1 Equity-Focused School Counseling: Ensuring Career and College Readiness for Every Student Ketrin Saud Maxwell, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Program Director Psychology and Counseling Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ Stuart F. Chen-Hayes, Ph.D. Associate Professor Counselor Education/School Counseling Lehman College of the City University of New York, Bronx, NY Deryl Bailey, Ph.D. Associate Professor Counselor Education/School Counseling University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2 Equity-Focused School Counseling: Ensuring Career and College Readiness for Every Student TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 1. Introductions and the Importance of Equity-Focused School Counseling: Ensuring Career and College Readiness for Every Student-KSM- 2. School Counseling in History--SCH 3. The New Vision of Transformed School Counseling: Equity for Every Student through ACCESS and TACKLE-SCH 4. The College and Career Readiness Context of School Counseling: Closing Achievement, Attainment, Funding, and Opportunity Gaps-SCH 5. Effective, Equity-Focused School Counseling Program Outcomes Using ASCA National Model Artifacts: Action Plans, Results Reports, Evidence-Based School Counseling Curricula & Program Audits-KSM 6. Effective School Counselor Equity Skill Resources 7. Equity-Focused School Counseling Vignettes Equity-Focused School Counseling: Ensuring Career and College Readiness for Every Student
3 I. Introduction Public K-12 Schools, education, and the school counseling profession continue rapid changes focused on equity and closing achievement, opportunity, attainment, and funding gaps in the United States, which have taken on new urgency since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in Accountability and successful outcomes to ensure academic achievement are essential practices for administrators, educators, and school counselors. School counselors need to develop skills to effectively work in schools including using counseling skills to challenge the status quo, break barriers, and overcome obstacles that hinder student achievement and development. Every child and adolescent deserves excellent teachers, outstanding curriculum, and a school counseling program (developmental activities, advising, planning, developmental lessons, and individual and/or group counseling) that delivers academic, career, college, emotional/personal, and social/cultural competencies to every student at every grade level every year. To work effectively in schools today, school counselors need to expand their skills in the roles of collaborator, consultant, advocate, leader and culturally competent counselor in their school counseling program. The transformative school counselor needs to work not only with individuals and groups and through classroom lessons, but to also work systemically to challenge the status quo, remove and overcome systemic barriers for student career and college success, and to design comprehensive, standards-based developmental school counseling programs in every school, public and private, urban, rural, and suburban, elementary, middle, and high school to promote every student s successful achievement in K-12 schools, resulting in graduation and post-secondary education options to fulfill each individual student s dreams.
4 As the school counseling profession evolves, many school counselors, educators, and supervisors in the field have not been exposed to contemporary models of school counseling practice and seek assistance in how to moved in the new directions and paradigms of the school counseling profession. Many graduate students in school counseling programs are just beginning their journeys to understand how to implement the new visions for school counselors and school counseling programs and desire specific hands-on tools to assist their learning about equity and ACCESS for all students in school counseling. This DVD demonstrates transformative school counselor knowledge, skills, and practices for pre- and post-service school counselors, school counselor supervisors, counselor educators, and all who wish to know how to effectively work as transformative school counselors. In addition to providing a basic understanding of the new vision of school counseling, the DVD presents multiple skillbuilding vignettes demonstrating key skills that school counselors need to develop to ensure that all students benefit from the new vision/transformative roles of the professional school counselor focused on equity and ACCESS for every student. II. School Counseling in history K-12 public schools in the United States were founded on the idea that not everyone needed to go to school and that only certain students would ever be allowed to consider, let alone apply for admission, to college. TIMELINE: early 1900s-The progressive movement challenged the inequities of United States schooling and began to implement the first career guidance lessons to assist first-generation immigrants with successful transitions into public schools and future jobs, the forerunners of today s comprehensive school counseling programs. Traditionally, the focus of the early programs was on career development, and the programs were by no means universal.
5 TIMELINE: In 1937, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) was formed to provide a coordinated national presence, structure, and clearinghouse for counseling professionals involved in the college admissions process. TIMELINE: In the 1950s, the forerunner of the American Counseling Association, the American Personnel and Guidance Association was formed in a coalition of four professional organizations including the American School Counselor Association. Politics in the United States shifted school counselors placed a heavy emphasis on sorting and selecting students who would be most effective in math and science careers in an atmosphere of intense competition with the Soviet Union. Carl Rogers was a the height of his research on shifting to a nondirective approach for counseling focused on empathy and listening skills and refining influencing skills, which became the basis for the microtraining skills hierarchy. TIMELINE:1960s Federal money became readily available for the development of counselor education programs at public universities around the United States and large numbers of public school counselors were trained at the high school level and began to be employed in larger numbers in middle and elementary schools. Over time, personal and social issues took on greater importance in public schools in the United States, particularly as how they affected student behaviors in the classroom. In all too many public and private K-12 schools, guidance counseling had become a way to sort and select wealthy, White, English-speaking students without disabilities into high-level curriculum tracks in high schools and then onto elite public and private colleges. What had started as a progressive idea to provide counseling services for all
6 students to be successful had failed to do so. TIMELINE: In the late 1960s, Dr. Norm Gysbers encouraged the profession to shift from individual school counselors to a school counseling program focus that delivered services to all students. TIMELINE: In the early 1990s, the Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development published the Multicultural Counseling Competencies (Arredondo, Sue, & McDavis, 1992), which in subsequent years were adopted by the American Counseling Association. TIMELINE: In 1997, the American School Counselor Association released the work of Carol Dahir and Cheri Campbell, who co-developed the ASCA National Standards for what students should be able to know from participation in a school counseling program in three domains academic, career, and personal/social competencies and specific behavioral indicators for each of the nine standards. TIMELINE: In the late 1990s, The Education Trust, under the leadership to Pat Martin and Dr. Reese House, began focus groups for all school counseling stakeholders to address inequities in school counseling services and programs, particularly in terms of the lack of effectiveness with poor and working class children and youth and children and youth of color toward high school graduation and acceptance into and graduation from college and other equally rigorous postsecondary options. They formulated a New Vision transforming school counseling model for school counselors in the field and school counselor education programs
7 teaching pre-service school counselors in terms of equity-based skills, practices, and roles tied to the purpose of schools: academic success for all students and preparation for careers and college/rigorous post-secondary options (Teaming and Collaboration, Advocacy, Knowledge and Use of Technology, Culturally Competent Counseling & Program Coordination, Leadership, and Equity Assessment Using Data). TIMELINE: In 2002, the American School Counselor Association partnered with a variety of leaders in the school counseling profession and created the ASCA Model: A framework for school counseling programs (Hatch & Bowers, 2002, 2005) bringing together the work of Norm Gysbers and associates, Curly and Sharon Johnson, Stan Myrick, Dahir & Campbell's ASCA Standards, and the Education Trusts New Vision for School Counselors (Reese House & Pat Martin) into one programmatic format that could be delivered at elementary, middle, and high school levels with four key components: foundation, management system, delivery system, and accountability. The skills needed to implement the model included advocacy, leadership, teaming and collaboration, and systemic change. The ASCA model included a number of specific useful artifacts and tools for equity-based school counseling program practice: A School Counseling Program Audit, Action Plans, Results Reports, Principal-School Counselor Management Agreements, and Curriculum Crosswalks. TIMELINE: in 2003, the American Counseling Association published the ACA Advocacy Competencies, developed by Counselors for Social Justice members Dr.
8 Judy Lewis, Dr. Mary Smith Arnold, Dr. Reese House, & Dr. Rebecca Toporek, 2003). TIMELINE: In 2004, The Education Trust created the National Center for Transforming School Counseling, with a focus on transformative school counseling skills development for both pre-service school counselors in school counselor education programs and for staff training at the local, district, city, and state level for current school counselors, teachers, and building leaders. Also in 2004, ASCA significantly revised its code of ethics for school counselors and included equity-based issues and access for all students to a schoolcounseling program focused on closing gaps for the first time (ASCA, 2004). Finally in 2004, The University of Massachusetts-Amherst launched the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research (CSCOR) to assist the profession in using evidence-based outcome research to strengthen the profession and close gaps. TIMELINE: In 2005, the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) was created at the College Board to focus on closing opportunity and attainment gaps for all students through creating a greater advocacy voice for school counselors and in ensuring equitable information about the college admissions process through school counseling programs for every student to be college-ready. TIMELINE: In 2008, ASCA released the School Counselor Competencies (ASCA, 2008), which gave specific skills in how to implement the ASCA Model and to ensure equitable academic, career, and personal/social skills for all K-12 students.
9 (Baker, 2000; Chen-Hayes, 2007; Gysbers & Henderson, 2001; Herr, 2001; Myrick, 1997; Paisley & Hayes, 2003; Paisley & McMahon, 2001; Stone & Dahir, 2006) Since the debut of A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983), there has been a concerted effort in American public education to raise the academic standards in K-12 education to promote greater achievement by all students in all schools recognizing that all too many students drop-out and fail to graduate high school, let alone find meaningful employment or the chance to enroll in college or other post-secondary education. Today, education in the United States is undergoing significant change. No Child Left Behind (2001) acknowledged the importance of equitable access to educational opportunities and sought to create settings where all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, ability or disability, and language are challenged to achieve at high levels throughout K-12 school and are given the conditions and high-level curriculum and educational experiences to achieve the goal of high school graduation and college and post-secondary educational success. Public school educators, including school counselors, are being held accountable for helping all students meet high levels of academic achievement. National education priorities include ensuring that every student graduates from high school, enters post-secondary education, and that all students are educated to high standards throughout their educational careers from kindergarten through college. Therefore, although school counseling today, as in the past, is involved in promoting student academic, career, and personal/social development, academic development, is the focus of special attention for all students, particularly those for whom public schools have not been successful in educating to high levels in the past: poor students, students of color, bilingual students (English language learners), and students with disabilities (e.g., No Child Left Behind, 2002; The Education Trust, 1999). Contrary to some interpretations, the new paradigm for school counseling does not
10 abandon career development and personal/social development. Rather, what has changed is the focus of attention. The new paradigm emphasizes student growth, learning, and results, and accounts for children and youth growing up in the United States often face emotional, social, and systemic barriers that inhibit learning. For example, today s school-age youth experience greater stressors and concerns than youth of previous generations including increased amounts of divorce, suicide, depression, anxiety,, drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, bullying, and cyberbullying. Today s children and youth are also faced with pressures from the global economy, a complex United States economy that has shifted to primarily service industry occupations and away from manufacturing and agrarian occupations, the economic consequences of leaving high school without a diploma, and the influence of technology on access to information and social/interpersonal interaction (Stone & Dahir, 2006). Thus, economic, social, and technological changes in society coupled with the need for accountability for student success in schools has led school counselors to take a proactive and preventive (as opposed to reactive and remedial) stance for delivering services to every student within a school-wide systemic perspective. What is different from previous decades is that this proactive, preventive school counseling program orientation is integrally, not peripherally, tied to student achievement, student success, and the overall mission of schools. Emphasizing the academic domain means that the career/college and personal/social domains are equally important but in K-12 school counseling programs they are utilized and assessed based on their connections to student academic competencies and success in service toward the new mission of public schools, to help every student graduate high school and obtain the academic preparation necessary for substantial postsecondary options including college, which means better futures in an everchanging global society.
11 The traditional approach to school counselor preparation in the last few decades focused predominantly on counseling individual students about personal/social needs. Many, but not all, school counselors, followed what they had learned in graduate programs with an exclusively mental health focus on child and adolescent functioning and he remedial needs of a small percentage of students rather than the academic, career, and personal/social developmental needs of all students (Education Trust, 1999). As such, little emphasis was placed on teaching school counselors to use their counseling skills to intervene with students to improve academic achievement or to enhance the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students within the school through more effective means such as group counseling and large-group school counseling curriculum lessons, and advising plans for every student updated annually. Moreover, traditional school counseling graduate programs did not emphasize teaching school counselors to deal with systemic issues that hinder the academic, career, and personal/social development of students. So, while traditional mental health-focused training provided school counselors ample skill development for practitioners to help a small percentage of children and youth in the school deal with personal and social challenges, it could not f help all students succeed academically in schools and increase post-secondary educational and work options within a multicultural, rapidly changing economic, technological and global society of the 21 st century (Martin, 2002). With the recent national initiatives making school personnel accountable for bringing all students to high levels of academic performance, practicing school counselors need to link their counseling skills and abilities to the equity-focused mission and purpose of schools and high-level achievement for every student. Without measurable performance in terms of increased academic achievement and the attainment of postsecondary options for all students, school counselors do not add to the bottom line success of schools and have been
12 considered superfluous to the school. School counselors who cannot use data, who cannot show results of how their school counseling program has delivered academic, career, college, and personal/social competencies to all students in their school, can face job reductions or position elimination in an era of public school budget cuts. Thus, transformed school counselors, like other school personnel, must hold themselves accountable for their contributions to student achievement, post-secondary option attainment, and the mission of the school (Martin, 2002; Paisley & Hayes, 2003). III. The New Vision of School Counseling focused on Equity for Every Student: ACCESS and TACKLE Contemporary models of school counseling and school counseling program development (American School Counselor Association, 2005; American School Counselor Association, 2008; Campbell & Dahir, 1997; Chen-Hayes, 2007; Education Trust, 1999; Stone & Dahir, 2006) emphasize fostering optimal development of all students with special attention to the development of poor students, students of color, students with disabilities, and students who are bilingual and/or English Language Learners, and other traditionally underserved populations. School counselors promote specific student competencies for success by designing, implementing, and evaluating data-driven, evidence-based school counseling programs. They deliver specific ACCESS* competencies to every student with indicators that evidence their success based on the American School Counselor Association s National School Counseling Standards and the National Office fo School Counselor Advocacy s College Readiness competencies: *Academic Development Career Development
13 College Readiness Development Emotional/personal Development Social/cultural Development Skills The challenge is to prepare school counselors to orient their knowledge, skills, abilities, and school counseling program services toward the primary mission of schools, to educate all children and youth to high standards and to prepare them for the challenges of this century with rigorous post-secondary options including college (House & Martin, 1998). This requires a new understanding of what it means to help students in the school setting. The new vision of helping students has a fundamental and profound commitment to social justice and equity, recognizing that school counselors are ideally situated to assess the school for systemic barriers that hinder success in all domains of student development. School counselors are agents of school and community change for the improvement of the education, achievement, success, and postsecondary options of all students. The school counselor s commitment to social justice and role as systemic change agent can be summarized by key skills they demonstrate in the new vision transformative model by the acronym TACKLE (Lewis, Chen-Hayes, & Jackson,, in press). TACKLE Teaming and collaboration, Advocacy to challenge systemic access/ success barriers, Culturally competent counseling and coordination, Knowledge and use of technology, Leadership in K-12 education, and Equity assessment using data) summarizes the specific skills that underpins the Transforming School Counseling Initiative of the Education Trust (1997). School counselors use microskills to TACKLE achievement, opportunity, attainment, and funding gaps in six key areas to ensure all students receive ACCESS: Teaming and Collaboration (individual and group counseling; developmental
14 lessons; individual student plans; systemic change interventions) Advocacy for Equity (individual and group counseling; developmental lessons; individual student plans; systemic change interventions) Culturally Competent Counseling and School Counseling Program Coordination (individual and group counseling; developmental lessons; individual student plans; systemic change interventions) Knowledge and Use of Technology (individual and group counseling; developmental lessons; individual student plans; systemic change interventions) Leadership (individual and group counseling; developmental lessons; individual student plans; systemic change interventions) Equity Assessment Using Data (individual and group counseling; developmental lessons; individual student plans; systemic change interventions) The six TACKLE school counselor skill components are utilized by schools counselors to help build school counseling programs that use data, demonstrate successful student outcomes, and use evidence-based practices to promote ACCESS, equity, and success for every student. IV. The Context of School Counseling: Closing Achievement, Attainment, Funding, and Opportunity Gaps The new vision of school counseling reflects the unique context of school-based counseling practice and the specialized skills required of counseling in school settings of the 21 st century. To be effective and not considered superfluous in schools today, school counselors do not necessarily need to abandon traditional school counselor knowledge (although they do need a better understanding of the school context and the educational mission of schools ), but rather, they must expand upon and contextualize their knowledge and skills to move from an ancillary service-oriented profession to one that is a critical player in accomplishing the mission of the school through helping to close achievement, attainment, opportunity, and funding gaps. Achievement gaps are the differences in academic performance between members of various cultural groups found when data is disaggregated. Attainment gaps are the differences in who is attaining college diplomas by cultural group according to
15 disaggregated data. Opportunity gaps are found in the disparities in resources given to K-12 students by cultural group when data is disaggregated in terms of challenging curriculum, quality teachers, access to comprehensive developmental school counseling programs, career and college readiness counseling starting in elementary schools, tracking of students, the number of honors/ap/ib courses and exams offered to students, and so forth, all of which add up to who has the resources to graduate from high school prepared for college and who lacks those resources. Funding gaps are the differences found in cultural groups via disaggregated data in terms of the amount of money spent annually on students per year in schools based on where they live geographically (and often what the tax base or per capital wealth is of the community they live in). There are several contextual factors to remember when counseling in schools. First,t the primary purpose of a school is to educate. When parents and guardians drop their child off at school, they do so for the purpose of their child receiving an academic education. (Contrast this to when a parent or guardian drops their child off at a mental health clinic, where the expectation is that the child will receive mental health services, not an academic education). Although mental health services may be necessary for a student to achieve academically, school counselors must align with the primary mission of the school, which is to educate, not remediate mental health deficiencies. Certainly, school counselors need to provide brief and short-term individual and group counseling for some students; however, they must link with agencies in the communities and refer those with more extensive mental health concerns to these agencies because the primary purpose and goal of schools is academic achievement, not mental health counseling. Second, due to the limited number of mental health professionals in school settings, counseling sessions are limited in terms of number and duration. Therefore, if school counselors are to serve
16 all students, the use of brief counseling theories and interventions and comprehensive, developmental classroom lessons, and individual planning to foster the academic, career, and personal/social growth of all students is essential. Third, counselors must move away from a clinically-oriented mental health orientation focused predominantly on individual and group remediation counseling for a small percentage of students to adopt a preventive, community and system-wide orientation for enhancing and fostering the academic, career, and personal/social development of every student. For instance, in the school context, school counselors must team and collaborate with teachers, parents, administrators, and community members and be advocates, leaders, and coordinators of these collaborative efforts to build the wide, multi-faceted and multi-tiered support structure necessary for students to achieve at high levels through a developmental school counseling program. Without a community and system-wide perspective, many students will be left behind targeted by the inequity that they do not have the supports needed to succeed (reflected in achievement, opportunity, attainment, and funding gaps) such as no data-driven school counseling program in place with specific competencies and indicators that deliver ACCESS skills to every student. V. How to be an effective equity-focused school counselor To be effective in schools, counselors need to use the equity-based TACKLE skills in everything they do in creating, implementing, and evaluating a school counseling program. They need to team and collaborate, advocate, provide culturally competent counseling and consultation, know and use technology, lead, and assess equity using data. To TACKLE effectively the reality and demands of standards-based educational assessments requires a nuanced understanding of local and school-wide issues coupled with the utilization of school counseling skills. With a systemic school-wide
17 and community perspective, (rather than an individual perspective), school counselors can assess the school for systemic barriers and other obstacles that impede academic success and postsecondary options for all students. School counselors also need to be knowledgeable about and a comprehensive, developmental, standards-based school counseling program model such as the ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (2005) to show successful student outcomes. The ASCA National Model consists of the four interrelated components listed below and infused throughout the program are The Education s NCTSC transforming school counseling themes of leadership, advocacy, and collaboration, which are essential skills for leading the systemic change necessary to close achievement, opportunity, attainment and funding gaps between poor and working class students, students of color (particularly African, African-American, Caribbean, Latino/a, and Native American Indian/Native Hawai ian/pacific Islander), students with disabilities, and students who are bilingual (English Language Learners), and their more privileged peers: ASCA Model Foundation Components: School Counseling Program Mission Statement, School Counseling Program Vision/Philosophy Statement, Use of ASCA National Standards ASCA Model Delivery System Components: School Counseling Curriculum, Use of Lesson Plans, Responsive Services, Systems Support ASCA Model Management System Components: Principal/School Counselor Agreements, School Counseling Program Advisory Council, Using Data, Action Plans, Use of Time, School Counseling Program Calendars ASCA Model Accountability System Components: Results Reports, School Counselor Performance Standards, School Counseling Program Audit Knowledge of the updated ASCA Code of Ethics (ASCA, 2004, see resources section) is also essential for promoting ethical, equitable school counseling programs that comprise the best practices, resources and outcomes in professional school
18 counseling, especially for students who historically have had the least access to the best resources in schools. The ACA Code of Ethics (2005 Revision ) is the other major Ethical Code that school counselors need to be knowledgeable of and able to use successfully. VI. Effective School Counselor Equity Skill Resources ACCESS Questionnaire (Chen-Hayes, 2007) A useful tool for building school counselor effectiveness is the use of the ACCESS Questionnaire as a needs assessment to build support from multiple stakeholders regarding strengthening the school counseling program and beginning the process of change or refining a current school counseling program (teachers, administrators, parents and guardians, students, community members). American Counseling Association Advocacy Competencies (ACA, 2003) American Counseling Association (ACA) Multicultural Counseling Competencies (ACA,? Date) American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005) American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Ethical Code for School Counselors (ASCA, 2004) ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2005) ASCA National Standards (Student Competencies) (ASCA, 1997) ASCA School Counselor Competencies (ASCA, 2008) Center for School Counseling Outcome Research (CSCOR, 2008) The College Boards National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA, 2008)
19 -How to create a college readiness climate in schools The Education Trusts National Center for Transforming School Counseling (NCTSC, 2008) -New Vision Roles, Skills for TSC NACAC website and best practices in college admissions counseling (NACAC, 2008) Another College readiness competencies/skills to close opportunity and attainment gaps using College Board materials Resources & references including how to plan, implement, and evaluate the results of a developmental school counseling lesson (leader guide, TBA) VII. Vignettes: The following vignettes are from actual scenarios of issues facing elementary, middle, and high school counselors in urban, suburban, and rural schools. They show how school counselors can use microskills to advance TACKLE themes, ACCESS skills, and provide equity and access for every student through their school counseling programs using prevention and intervention skills in the new vision and practice of school counseling. The goal of transformative school counseling is to ensure all students received Academic, Career, College, Emotional/Personal, Social/Cultural Skills (ACCESS) through a comprehensive school counseling program that focuses on data, evidence-based practice, and accountable results that parallel with the goals and mission of the school. Our work is to help close achievement, opportunity, attainment and funding gaps by ensuring every student has the advising, planning, developmental lessons, and individual and group counseling resources as part of a school counseling program.
20 Suggested Vignette Processing Questions: 1. What specific listening and influencing microskills did the school counselor use? 2. What are the ethnic/racial/cultural identity development levels of the school counselor and client/student/family/teacher/administrator/stakeholder(s)? 3. How would you be able to adapt this vignette s issues when working in your K-12 school? 4. What types of advocacy, leadership, collaboration, consultation, technology, data, and change agentry skills does the school counselor demonstrate in working within the school with individuals, groups, lessons, and in systemic change interventions? 5. Compare and contrast what you saw on the new vision vignette with a traditional school counseling approach to the issue. What is similar? What is different? How comfortable would you be in adopting the new, transformed school counselor skills and roles? Who might fear the new vision roles and skills in your school and how would you deal with that fear of change? What would you do to increase your competency? 6. What would be similar or different if you were the school counselor? 7. In each vignette, what skills does the school counselor demonstrate that lead to equitable practices and systemic change? TEAMING AND COLLABORATION FOR EQUITY AND ACCESS Vignette 1: Empowering Students with Disabilities for Academic, Behavioral, Career, and College Success School Counselor: Stuart Client: Alex (8) Teacher: Laura Principal: Terry This is the sixth student referred for behavioral problems by this classroom teacher since the school year began 4 months ago. The SC has had individual counseling sessions with the past five students. In this vignette, the SC is finishing a session with the sixth student. The SC has identified and the student agrees that behavioral issues are a classroom-wide problem. The SC asks the now-successful student who is positively managing her/ his behavior, the skeptical teacher, and the pro-active