The Profession of School Counseling
Case Study
Understanding the profession: The Experience Of Mark
Mark, a school counseling graduate student, has completed most of his required academic
work and is ready to begin his 600-hour internship, split between a secondary school and an
elementary school. Mark knows from his experience that the local community has some racial
strife and an economic underclass, and that a large percentage of students go from high school
directly into the workforce. Mark assumes, as he has been taught in graduate school, that the
counseling program will be designed to address the needs of those students who graduate and
begin work as well as those of economically advantaged, college-bound, academically proficient
students. Mark’s view of school counseling is influenced by the philosophy that school
counselors bear some degree of responsibility for the academic, career, and personal/social
development of all students.
During the second week of the internship, Mark expresses confusion during his group
supervision seminar and asks for assistance from his peers and university supervisor.
Specifically, he found that the counselors in his particular secondary school placement spend
most of their time working with college-bound students in individual sessions, registering or
withdrawing students, and preparing transcripts and letters of reference for college applications.
These counselors and this particular counseling program emphasize preparing students to make
vocational choices, with a great deal of attention to those who are preparing to enter colleges or
universities. In the elementary school placement, greater emphasis is placed on classroom
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