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School Counselors

School counselors play a critical role in ensuring schools provide a safe, caring environment and that students have the necessary mindsets and behaviors to advance academic achievement outcomes. School counselors deliver programs that have an impact on student growth in three domain areas: academic development, career development and social/emotional development.

School counseling programs use data to understand student needs, provide school counseling classroom, group and closing the-gap interventions and remove systemic barriers to ensure all students as early as preschool and kindergarten have opportunity to develop academic goals at all grade levels reflecting their abilities and academic interests and can access appropriate rigorous, relevant coursework and experiences. Because of their unique position within a school and their unique training, school counselors can work with students facing mental health issues, family and social problems as well as career exploration and course planning to make school relevant. All practicing school counselors have a masters degree and hold a Pupil Personnel Services (P.P.S.) credential.

For position statements by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) on the role of the school counselor click here.


2021-22 School Counselor Professional Development Opportunities Calendar

CalendarSupplement your learning with additional workshops and conferences. Click to view an updated list of offerings throughout the county and state. To view these opportunities by domain (Social/Emotional, Academic, College/Career, and Equity/Social Justice), click here.


San Diego County School Counselor of the Year

​​2022 School Counselor of the Year flyerThe application for our third annual San Diego County School Counselor of the Year (SCOY) is now available. The SCOY program started in 2019-20 to recognize and celebrate the work and service of professional school counselors in San Diego County.

Sponsored by North Island Credit Union, we will recognize three SCOY at the following levels: elementary, middle, and high school, and celebrate with them at our new event, Honoring Excellence in School Counseling Leadership on Feb. 9, 2022. 

Eligibility requirements for all applicants include:

  1. Employed as a full-time school counselor during the 2021-22 school year.
  2. Completed at least three years as a practicing school counselor.
  3. Hold a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, school counseling, or equivalent, and be certified as a school counselor in California by holding a valid P.P.S. credential.

APPLICATION: We encourage school counselors to start applying early using our online application form. Eligible applicants will be required to complete an online application and upload their resume, one letter of recommendation, and three Personal Interest Question (PIQ) responses. The deadline to submit a completed application is Nov. 1 by 6 p.m.

NOMINATIONS: We are accepting nominations for school counselors who are deserving of this honor, but need a nudge in filling out the application. Complete the nomination form and we will send an invitation directly to the nominee encouraging them to apply. Please note that nominations are not required and that any eligible candidate may apply for the SCOY award. The deadline to submit a nomination is Oct. 15.

SPREAD THE WORD: Share this School Counselor of the Year flyer (PDF) with school counselors and potential nominators. Active links are embedded with easy access to the application and nomination forms.



Kickoff to College and Career ReadinessKickoff to College and Career Readiness

SDCOE hosted the county's first Kickoff to College and Career Readiness event on Sept. 15. This virtual event is structured for K-12 school counselors and educators who assist students with future plans and post-secondary success. There will be a general session with opening remarks from San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold and recognition of our 2021 San Diego County Race to Submit winners for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)/California Dream Act Application (CADAA) completions.

The event featured three sessions of engaging workshops centered around financial aid and college and career preparation to support our K-12 school counselors, administrators, and teachers through this work with students and families. The goal for 2021-22 is for every school in the county to commit to kicking off their own campus event to promote and increase a college-and-career-going culture. If you missed the event, all sessions and workshops were recorded and can be found by visiting our past workshops webpage. For more information and details on registering for this free event, click here.


Race to Submit (FASFA) Logo “Race to Submit” Campaign (FASFA/CADAA)

Race to Submit is a statewide campaign that aims to increase the number of financial aid applications for California high school seniors who complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). In 2020, SDCOE kicked off the first San Diego County "Race to Submit" challenge to encourage districts and high schools to set a goal to increase their completion rates.


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