Guidance Counselors: More Than Just A Welcome Wagon for New Students

Guidance Counselors are Making a Huge Impact on Students’ Lives

Audrey Moore

North Charleston, SC  

Here’s a question: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of school guidance counselors? Is it sitting in a IGP session with them and your parents discussing what you’re passionate about? Or maybe you remember the time you had to have a long chat with them after being sent to the office for acting up in one of your classes? Well, Fort’s guidance counselors are making a larger impact on how students’ educational careers are playing out. They are making a larger impact on students’ welfare than you might even realize. This is most noticeable in the support that they offer new students who come to Fort every year as freshmen or who transfer to the campus. 

Fort Dorchester’s guidance counselors really help out new students when they enroll into the school. They help them by going over their intricate school schedules and they make sure that their classes  match up with the students’ educational goals. 

Danielle McCall is one of the guidance counselors here at Fort Dorchester High. She works with both 11th and 12th graders, and is proud of the work she does daily and she shared, “We try to help students feel comfortable by building them the best schedules possible to align with the classes that they were taking at their previous schools.” 

Not only do guidance counselors help create schedules for all of the students, but they also make sure that all new students feel comfortable in their new environment. However, due to the Covid-19, guidance counselors have been limited in their contact with students, especially earlier this year. Mrs. McCall explained that the pandemic changed the way that they do business when she commented, “In previous years, before social distancing, we would do small groups for new students-particularly focusing on the 9th grade academy.” 

According to nationwide survey results, 85% of students today are experiencing an increase in stress from both the pandemic and their educational workloads. However, the guidance counselors at Fort have found a way to combat this problem and explained, “We try to meet with our new students, introduce ourselves, and let the students know that they are always welcome in our office if they need anything.”

Now, more than ever, it is vital for students to receive help from their guidance counselors. According to the Fort Dorchester Counseling Mission, the counselors strive to live up to their motto that reads: “We believe it is our duty to collaborate with community, partners, parents, and faculty to provide an array of learning opportunities for every student.” 

Danielle Mccall works hard with 11th and 12th graders and is a part of the MTSS Specialty Group.
The guidance counselors are a cohesive team that aims to help all students as best as they can.