In traditional high schools, teachers are responsible for the academic progress of students taking those teachers’ classes, and the guidance counselor is responsible for addressing any social or emotional problems that may emerge. Teachers rarely meet to discuss students they have in common—and even more rarely meet with the counselor to consider how to support students both academically and emotionally. In contrast, in the system of distributed counseling, developed by ISA, teachers and a counselor regularly work together as a team to support students’ academic and social-emotional development. Thus, both teachers and counselors have an expanded role in supporting students’ success. Teachers find that when they form strong relationships with their students, they are better able to support them and to demand more from them academically (Lee et al. 1999; Bryk and Schneider 2002; Ancess 2003).

Internet Resources for Distributed Counseling

American School Counselor Association
Provides access to periodicals, online bookstore, professional development tools, peer networking, and information on best practices in school counseling.

Career Cruising
Interactive career resource. Facilitates career exploration and planning by providing students with access to information and tools to track their progress.

College Board BigFuture
Helps students prepare for college by providing curriculum, services, and tools for parents, students, and educators.

College Board Financial Aid
Provides information, software, and other tools to manage the financial aid process.

College Board Scholarship Search
Matches scholarships, internships, grants, and loans to education level, talents, and background.

Matches scholarships with personal profile.

National Association of School Psychologists
Provides access to periodicals, online bookstore, certification/training resources, career center, crisis resources, and information on culturally competent practices.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Education)
Federal program. Allocates funds to states in support of efforts that encourage low-income students to stay in school and attend college. For further information about programs in individual states, see your state department of education Web site.

Project Adventure
Experiential youth program. Builds school community and student leadership skills to effect positive growth.

School Mental Health Project, University of California, Los Angeles
Provides overview of mental health in schools and access to a resource center, newsletter, and database for mental health.