Every course in the School Counseling Track addresses the
role of social and cultural diversity in school counseling. Students learn
about the characteristics, concerns, and needs of diverse groups such as
cultural minorities, people with low socioeconomic status, and people with disabilities. Students explore their
own attitudes and biases toward various populations and develop strategies to
overcome those biases. Students acquire skills in order to provide individual,
group, and classroom guidance lessons to diverse populations.
Candidates are required to commit to the self-examination of
their own acceptance and celebration of diverse populations. Effectiveness in
communicating and working with students, parents, teachers, school
administrators, and community members is dependent on the student’s
understanding of cultural and ethnic values, beliefs, and customs. Faculty
believes that candidates’ understanding and sensitivity to diversity, both
within and across cultural and ethnic groups, is simply a necessity, and the
program fosters opportunities for growth. Throughout the program, candidates
are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in terms of both their
own and others’ cultural and ethnic beliefs, values, and mores.
The gap in achievement between minority/low SES students and
their non-minority/more affluent peers is a root sign of racial, cultural, and
educational inequities that result in discrimination, economic disparity, and
social stratification. Candidates are selected for admission and groomed during
the program to develop a penchant for social justice to see injustice and
inequity where it occurs and work with determination to eradicate it.
SOAR graduate students must be fingerprinted by Duval County
Public Schools (DCPS) at the DCPS School Board before they can work in
any Duval County public school. If already employed by DCPS it is not necessary
to be re-fingerprinted. Read below for fingerprinting procedures.
The School Counseling Program is philosophically aligned
with the mission of the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) and the
Duval County Public Schools, the K-12 school district we predominately serve.
The school counseling program is cutting-edge with regard to the knowledge and
practice that represents the field of school counseling. This document presents
the essential framework of elements that describe our program’s knowledge bases
and assessment plan, and the integration and articulation of these two
The mission of the School Counseling Program is to prepare
culturally competent and skilled school counseling professionals to meet the
growing needs of K-12 students in today’s schools. This competency-based school
counseling program prepares professional school counselors to deliver
comprehensive programs that promote success for all students (preK-12) in the
areas of academic, career, and personal/social development. Through advocacy,
collaboration, teamwork, leadership, individual and group counseling
interventions, and use of data and technology, UNF school counselor candidates
will be prepared to support, promote, and enhance student achievement and
success in school.
The School Counseling Program is situated within the
Department of Leadership School Counseling, and Sport Management under the
auspices of the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) at the
University of North Florida. This program reflects the COEHS vision of
preparing and supporting educators who seek to be competent and contributing
professionals for diverse learning communities. Professional preparation in
School Counseling emphasizes the development of candidates who will model pedagogical
effectiveness and engage in active leadership roles within schools and
community organizations with regard to school counseling.
School Counseling candidates will demonstrate the knowledge
and skills to plan, implement, and evaluate comprehensive national
standards-based school counselor programs. The School Counseling Track prepares
school counselors to fulfill the following roles:
In every course in the school counseling program, students
learn to apply current and emerging technologies so that they may learn how to
use them to assist students, families, and educators to promote informed
academic, career, and personal/social choices. Students use one or more types
of multi-media technology (i.e. word processing, PowerPoint, Internet) to
complete assignments. All of the PowerPoint presentations throughout the 2-year
school counseling program are posted on the Blackboard course so that each
student can download their classmates’ Power Points, give credit to their
classmates, and tailor the Power Points for their school counseling position.
Students are required to perform Internet searches on various topics and submit
a significant portion of their work electronically. Likewise, instructors model
the use of PowerPoint, the Internet, conference calling, and other technologies
to teach the courses.
Additionally, students learn to gather critical electronic
information, such as school report card data, and employ the power of
electronically disaggregated data. Materials for select courses are provided
via a web-based course (http://blackboard.unf.edu). Students use a discussion
board on this web-course, “Blackboard”, to post comments about topics related
to school counseling. In recent years, students have also established websites
to assist students, families, and educators in finding and using resources that
promote informed academic, career, and personal/social choices.
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