School Counseling in the United States: A Theory-Building Case Study

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The profession of school counseling within and beyond the U. S. has been cited as having evolved over time to meet the needs of school children, incorporating aspects of career, mental health, and education. Some scholars have asserted that this circuitous path has led to a degree of role confusion for counselors, educators, parents, and students. This study used a cross-national comparative methodology approach to compare aspects of the development of school counseling in the U.S. and S. Korea in order to build theory about the profession of school counseling. Three transfer topics were used to explore transferability of meaning: historiography of the profession, current school-based problems, and credentialing. Data sources included archival governmental and association information, and published works in academic journals and professional books. Findings suggest that school counseling in both countries share similarities and that the school counselor educators and policymakers in the U.S. could transform the profession by creatively exploring modifications to service delivery, considering the development of national policies, and implementing mandatory mental health screenings for all school children.

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