School Counseling Specialist

Employment Type

: Full-Time


: Education - Excluding Post Secondary


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, serving over 350,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission we make three commitments to our students, their families and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments – student centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership and continuous learning.

The School Counseling Specialist works under the direction of the Director of School Counseling within the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising (OSCPA) in collaboration with other Chicago Public Schools offices and departments, administrators, school-based staff, and external partners to carry out the mission of OSCPA:

To ensure that all school counseling teams in the district implement comprehensive, student-centered, data-informed practices through an effective model of leadership, collaboration, advocacy, and systemic change to impact academic, social/emotional, and postsecondary outcomes of ALL students in the district.

The School Counseling Specialist will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:

Typical Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Serving as an expert on all school counseling foundation, management, delivery, and accountability components, as outlined by the ASCA National Model.

  • Systematically collaborating with the other school counseling specialists, OSCPA staff, the Master Counselor/Coach Advisory Council, internal CPS offices, and external partners to support student outcomes through school counseling work. 

  • Educating CPS upper leadership about the appropriate role of the school counselor.

  • Supporting the district’s 800+ K-12 school counselors and college access staff.

  • Serving as a liaison, advocate, and representative of school counselors in order to effect systemic change and educational reform.

  • Ensuring that student achievement is at the center of our work as school counselors.

  • Fostering school counselor leadership across the district.

  • Developing and promoting a culture of collaboration between OSCPA, school-based school counselors, the union, and school counselor educators.

  • Engaging in collective inquiry that is action-oriented, results-focused, and promotes best practices in the district.

  • Ensuring that the school counselor voice is represented in the development of district policies, procedures, and initiatives.

  • Developing online resources, communications, surveys, toolkits, flyers, and templates.

  • Strengthening comprehensive, data-driven school counseling programs in every school through the use of Evidence-Based Implementation Plans.

  • Reinforcing the use of the ASCA National Model and REACH Framework for School Counselors throughout the district in all schools.

  • Delivering a large number of training/coaching/webinar sessions annually.

  • Co-managing the district’s RAMP pipeline by facilitating tailored, working-session “RAMP Camps” and coaching schools in various stages of the process.

  • Serving as Web Content Author for the OSCPA Knowledge Center.

  • Supervising department interns.

  • Contributing to the development of an updated REACH Framework for School Counselors, including resources.

  • Reinforcing the development of student individual learning plans through Naviance.

  • Defining recommended best practices to support the academic, social/emotional, and career development of all students in CPS.

  • Coordination and support of the School Counseling Internship Program.

  • Working with the Director of School Counseling to establish a strategic plan for the school counseling department, including, goals, metrics, timelines, and action plans.

  • Maintaining and submitting individual metrics and required documentation established by the Executive Director of OSCPA and Director of School Counseling.

  • Coordinating the work of Master Counselors and Coaches Advisory Council.

  • Promotes communications with students, school personnel, parents and others to enhance the delivery of the school counseling program and district initiatives.

  • Participates in meetings with external partners and district personnel to inform, review, and make determinations related to new initiatives, programs, proposals, etc.

  • Participates in relevant administrative meetings conducted by the Executive Director of OSCPA and the Director of School Counseling. 

  • Represents the district at relevant local, state, and national school counseling meetings, conferences, and events.

  • Continues own professional growth and development through memberships; attendance at relevant meetings, workshops and conferences; enrollment in advanced courses; and similar activities to serve as a regional, state, and national leader in the school counseling profession.

  • Performs such other tasks and duties as may be assigned; follows Board policies and stays abreast of updates and changes. 

  • Supervision and Work Performance:

    The employee works with a level of independence and professional discretion under the supervision of the Director of School Counseling. The employee’s work is governed and evaluated by acceptable professional practice, school and district policies and regulations (i.e. CPS RISE Performance Evaluation Framework), and provision of Illinois State Board of Education. 

    In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the Job Title must possess the following qualifications: 

    Type of Education Required:

  • Master’s Degree in School Counseling required

  • ISBE Professional Educator License (PEL) in School Counseling required

  • PEL in Educational or Administrative Leadership preferred

  • Type of Experience Required:

  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in ASCA-aligned school counseling within CPS required

  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Thorough knowledge of the ASCA National Model, Multi-Tiered, Multi-Domain System of Supports, and CPS REACH Framework for School Counselors

  • Thorough knowledge of school counseling theory & practice

  • Thorough knowledge of district initiatives, policies, and protocols

  • Experience with the needs of students and their families

  • Ability to produce professional, visually appealing, high-level communications and presentations

  • Innovative, enthusiastic, energetic, adaptive, positive

  • Able to organize and sequence activities and manage large, complex projects

  • Collaborative working style and strong work ethic

  • Working knowledge of G Suite (Google docs, sheets, forms, slides, etc.), Dashboard, and Naviance.

  • Demonstrated skill and effectiveness in working with diverse populations

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

  • Skills and ability to serve as an educational leader and advocate, including the ability to plan, organize and facilitate staff meetings, planning processes, and community events

  • Physical and Environmental Requirements of the Position:

    While employed in this position, the employee reports daily to the CPS District Office location (42 W. Madison). However, the employee is frequently required to report to various locations across the city for school visits, professional development events, meetings, etc. Use of a personal vehicle and/or public transportation will be required. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to assist in transporting goods such as books, agendas, etc. or technology for professional development events, meetings, etc.

    Residency Requirement:

    As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and must maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.

    * The salary listed in the header is an estimate based on salary data for similar jobs in the same area. Salary or compensation data found in the job description is accurate.

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