MPS employs certified, licensed professional school counselors. The MPS school counseling program supports, facilitates and encourages classroom development, guidance and student achievement. Proactive and preventive in its focus, the counseling program equips students with 21st century skills that foster self-awareness, interpersonal communication, career awareness, employability and post-secondary readiness. The program is based on the National Standards for School Counseling and the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for School Counseling. With this foundation, the program model is systematic, sequential, clearly defined and accountable.
Coordinated by a curriculum specialist in the MPS Central Services Division of Educational Services, the MPS counseling program establishes a seamless delivery of developmentally appropriate classroom guidance curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services as well as system support services. The ultimate goal of the program is to assist all students in developing strong skills to help plan, acquire good decision-making skills, adapt to their environment as they transition from grade school to high school or from high school to college or work, and continually adjust to the complex and dynamic world in which they live. Counseling helps students improve their perceptions of themselves and motivates them to find a purpose for which to achieve at high levels in all areas of life. MPS counselors serve as important mentors for students and guide them in their academic and personal development.
School counselors assist students in three separate domains of development. Information, support, instruction and encouragement are provided to students to promote skill development.
Academics — School counselors contribute to the cultivation of positive attitude, knowledge and skills that result in lifelong learning. These attributes make transitional adjustments (i.e. middle school to high school) easier on students. Through the guidance of counselors, students also learn to value how their academic experiences directly affect success in the workplace, interpersonal relationships and community.
Personal/Social — The personal/social aspect of school counseling helps students understand themselves, appreciate the differences in others and value diversity. This guidance extends the ability of students to make effective decisions, solve problems and set goals. It also encourages the use of safety and wellness skills in everyday life. Many counselors mentor students through challenges, provide guidance on critical decisions and celebrate milestones with students.
Career — Career counseling helps students achieve self-knowledge and guides them in understanding the relationship between educational achievement and career development. Students learn to develop career management strategies in an effort to achieve future success and satisfaction in the workplace. MPS counselors monitor the progress of students to ensure that they are on track to meet graduation requirements and secure their diploma. They meet with students to discuss college, technical training or work goals and to assist students in planning for life after school.
All MPS school counselors hold a master’s degree and an institutional endorsement from an approved school counseling program as well as a valid license from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). School counselors must also meet one of the following criteria:
• Counselor holds or is eligible to hold a DPI license to teach and has a minimum of two years of successful teaching experience at the early childhood through adolescent level.
If a school counselor does not meet either of the above, he or she may be eligible for an Initial or Professional Educator school counseling license with stipulations. These stipulations will be removed upon successful completion of two years as a licensed school counselor.
In addition to achieving the academic requirements, school counselors are encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities that address a variety of topics, including: individual differences; sexual orientation and stereotypes; alcohol and other drug abuse; health/mental health and cultural differences.
For more information on the MPS school counseling program, please contact Caroline Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 475-8174.
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