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Ethics and Best Practices

Ethical Standards for School Counselors

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The Ethical Standards for School Counselors outlines the principles of ethical behavior expected in order to maintain high standards of integrity, leadership, and professionalism. The document serves the purpose of providing:

  • ethical principles and practices to school counselors, school counselor supervisors, directors of school counseling programs, and school counselor educators;
  • guidance for the process of self-assessment, peer consultation, and educator evaluations of the school counselor’s role and responsibilities; and
  • information on the expected ethical behaviors and practices of school counselors to all stakeholders including students, guardians, school/district personnel, community members and organizations, state/national associations, and courts of law.

Wisconsin has adopted the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model as its best practice Comprehensive School Counseling Program and promotes and adheres to all aspects of the model, including the ethical standards. The professional Standards and Competencies are an integral component to the ethical practice of school counselors.

ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards and Competencies

ASCA Ethical Standards

ASCA Ethical Standards (PDF)

ASCA Legal and Ethical Tips

ASCA Parental Rights and Information Sharing – School Counselor Magazine 2023

Best Practices

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In order to practice at the highest level of professionalism, school counselors must commit to best practices of the profession. In addition to adhering to the ethical guidelines and professional standards, best practices include:

  • ongoing professional development to stay abreast current trends and newest research,
  • consultation with related professionals,
  • implementation of established comprehensive, standards based school counseling programs,
  • evidence-based practices, programs and strategies, and
  • utilization of accountability measures to reach and prove impact with all students, including closing achievement gaps.

Best Practice Resources


ASCA Position Statements

ASCA Toolkits, Frameworks, and Resources

ASCA Standards in Practice

Professional School Counseling Organizations and Resources

Best Practice Considerations for Emerging Professionals

Wisconsin School Counselor Association (WSCA)

WSCA provides additional legal and ethical resources to its members including Online Learning Program, Consultation Request, and On-Demand Learning Archive: A Catalog of Virtual Professional Development. A member login is required for these resources.

American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

ASCA’s books on ethical and legal issues:

ASCA provides additional legal and ethical resources to its members, including videos, webinars and articles in the ASCA School Counselor magazine.

Ethics questions can be submitted to: A member login is required for these resources.

For questions about this information, contact (608) 266-8960