ERIC Number: ED401078
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Rural School Counseling: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities.
A counselor at a rural high school in New York reflects on her career and addresses issues facing rural school counselors. She chose a career in school counseling based on her interests in education, community involvement, and adolescents. As the only high school counselor for 280 students, she soon realized that rural youth faced many of the same problems as their urban peers: poverty, a lack of opportunities, and the need for new challenges. Her high visibility as a rural school counselor has enabled her to recognize many problems facing rural communities. Furthermore, the nature of her work allows great flexibility that puts her in an ideal position to initiate change. But, because of the lack of resources and isolation inherent in rural school systems, she has encountered obstacles in problem solving and initiating change. Despite this, there are numerous advantages to being a rural school counselor. For instance, it is easier to meet the needs of students when you know their history and family background. Rural school counselors must handle a variety of responsibilities, including balancing community expectations with community limitations. Rural school counselors must help students become aware of opportunities beyond their community while helping them recognize community strengths. Perhaps the most important responsibility of rural school counselors is to counter district limitations by developing and maximizing resources to meet the needs of students and their families. The most common problems addressed by rural school counselors include low academic achievement, issues of family functioning and cohesion, and the effects of poverty on student development. Rural school counselors may define and strengthen their role through self-evaluation, sharing effective strategies with other counselors, and forming networks to share resources. (LP)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Community Attitudes, Community Problems, Counselor Role, Educational Resources, Elementary Secondary Education, High Schools, Personal Narratives, Rural Areas, Rural Schools, Rural Youth, School Community Relationship, School Counseling, School Counselors, School Districts, School Guidance, Student Needs
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Toward the 21st Century: A Rural Education Anthology. Rural School Development Outreach Project. Volume 1; see RC 020 797.