The junior year school counseling program calls upon the student to move beyond the mastery of basic high school skills. To this end, it is divided into two interrelated sections: first, higher academic and life skills issues, and second, career and college decision-making. The major themes of the former unit include organizational and higher order study skills, moral reasoning and decision-making in a values context, self-esteem, realistic self-examination and self-portrayal, coping strategies, and substance use and other issues related to social surroundings. Working from the assumption that every junior has attained a level of intellectual sophistication, emotional maturity, and personal independence appropriate for his age, the program turns his conscious attention outward both to his life after Regis and to the world at-large.
At the beginning of the school year, each junior is assigned an underclassmen school counselor with whom he works throughout the entire year. Early in the second trimester, he also begins meeting with a college advisor, who follows him into senior year and at that time assumes both school counselor and college advisor responsibilities. Scheduled group sessions meet throughout the year. Over the year’s course, each junior meets individually with both his underclassmen school counselor (typically, once a trimester) and his college advisor (typically, three to four times during second half of the school year).
During group sessions, school counselors regularly check in with students about how the week is going and give space for mental health and well-being reflections. School counselors encourage mindfulness practices like breathing techniques and positive coping skills that students can adapt to their individual lives and use on a regular basis.
Topics in the junior year group sessions include the following throughout the year: