24 Helpful Resources for High School Counselors
- Professional Associations and Networking Resources
- Data and Research Resources
- Counseling Resources
- Student Mental Health Resources
High school counselors are an invaluable resource for students. They do so much, including advising students on academics, providing support in personal situations, guiding high schoolers through college applications, and so much more. With all that you do for your students, it’s important that you are supported as well.
In this post, we’ll cover a variety of resources that high school counselors can turn to. We will cover everything from professional networks to research tools to mental health resources. Counseling can be hard, but we are here to help!
Professional Associations and Networking Resources
There are countless organizations for counselors who are looking to advance themselves professionally and connect with other high school counselors across the country. Below are some of the most prominent ones you might find useful.
The ASCA dubs itself the “Home for School Counselors Since 1952”, providing counselors with professional development, events, tools, and legislation to help them best support students. Over 43,000 school counselors are members of the ASCA, enjoying the many benefits such as professional development programs, liability insurance, discounted materials, and a network of thousands of other professionals looking to help one another.
With other 26,000 members across 26 different affiliate organizations, NACAC’s mission is to help college admission counselors and professionals make a college education accessible to all students. NACAC supports counselors with networking opportunities, conferences, publications, and more. An example of one of the resources members have access to is the State of College Admissions Report with detailed data on the latest admission trends and interactive dashboards for counselors to use.
The ACA is the world’s largest association that represents professional counselors with 18 divisions. This non-profit organization both advocates for counselors on the state and federal level and provides them with opportunities for professional development. Their core values include: diversity, equity, and inclusion; integrity; proactive leadership; professional community and relationships; scientific practice and knowledge; and social justice and empowerment.
For counselors working in international schools, the ISCA is a great resource to find a network, professional development, and leadership training. Becoming a member of the ISCA grants international counselors access to hundreds of resources, webinars and events, their international counseling job board, a network of counselors across the globe, and newsletters with the latest updates on culturally-competent, comprehensive counseling.
For counselors who wish to demonstrate their excellence and commitment to the field of school counseling, they can become nationally certified by the NBCC. Benefits of certification include using the mark of certification to demonstrate your dedication to the profession, as well as materials pertaining to counseling. Certification signals to both employers and clients your professionalism, that you are up to date on developments in the field, and that you have been approved by other counselors.
The mission of the NEA is to “champion justice and excellence in public education.” While membership includes all parties involved in public education—from teachers to administrators to parents and students—counselors play an equal role in NEA membership. The NEA is a huge advocate for the advancement of public schools, with emphasis in areas like racial and social justice, school funding, educator pay, and the Every Student Succeeds Act.
7. State Counseling Associations
High school counselors looking for a professional network that will provide them networking opportunities and resources like the aforementioned national organizations can also look towards state-level associations. State counseling associations share many of the same values and goals as those on the national level, but their regional approach allows them to advocate more locally and address the needs of counselors specific to the conditions and laws of their state.
Data and Research Resources
Counselors have to make a lot of evidence-based decisions when advising students, so it’s important to have access to the most up-to-date and accurate information. The following resources are great places to look for data on student outcomes, college and career readiness, and more.
ERIC serves as an online library for educational professionals with journal articles, research reports, books, opinion pieces, speeches, guides, and more. Counselors looking for the most up-to-date information from experts in the field can find it on ERIC’s user-friendly database. Simply search for your keyword and you have access to thousands of academic sources.
As the primary statistical agency for the Department of Education, the NCES is a great resource for data on education trends. The NCES annual report on the Condition of Education is a comprehensive compilation of overall trends in US schools, from pre-primary to postsecondary. They also conduct national and international assessments, as well as reporting data for each level of schooling.
The IDE is a branch of the NCES that specifically focuses on international education statistics. This is a good resource for counselors who want to gain a multinational perspective and compare US outcomes with other countries. Data from international assessments like PISA, PIRLS, and TIMSS are included in the IDE database.
The ACT publishes datasets and has interactive tools on their website on topics that can help counselors advise their students. Topics include: college readiness, ACT superscoring, career pathway and industry readiness, and higher education. Because the data is broader than just ACT scores, this is a valuable tool regardless of whether your students took the test or not.
12. AP Data Archive
For counselors with students taking AP classes and exams, the AP Data Archive is a good resource to understand the distribution of scores from previous years. The Archive contains 20 years of AP summary reports, score distributions, exam volume reports, and supplemental information.
This online tool from Georgetown University provides valuable insight on the return on investment of a college education, so it’s a great resource for counselors to use with their students. While there are materials available like a report, videos, and infographics, there is also an interactive feature that lets you see the income distribution of various college majors.
Counselors have a lot on their plate. These platforms will help you save time, keep track of your students’ progress, and better advise your students.
CollegeVine is a great, free resource for counselors to connect their students to colleges. Our network of over two million students and 300 colleges makes your life easier by establishing a direct line of connection between your students and the schools on their list.
You can highlight your school’s strengths and uniqueness and improve your students’ chances of acceptance. CollegeVine also provides counselors with a free Rec Letter Assistant that creates AI-generated recommendation letter first drafts to save you precious time!
The ASCA’s National Model is a comprehensive guide to the counseling profession aimed to make counselors’ lives easier and improve those of the students. This book describes how to implement a thorough counseling program and provides step-by-step tools to aid in implementation. There is also a National Model App and Portal to facilitate the execution of the National Model.
The ASCA has a variety of resources available to counselors to aid them in various situations. For example, there are articles on tips for working students through difficult times, conversation starters to discuss career options, webinars on addressing racism, ethical standards and model policies to create safe and nurturing environments, and so much more.
This compilation of websites and online resources is an extensive list of resources counselors can turn to for help. Topics include things like anger management, college preparation, group counseling, professional development, and social skills development.
Naviance is an online platform that provides counselors and students with college and career readiness tools. Students can discover their strengths, take career assessments and explore options, research colleges, and create and track multi-year course plans. One of the great aspects of Naviance is it allows counselors to track students’ progress with easy-to-use dashboards that can be shared with students and their families.
Another helpful online platform for tracking college and career readiness is MaiaLearning. This tool allows counselors to assign tasks and goals to their students, track their accomplishments, and easily communicate with families. There are resources for both university and career planning—researching colleges, attending virtual fairs, managing Common App applications, etc.—that make this a valuable tool for high school counselors.
Student Mental Health Resources
These resources will help you support the mental health of students through training, worksheets, and more.
As the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders, NIMH is a good resource to turn to for scientifically-backed, expert advice on handling students’ mental health. The NIMH publishes statistics on the prevalence and treatment of mental health, they have brochures and documents categorized by disorder, and links to resources like crisis lines and health providers. With facts and information on nearly 30 health topics, this is a good resource to keep on hand.
AMHCA’s mission is to “advance the profession of clinical mental health counseling” through political advocacy, community building, and professional development for AMHCA members. There are many forms of membership, and members can enjoy a host of benefits.
22. Therapist Aid
Therapist Aid contains worksheets, videos, guides, articles, interactive tools, activities, and more for mental health professionals. There are endless resources on this website to turn to to help guide students through mental health problems that arise. Some topics you can filter by include anxiety, communication, stress, goals, and positive psychology. There is also an education topic that high school counselors will likely find beneficial.
The NCTSN was created as part of the Children’s Health Act in 2000 to care for and increase access to services for children who witness traumatic events. They have a variety of resources, from briefs to fact sheets to webinars to training curricula, that school counselors might find useful in assisting children who suffer from trauma. You can filter their resources by trauma type, language, and audience to find the tools that best apply to a given situation.
24. Psychology Tools
Psychology Tools is another online platform that offers a range of resources for those working with mental health patients. With resources on 31 different areas of mental health problems, counselors should be able to find books, articles, and worksheets for guidance on issues their students might be facing.