School Counselor Job Description

The purpose of the position requires it to utilize leadership, advocacy, and collaboration. School counselors must promote student success, provide preventive services, and respond to identified student needs by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses academic, career, and personal/social development for all students.


Develops and maintains a written plan for effective delivery of the school counseling program based on the Tennessee Model for Comprehensive School Counseling. The Tennessee Model for Comprehensive School Counseling represents what a school counseling program should contain and serves as an organizational tool to identify and prioritize the elements necessary for program implementation. Such programs are vital to the school improvement process. School counselors work strategically as part of an instructional team to promote student success. They are specially trained educators in a position to call attention to situations within our schools that impact student learning. Serving as leaders and advocates, school counselors work collaboratively to provide services in a proactive, developmental, and preventative manner.


  • To counsel with students individually and in small groups
  • To present developmental lessons in the classroom and in small groups
  • To serve as a student advocate
  • To consult with teachers, administrators, school support personnel, parents, and business/community agencies
  • To participate in school meetings
  • To work with parents in teaching effective parenting skills, creating a positive environment, and encouraging parent participation
  • To provide staff development in identified areas of need and in orientation to the school counseling program
  • To provide leadership in career development of all students
  • To coordinate school activities pertaining to the school counseling program
  • To facilitate the evaluation of the school counseling program

American School Counselor Association recommendation:

It is the position of the American School Counselor Association that the counselor/student ratio be determined by considering the major factor of student growth and development. Each school system is unique; what may be an ideal caseload in one system may be untenable in others. ASCA maintains that the implementation of a comprehensive school-counseling program meeting the developmental needs of students be the primary determinants with the ratio being 1:250 or less.


Requires a Bachelor’s degree and endorsement in the grade/subject taught with a valid Tennessee certificate

Educational Requirements:

Option 1: Complete a graduate degree with an approved preparation program in school guidance and counseling or

Option 2: Hold a graduate degree in community/agency counseling and must be enrolled in an approved graduate program in school counseling and has completed at least 30 hours leading to completion of an approved graduate program in school counseling and must be supervised by a licensed school counselor for a minimum of one hour per week.

Must be highly qualified
School counselor candidates without teaching experience will have a one semester long orientation experience in a school as an early part of the preparation program. The orientation experience will be structured to provide observation, participation in, and analysis of classroom instruction.
Governed by the Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Code Annotated and the Tennessee Board of Education
Must be physically and mentally able to perform the responsibilities and duties of the position


Data Utilization: Requires the ability to review, classify, categorize, prioritize, and/or analyze data. Includes exercising discretion in determining data classification, and in referencing such analysis to established standards for the purpose of recognizing actual or probable interactive effects and relationships.

Human Interaction: Requires the ability to provide guidance, effective supervision, assistance, and/or interpretation to others regarding the application of procedures and standards to specific situations.

Equipment, Machinery, Tools, and Materials Utilization: Requires the ability to operate, maneuver, and/or control the actions of equipment, machinery, tools, and/or materials used in performing essential functions.

Verbal Aptitude: Requires the ability to utilize a wide variety of reference, descriptive, and/or advisory data, and information.

Mathematical Aptitude: Requires the ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; the ability to calculate decimals and percentages; the ability to utilize principles of fractions; and the ability to interpret graphs.

Functional Reasoning: Requires the ability to apply principles of rational systems, philosophies, laws, regulations, and procedures; to interpret instructions furnished in written, oral, diagrammatic, or schedule form; and to exercise independent judgment to adopt or modify methods and standards to meet variations in assigned objectives.

Situational Reasoning: Requires the ability to exercise judgment, decisiveness, and creativity in situations involving evaluation of information against measurable or verifiable criteria and the goals and priorities of planning and development programs.

Updated 01/31/2020

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