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Dayton: School Counseling Week is Feb. 3-7

Minnesota has one school counselor for every 792 students, ranking it 48th in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

To raise awareness of the vital role that school counselors play in student success, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed February 3-7 “School Counseling Week” in Minnesota.

Dave Warner, president of the Minnesota School Counselors Association and a school counselor with the Osseo school district, applauds Governor Dayton and is calling for more work to be done. 

“School counselors in Minnesota are stretched beyond their capacity,” he said.  “We must ask state leaders to address the severe lack of counseling services afforded to our kids.  Our schools need additional professional counselors to deal with the wide variety of issues that confront students every day.”

While professional school counselors are known for helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests and talents, their work goes well beyond that.  Professional school counselors are certified and licensed educators who are uniquely qualified to help students maximize their academic success, career readiness, and personal and social development.

School counselors have the education and experience to help students plan for college and ensure they are ready to enter the workforce. Counselors are also a valuable resource to parents in this process. They also support a safe learning environment, which many students and school leaders rely on.

A report released by Minnesota 2020 in 2009 showed the rapidly expanding need for mental health professionals in our schools to support safe and effective learning.

According to the report, more than 90 percent of school counselors had reported helping students deal with interpersonal and family problems, depression, aggressive or disruptive behavior, anxiety, and ADHD.  In the same study, 92 percent of counselors said a lack of state support is the leading challenge facing school counselors.

The Minnesota School Counselors Association will work with Gov. Dayton and the Legislature in 2014 to continue advocating for additional school counselors to help ease excessive caseloads, fulfill students’ needs, and increase their chances for success.

The Minnesota School Counselors Association represents more than 1,000 members who actively promote excellence in the school counseling profession by advocating for the resources needed to instill student success in school, home and the broader community.

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