. In addition, school counselors create a mission statement aligned with their school’s mission and develop program goals defining how the vision and mission will be measured.

Student Standards: Enhancing the learning process for all students, the “ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success: College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Every Student” guide the development of effective school counseling programs around three domains: academic, career and social/emotional development. View the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors Planning Tool. School counselors also consider how other student standards important to state and district initiatives complement and inform their school counseling program.

Professional Competencies: The ASCA School Counselor Competencies outline the knowledge, attitudes and skills that ensure school counselors are equipped to meet the rigorous demands of the profession. The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors specify the principles of ethical behavior necessary to maintain the highest standard of integrity, leadership and professionalism. They guide school counselors’ decision-making and help to standardize professional practice to protect both students and school counselors.