School counseling has undergone a transformation from a program of entitlement to one of performance and continuous improvement. What is working with and for students? School counselors now focus on improved student results that measure the impact of goals and objectives. The essential question becomes” How has student academic achievement improved as a result of what counselors do”?
School counselors must use data to assess student needs, establish measurable goals, and measure the results of guidance and counseling activities. This helps to ensure accountability. Data is collected, disaggregated, and analyzed to determine areas of student strength and areas in need of improvement. Gathering and analyzing school data identifies the trends and concerns that establish a proactive school counseling program.
Among possible data sources for counselor use are:
- Standardized test data
- Grade point average
- Enrollment in Honors, AP, college Level Courses
- Remedial courses taken
- Free/Reduced Lunch students
- Socio-Economic status
- Participation in support services
- Discipline referrals
- English as a Second language
- Family Status
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) has identified four counselor skills that help to articulate the new role of school counselors. They are:
- Systemic Change
RLOACS Guidance Services program is based on the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program. Both models emphasize the importance of the following basic tenets:
- All children are unique and should be respected with dignity.
- Every student can succeed at high levels.
- Learning is a lifelong process.
- Fostering a positive self-image is the collaborative effort of the school, home and community leading to responsible and productive citizenship.
- Through guidance programs, the needs and diversity of all students are addressed at all educational levels.
- Every student needs appropriate personal and social skills to achieve optimum benefits from the educational program.
- Comprehensive guidance counseling is a developmentally appropriate program rather than support services.
- The RLOACS guidance program is an integral part of the overall educational program and serves as a critical link to the instructional program and the community.
The RLOACS comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling program is an integral part of the total educational program.