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This project is the first of its kind for the international school counseling profession.  The development of the model set out to involve as many international school counselors and experts in the field.

Since 2008, over 300 international school counselors, organizations and interested parties have participated in the development of the International Model. Based on extensive research, surveys, and input from counselors, the International Model applies best counseling practices from around the world to the international school context. The International Model for School Counseling Programs is based on the ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (R) and is developed with permission by the American School Counselor Association.

The first edition of the International Model was published and released by Brooke Fezler and Cheryl Brown through the Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA) and U.S. State Department Office of Overseas Schools, July 2011.

What is unique about the International Model?

Language used in the Model reflects the international context in which overseas counselors work.

The Model includes information about the elements of a counseling program that accurately represents the environment and factors of school counseling in a foreign country.  Often, these responsibilities exceed the expectations placed upon counselors who work in public and state schools in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Western Europe.

The new fourth domain--Global Perspective--offers content standards that focus on encouraging mindful cross-cultural interaction and intercultural communication for school counselors and students.

Academic, Career, Personal/Social and Global Perspective content standards reflect the needs of third culture kids (and host country nationals) in international schools.


The aim of the International Model for School Counseling Programs is to provide a framework for encouraging and promoting best practices among international school counselors. By creating "Unity from Diversity" for international school counseling programs, the International Model will guide the formation, review, and improvement of counseling programs at schools all over the world.

The goals of the International Model for School Counseling Programs are to:

  • Consolidate best practices to develop a comprehensive and preventative International Model for school counseling programs.
  • Produce an effective model that is replicable across international schools-guiding counselors in what to do.
  • Provide a common language and vision for international school counselors to continue conversations and professional learning among the diverse international school counselor group.
  • Clarify the role of the international school counselor so that all counselors have a focused approach to their program, are supported by colleagues and administrators, and are guided in what a counseling program should look like.
  • Facilitate authentic collaboration within and among international schools.  When all counselors at various divisions, and in various cities around the world, are using the same counseling model and working towards the same goals, counselors can share resources about how each school is reaching their targets.
  • Develop unity from diversity. International school counselors have a diverse range of training and specializations, cultural backgrounds, languages, belief systems, professional strengths, and life experiences. This diversity has the potential to cause confusion and conflict among professionals with different interests, perceptions, and abilities. However, when all counselors at a school use the International Model, the best of what each individual has to offer is contributed to a unified vision, a single direction.

A 2nd Version of the International Model will be released in the Fall of 2021. Stay tuned to be able to purchase your copy.

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