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School Counseling

Mission and Vision

The mission of the DCPS School Counseling Program is to ensure all schools provide a comprehensive, inclusive, and culturally responsive counseling program that assesses the strengths and needs of all students, staff, and community.

We strive for all DCPS students to be heard, loved, challenged, and prepared to grow and succeed. This fits hand in hand with the overall DCPS vision for students to positively influence society and to thrive.

Our counselors engage with students, families, teachers, and the community to ensure the academic success, social/emotional growth, and college/career readiness of our learners. We are change-agents, thought-leaders, and continually seek for students to learn, grow, and thrive.

Role of a School Counselor

School counselors are certified, professional educators who improve student success for ALL students by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program. Counselors, at a minimum, hold a master’s degree in School Counseling and are credentialed and certified through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in DC.

The School Counselor’s Role[PDF]
Counselors focus on the academic, social/emotional, college and career success of PK-12 students. They engage in short-term individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons with their students.

Counselors also focus on helping students to establish personal goals and plan for the future. In the secondary setting, this includes academic advising, planning, and tracking course requirements. These activities are conducted through joining alongside within a student’s journey: to encourage and walk together.

Finally, counselors assist in crisis response, consult, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to promote the well-being of their students.

Best Practices for School Counselors
Guidance Counselors vs. School Counselors

Practicum/Internship Experience

We are excited to offer practicum and internship experience to graduate students. However, we must have a signed memorandum of agreement (MOA) in place before any graduate students can serve DCPS students. Practicum and internship students are required to complete a background check and all relevant paperwork before starting their practicum/internship. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Fallon Dodson, School Counseling Manager, at [email protected].

Community Service Information

If you have any questions about community service, please visit our community service page.

Emergency Services Information

If you are concerned about your student’s safety or well-being outside of school hours, here are some emergency resources that can help:

  • DC Access Hotline: (877) 7WE-HELP
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline: (800) 442-4673

Crises at School

If a school crisis occurs, school counselors will coordinate with the School Mental Health Team and work with school leaders to develop and implement a school crisis response plan.

Become a School Counselor with DCPS

We are committed to attracting, recruiting, and retaining dynamic school counselors across the district. Here are the minimum qualifications to become a school counselor with DC Public Schools:

  • Holds a completed master’s degree from an approved program in school counseling education
  • Successfully completed at least 300-hours of supervised school-based field, practicum, or internship experience as part of your degree program
  • Has achieved a passing score for the School Counselor Praxis exam

We are currently accepting applications for School Counselor positions and Bilingual School Counselor positions. Please visit the DCPS careers page to apply for counseling positions for next school year!

Contact Us

If you have any questions about school counseling, please contact the members of the School Counseling Team in Central Office:

School Counseling Manager: Dr. Fallon Dodson
School Counseling Coordinator: Mr. Steve Rockey