To be most effective schools should create a School Counseling Program Advisory Council, as recommended by the American School Counselor Association National Model (3rd ed.) (ASCA, 2012). In order to effectively meet the needs of all students the Advisory Council should be diverse and consist of representatives from school staff, students, parents, and the community. The involvement of many stakeholders ensures program continuity and broadens the scope of content knowledge, skill development, and the formation of habits necessary for students to be successful in adulthood.
Role and Responsibilities of a School Counseling Program Advisory Council
The Advisory Council helps develop the Comprehensive College and Career Advising plan, which includes interventions that target the unique academic, career and personal/social needs of students as identified through needs assessments, grades, ILP reporting, EPAS scores, Student Gallup Poll results, and other school related data. (3rd ed.) (ASCA, 2012).
Evidence-based monitoring is the responsibility of the school counseling program advisory council to ensure that relevant objectives are met and reached. Revisions of the program are intentional, timely and responsive to student and school needs. Data analysis is used to set priorities for services to address academics, behavior, attendance, retention, and acceleration needs. Further, as described by ASCA, data are used “to measure the results of the program as well as to promote systemic changes within the school system so every student graduates college- and career-ready” (2012).The School Counseling Program Advisory Council should prioritize services that address the school’s Comprehensive Improvement Plan concerning college and career readiness, proficiency for all students and eliminating achievement gaps.
In addition to including ALL students, the advising program must be scheduled to occur at regular intervals throughout the school year and be structured to include frequent updating of student ILPs. Imbedding the ILP into the advising system is critical to: supporting students to set and meet goals, helping teachers building relationships with students, and empowering schools to meet the needs of all students.
American School Counselor Association National Model (3 ed.). (2012). Alexandria, VA: American School Counseling Association.
Kentucky Department of Education, College and Career Readiness for All, www.education.ky.gov.