School Counseling Programs
Comprehensive school counseling programs are developed, delivered, and maintained to promote student achievement in academic, career, and personal and social domains. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) describes school counseling programs as “comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, and developmental in nature”. Utilizing the ASCA National Model as a framework for these programs, school counselors can ensure that this intrinsic, data-driven component of their school’s mission will secure fair access to a rigorous education for all students, identify the skills that students will achieve and is delivered to all students in a systematic manner.
Four components comprise the framework for school counseling programs: foundation, management, delivery, and accountability. While delivery of services accounts for 80% of the model, foundation establishes the program focus, student competencies, and professional knowledge, attitudes, and skills that ensure school counselors are prepared to meet and exceed requirements in the profession. The management component incorporates assessments and tools that are reflective of the school’s needs to include use-of-time assessment, annual agreements, advisory councils, and action plans surrounding curriculum, small-group, and closing-the-gap. Eighty percent of the program is achieved through the delivery of student services, both direct and indirect through individual student planning, responsive services, and the school counseling core curriculum. To demonstrate the effectiveness of their program, professional school counselors analyze program data to determine how students are different as a result of the comprehensive program in the accountability component. Utilizing data to show the impact of the program on achievement, attendance, and behavior of students can lead to improved future results and action in collaboration with the school and it’s mission.
School Counseling Program Framework
Changing the question from "what do school counselors do?” to "how are students different as a result of what school counselors do?”, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) developed the national model of school counseling programs as a framework for comprehensive, data-driven school counseling programs.
Comparable to the academic curriculum that is found throughout schools, school counseling programs help to guide the role of the school counselor, illustrate services provided, outline competencies for students, and identifies barriers to learning and access to a fair education among many more. There are four essential parts to any comprehensive school counseling program (CSCP): Foundation, Management, Delivery, and Accountability.
The Move From National Standards for Students
Similar to the ASCA School Counselor Competencies the ASCA has also developed knowledge, skills, and attitudes that every student needs to achieve academic success, career and college readiness and social/emotional development. Advancing the 1997 ASCA National Standards for Students, these 35 mindset and behavior standards help to identify and prioritize expectations and achievements of students.
- Access growth of students development
- Guide future development for CSCP strategies and activities
- Influence a CSCP that helps students achieve their highest potential
- Foundation for guidance lesson plans addressing development needs
- Directly reflect vision, mission, and goals of CSCP
Based upon the needs of the school, classroom, small group or individual, the school counselor selects a domain and standard to assess from two different categories: (1) Mindset and (2) Behavior.
- Belief in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/emotional and physical well-being
- Self-confidence in ability to succeed
- Sense of belonging in the school environment
- Understanding that postsecondary education and life-long learning are necessary for long-term career success
- Belief in using abilities to their fullest to achieve high-quality results and outcomes
- Positive attitude toward work and learning
[Retrieved directly from ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success]