Information for Administrators

Welcome District and School Administrators!

School counselors are uniquely trained to help students succeed in school and plan their career through fostering academic, career, and social/emotional development. They play an essential role in the overall school system and as part of the leadership team by creating a culture of success for all students. Employed at all levels in the K-12 school system, school counselors implement a data-informed school counseling program to impact student achievement, attendance, and behavior.

SDSCA recognizes how vital school counselor-administration collaboration is to champion student success. This page is geared at providing information and resources to help administrators partner with and utilize their school counselors.

Who are School Counselors?

The South Dakota Department of Education and the American School Counselor Association provide resources to help individuals better understand the role of school counselors and how they positively impact student achievement, attendance, and behavior. 

What is the Difference between a School Counselor, Guidance Counselor, and Student Advisor?

All three of these job titles are used in education, but can indicate very different things. It is important to use and educate others on the appropriate titles of the profession. 

School counselor: A trained professional who provides academic, career, and social-emotional development to support all students to be successful. South Dakota school counselors are certified through the South Dakota Department of Education, indicating they have the proper training and credentials (SDCL 13-10-17). The appropriate job title for a certified professional in this role is "school counselor".

Guidance counselor: An outdated job title for a school counselor, reflecting a reactive, nonessential, loosely defined role. Research has shown that individuals with the title "guidance counselor" are perceived as less competent than those with the title "school counselor" (Zyromksi et al, 2018). "Guidance counselor" is not an appropriate job title for the school counseling profession of today.

Student advisor: A school employee who is employed in a school counselor-like role but is not a certified school counselor. "Student advisor" is the position used when districts report to the South Dakota Department of Education their personnel employed who are not certified as school counselors but employed in school counselor-like roles. Since there are no training requirements for student advisors, it is likely they are not equipped to effectively foster academic, career, and social/emotional development for all students.

Hiring, Interviewing, and Evaluating School Counselors

These resources can help identify the most highly qualified candidates as well as enhance a district's school counseling program based on best practices in school counseling.

Hiring & Interviewing Resources

Evaluation Resources

The Use of Data for Student Success June 2023 attendees with Hatching Results presenter, Julie Hartline. 

Education and Training

SDSCA has curated resources to help school counselors and administrators stay active and informed. Below are resources and professional development opportunities to help administrators partner and collaborate with school counselors, and opportunities administrators can encourage school counselors to attend for relevant school counselor professional development. 

Resources and Opportunities for Administrators to Partner with School Counselors

South Dakota Resources

National Resources

Resources and Opportunities for School Counselors

South Dakota Resources

National Resources