Policies at the federal, state, and district level.
Policies at the federal, state, and district level significantly influence many aspects of school counseling and college advising. Policies, practices, and procedures at every level must be clear and coherent to eliminate misalignment or contradiction. Policymakers must understand and appropriately specify the vital role of school counselors and strategic partnerships in legislation and programs.
- Federal policy drives school practice across the nation. Large federal legislation such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and No Child Left Behind, do not specifically mention school counselors nor define their role in these programs, even though school counselors are critical players in carrying out the legislation. Federal funding, through grant programs like the College Access Challenge Grant, are critical to college access organizations and other strategic partners in this work.
- State-level regulations, set by both state legislatures and departments of education, often determine school counselor licensing and credentialing requirements and in some states define roles and responsibilities; set maximum allowable ratios; and provide performance appraisal systems. Â States also have the power to create credentials for college access professionals, who work directly with students on the college process.
- District and local policies may determine the level of urgency to this work, school counselor job roles and responsibilities, student-counselor ratios school counselor evaluation systems, funding and opportunity for strategic partnerships, accountability systems and availability of data around college and career benchmarks.