Organizing a Counseling Department

The Network for College Success believes that Counselors and College & Career Coaches are school leaders and, therefore, are pivotal to student success. 

Counseling Departments are responsible for a variety of school-wide projects and events within the three counseling domains: academic, social-emotional learning, and postsecondary. Developing strong teams requires careful consideration and intentional planning so that Counselors have the capacity to organize around the three domains of work. Tool Set A provides Counselors and other educators with resources to establish effective school Counseling Departments.

Use the Tool Set

The full Organizing a Counseling Department Tool Set is available for download. The download includes the five tools in this Tool Set.

PDF icon Download the Full Tool Set (PDF) v
Tool Name Type

Counseling Department Retreat Facilitator’s Guide

The activities in this sample Kelly High School facilitator’s guide allowed the team to reflect on the past school year, focus on team dynamics, and set the stage for next year’s programming.


RACI Matrix for a Counseling Department

A responsibility assignment matrix, also known as a RACI matrix, from Kelly High School that describes the roles and responsibilities of each member of the Counseling Department.


Care Team Presentation

A presentation from North-Grand High School on how to develop a Care Team.


Building a Social and Academic Supports Team

A presentation from Kelly High School on how to develop a Social and Academic Supports (SAS) Team.


Course Programming Timeline

A sample protocol and timeline from Westinghouse College Prep’s Counseling Department for programming students for class schedules.