Cultural Considerations to Enhance Student Success

Cultural Considerations to Enhance Student Success

Cavelle R. Gonga, Christina M. Duncan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9514-5.ch002
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The field of school counseling has evolved over the years to transform counselor roles from that of a guidance counselor to that of a professional school counselor positioned to meet the academic, career, and social/emotional needs of all students. In order to contribute to student success, school counselors must be aware of those needs and consider contextual and environmental factors that may impact student experiences. This chapter will address cultural considerations in school counseling, factors that impact service delivery, strategies for counselor self-reflection and professional growth, approaches for building relationships, ideas for rebranding mental health, and the use of courageous conversations.
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Cultural Considerations In School Counseling

As the United States continues to grow, one must understand that school systems around the world are becoming more racially diverse. Students of color are becoming the majority of school-aged students in some cities in the country (Schachner et al., 2019). This is important because students are becoming less likely to look the same or have the same culture as the school counselor. Although schools are becoming increasingly diverse and are filled with students from various backgrounds and cultures, school counselor demographics are not diversifying at a comparable rate. According to the ASCA (2021) State of Profession research report, the majority of school counselors are White (77%), 10% are Black, 5% are Latinx, 3% identify with two or more races, and the remaining 5% percent are Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or prefer not to say. School counselors must ask themselves if they are equipped to work with students who are ethnically and culturally different from them. Due to these disproportionate ratios, school counselors must fully commit to efforts to foster a welcoming environment and safe space for all students.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Stigma: A set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.

Diversity: differing from one another.

Discrimination: The practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people.

Microaggression: A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).

Equity: Justice according to natural law or right.

Racism: A belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

Bias: A tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly.

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