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11 Professional Development Tools for Counselors

What’s Covered:


Professional development in counseling encompasses a spectrum of activities that foster ongoing education, skills enhancement, and knowledge expansion. It plays a significant role in ensuring that counselors stay informed about the most recent techniques, trends, research, and ethical considerations in their profession. The importance of professional development in counseling cannot be understated, as it serves to maintain a high standard of service delivery, improve client outcomes, and facilitate personal and career growth for the counselors themselves.


This article will explore various tools essential for a counselor’s professional development. These tools include Continuing Education Units (CEUs), professional associations, networking and collaboration tools, and professional media resources such as podcasts, online courses, and YouTube channels.


Continuing Education and Professional Associations


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are integral to a counselor’s professional development journey. These are units of credit for attending an accredited program specifically designed for professionals holding certificates or licenses to practice various professions. CEUs serve to ensure that counselors stay relevant and updated, learning about the latest developments, skill sets, and new technologies in their field. Additionally, earning CEUs is often a requirement for maintaining licensure and certification in counseling.


Professional associations are an invaluable source of resources for professional development, including the provision of CEUs through various educational formats like seminars, workshops, webinars, and conferences. Besides, they offer networking opportunities, keep members abreast of the latest research, advocate for the profession, and provide various other tools for professional development and growth.


Below are a few of the professional associations that provide high school counselors with CEUS.


American School Counselor Association (ASCA)


The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is dedicated to providing school counselors with an array of professional development resources, including opportunities to earn CEUs. They offer a wide range of services to facilitate professional development, such as online and in-person webinars, publications, and an annual conference that gathers experts and practitioners from across the country.


American Counseling Association (ACA)


The American Counseling Association (ACA) is a premier association offering abundant resources for counselors’ professional development. They provide opportunities to earn CEUs through various mediums, including webinars, conferences, and online courses. The ACA also provides publications, research opportunities, and a platform for networking and collaboration.


National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) supports professionals involved in guiding students through the intricate process of college admissions. They provide resources and opportunities for CEUs through their regional and national conferences and a robust suite of online education programs.


National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)


The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is an independent certification body that offers crucial ethical and legal regulatory services to counselors. NBCC offers resources and opportunities for earning CEUs, including a list of approved continuing education providers and a diverse range of education offerings.


Networking and Collaboration Tools


Networking is a significant aspect of professional development. It can provide counselors with exposure to different perspectives, facilitate the sharing of best practices, and foster a sense of community and mutual support.




LinkedIn is a robust tool for professional networking. It allows professionals from various fields to connect, share knowledge, and learn from each other. Numerous LinkedIn groups specifically cater to counseling professionals, providing a platform for engaging discussions and resource sharing.


Counseling Forums


Various online counseling forums offer platforms for counselors to interact, share their experiences, ask for advice, and learn from their peers. Forums like the Counselor Education Discussion Forum are widely used for such interactions and knowledge exchange.


Facebook Groups


Facebook groups such as the School Counselor Group offer an excellent platform for counselors to share resources, ask questions, offer advice, and provide support to each other. These communities can be local, regional, or global, broadening the perspectives and resources shared.




CollegeVine provides a unique platform designed for high school counselors, allowing for networking and collaboration between fellow counselors, students, and college admissions officers. In addition, we offer rich resources, insightful data, and regular events to aid and empower counselors in their roles.


Professional Media for Counselors


Several digital platforms offer media resources that can enrich a counselor’s professional development. These resources include podcasts, online courses, and YouTube channels that delve into various counseling topics.




Podcasts such as The Counseling Psychologist Podcast serve as a rich source of information, offering in-depth discussions on relevant topics in counseling. They provide insights from industry experts and explore emerging trends in the field.


Online Courses


Online learning platforms like Coursera and Udemy host a plethora of courses related to counseling. These courses, taught by industry experts, can help to enhance a counselor’s knowledge and skills and offer CEUs for completed coursework.


YouTube Channels


YouTube channels such as Counselor Toolbox provide free educational resources on a variety of counseling topics. These channels can be a valuable supplement to traditional learning, offering video content that can explain concepts visually and provide real-world examples.


In conclusion, ensuring continuous professional development is pivotal to offering effective and ethical counseling services. Utilizing the tools and resources outlined in this article can aid counselors in expanding their knowledge, honing their skills, and staying current with the evolving trends in their profession.


Short Bio
Varun is a recent graduate from Arizona State University, Tempe, with a degree in Computer Science. He aims to share his knowledge of computer science, the IB Diploma Program, and all things college-related with high school students. In his free time, he can be found performing DJ sets or cooking!