Schools around the world, including middle and high schools, colleges and universities, contain a group of staff members. Obvious, as some work on campus as teachers, some in offices working on admissions, while others work with the student body to better the experience of the school. They are the school deans and counselors! At first, it may be confusing to understand their role on the school campus, but they have many resources available to help you. Here’s how you can take advantage of student deans and counselors to benefit you!
Though a big misconception is that deans and counselors are there to intervene when a student is in trouble, they are also there to help students through issues during and outside of school. Mentoring, mental health help, and resources are all available through them. Most often an appointment should be made through your school office, and they sometimes may be busier than others depending on letter of recommendation season, or when seniors are leaving and need to go through the office. If you find yourself in trouble for plagiarism, a fight with another student, threats, trespassing of property, or destruction of property (spray paint included), a counselor may be waiting for you in the office. They also can provide help before trouble arises, as all counselors are required to have a master’s degree in counseling and meet certification standards. The school staff is there to support a positive environment!
In terms of college and university staff, deans may offer help with financial aid such as scholarships, finding relief, and help with housing on campus! Deans can let you know of your rights as a student if an issue arises, and help with legal aid as well. Problems with grades and changing from a letter system to a pass/no pass system may have to go through the office as well, but make sure to check in with your teacher first. In general, all staff on campus is there and available to talk to or email with any questions!
A point to mention, however, is that school counselors are proactive. They are happy to help with any issues, but a student must bring it up with them first. At 250 students per 1 counselor according to the American School Counselor Association, their attention is divided between those students and other work that needs to be done. The limit is imposed to make sure the counselors are not overwhelmed and students can have access to the help they need.
If you find yourself lost in your school, confused on paperwork, or need advice for future steps, both the dean and counselor are there to help! Employed at all levels of education, keep in mind the resources available for you to take advantage of!
Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "What Is a Dean of Students?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/what-is-a-dean-of-students-793405
Guidance Counselor vs. School Counselor. https://www.schoolcounselor.org/getmedia/c8d97962-905f-4a33-958b-744a770d71c6/Guidance-Counselor-vs-School-Counselor.pdf
The Role of the School Counselor. https://www.schoolcounselor.org/getmedia/ee8b2e1b-d021-4575-982c-c84402cb2cd2/Role-Statement.pdf
“School Support Staff.” National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE), https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/training-technical-assistance/roles/school-support-staff