Outline of the state of Tennessee

School Counseling Secondary Grade Levels—9-12

School Counseling Secondary Grade Levels—9-12

State law requires the provision of school counseling or guidance services in secondary grade levels (9-12).

2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-303. School counselors.


  • (1) Each LEA shall employ or contract with school counselors for pre-kindergarten through grade twelve (pre-K-12).
  • (2) The school counseling program shall be established and operated under guidelines adopted by the state board of education.
  • (3) The state board of education shall report on the implementation and effectiveness of the program in its annual report to the general assembly.

(b) School counselors shall provide preventive and developmental counseling to school students in order to prepare them for their school responsibilities and their social and physical development. In providing these services, school counselors shall:

  • (1) Aid children in academic development through the use and interpretation of test scores, improved pupil self-concept and early identification and attention to problems that are deterrents to learning and development;
  • (2) Act in a consultative role to teachers relative to the use of test scores and improvement of the learning environment, use of out-of-school resources and agencies and development of a home-school liaison;
  • (3) Offer services related to the identification and placement of children with handicapping conditions;
  • (4) Serve in a consultative role to parents, in a liaison capacity, as a resource in understanding growth and development problems and as an aid in understanding how some nonschool factors affect learning and achievement of children;
  • (5) Serve as a resource in decreasing discipline problems through an understanding of peer relations, teacher-pupil relations, social awareness and drug awareness;
  • (6) Aid in improving school attendance and retention by implementing an early identification and prevention program for potential attendance and retention problems;
  • (7) Serve as a resource in decreasing the incidence of juvenile delinquency by early intervention through guidance and counseling services;
  • (8) Act as a resource and consultant to teachers in implementing a career development program that, at the elementary school level, includes self-awareness, job awareness and prevocational orientation;
  • (9) Provide an available source for youngsters needing someone to just listen to their problems or concerns; and
  • (10) Serve as a resource and consultant to teachers in implementing an intervention program that utilizes conflict resolution and decision-making strategies aimed at preventing occurrences of disruptive acts by students within the school and on school property.

(c) The minimum requirement to be employed as a school counselor shall be an appropriate license granted by the state board of education.

(d) The school counselor may refer or help facilitate a referral of a parent or legal guardian's student to a counselor or therapist for mental health assessments or services. If a school counselor refers a student to a counselor or other mental health provider, neither the LEA nor the school counselor shall bear the cost of such services provided to the student.

Policy Type

Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-01-03-.08 PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES.

(1) Each local board of education shall develop Standard and policies for:

  • (a) Attendance Services
  • (b) Guidance Services
  • (c) School Psychological Services
  • (d) School Social Work Services
  • (e) School Health Services
Policy Type

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-5-302. School counselors and school teachers.

(a) A school counselor or school teacher is responsible solely for providing counseling and guidance to students at the school or schools at which the counselor is employed. If a counselor is employed as such on a less than full-time basis, those hours devoted to guidance and counseling shall be specified and adhered to closely. A school counselor is not responsible for general school administration or reports, except such reports as may be connected with the school's guidance program.

(b) Counseling and guidance include, but are not limited to:

  • (1) Counseling on academic problems or decisions;
  • (2) Counseling on social or peer-group pressure problems;
  • (3) Career counseling and guidance;
  • (4) Guidance on socialization and group interaction;
  • (5) Motivational guidance;
  • (6) Behavioral guidance; and
  • (7) Counseling on personal problems.
Policy Type