Urban School Counseling


The Urban School Counseling Initiative, developed by the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA), helps participating districts develop transformative leadership skills, align their district-wide counseling programs with the educational goals of their districts, assess the status of their school counseling programs and develop plans for maximizing their effectiveness.

The National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA), a division of the College Board’s Advocacy and Policy Center, promotes the importance of school counselors and supports their work through training, research, partnerships, publications and advocacy. NOSCA’s goal is to identify and highlight the skills, practices, characteristics and relationships, and the support for school counselors necessary to ensure that all students are college and career ready.


  • Expanding upon existing comprehensive developmental guidance counseling models, urban school counseling focuses on students and schools that present challenges extending beyond traditional developmental perspectives.
  • Typically, the term urban is synonymous with the inner city and school counseling refers to addressing problems of violence, low achievement, and poverty. Although many challenges exist, the cultural richness of any urban environment creates opportunities for exchange through diversity that can promote healthy development for all students.


  • Regardless of geographic location, the needs of urban students must be addressed through a perspective that accounts for the complex environments in which they live.
  • Six factors that influence urban school counseling: diversity of students, lack of resources, poverty, family issues, violence, and high dropout rates.



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