Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-School Counseling (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Diarrassouba

Second Advisor

Dr. Bultsma

Academic Year



This project serves to educate stakeholders and advocate for school counselors by demonstrating their effectiveness to meet the unmet social/emotional and mental health needs of children and adolescents. School counselors are on the front line and are in a unique position to be the primary provider of mental health services in order to help students reach social/emotional success (ASCA, 2012). The reality is that school counselors are necessary, vital members of a school community and team (ASCA, 2012). School counselors are critical to creating and maintaining a safe school environment for all students to learn and achieve success academically and behaviorally, as well as socially/emotionally. Teachers, principals, parents, and families also stand to benefit from the collaboration, consultation, and support provided by school counselors. However, the social/emotional needs of many children and adolescents go unmet because of the lack of school counselors in district buildings. According to ASCA (2012), nearly one in five students do not have access to a school counselor in their school at all. Especially given the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the emotional/social needs of students, school counselors are more important now than ever. This project serves to advocate for the role of school counselors in elementary and middle school buildings while also providing knowledge and lesson plans that can be implemented by a professional school counselor in order to meet the currently unmet mental health and social/emotional needs of children and adolescents.

Keywords: ASCA, Mental Health, School Counselor, Social/Emotional Development