School and career guidance is at the heart of student success

For clients with specific needs who may be at greater risk of failure or dropping out, guidance needs, although present, are barely expressed and require screening as part of other interventions.

For students identified as having disabilities, social maladjustments or learning difficulties, a brief identification of their interests and an exploration of trades and professions are not enough.

Special assessment

These students require targeted assessment and clinical intervention tailored to their needs and circumstances. The guidance counsellor is a professional who can accompany parents and their child during this delicate intervention.

To assess psychological functioning, personal resources and environmental conditions; to intervene on identity and to develop and maintain active coping strategies with the aim of enabling personal and professional choices throughout life; restoring socio-professional autonomy and carrying out the career projects of individuals interacting with their environment.

The guidance counsellor’s skills are particularly important in helping clients with special needs reach their full potential while taking into account their individual characteristics.

The counsellor’s role is paramount, not only in assessing a student with a disability or who is experiencing adaptation problems, but also in the implementation of an Individualized Education Plan as required by the Quebec Education Act, as well as in assisting in the acquisition and maintenance of competencies.

The different professionals contribute, each of them, to the assessment of the student according to their respective field of competence (speech therapist, psychologist, psycho-educator, social worker, special education teacher, etc.). For example, the guidance counsellor can be used for everything related to the specification of a career or educational project, the determination of the academic path and the supervision promoting socio-professional integration or the transition from school to active life.

In this regard, Bill 21, An Act to amend the Professional Code and other legislative provisions in the field of mental health and human relations, which focuses on ensuring access to competent professional services and protecting the most vulnerable clientele, provides for a number of activities that are shared among education professionals who are members of a professional order (guidance counsellor, psycho-educator, psychologist, etc.).

Bill 21 redefines the scope of practice in the mental health and human relations professions and reserves for them the professional activities that carry a high risk of harm to clients.