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Leave No Counselor Behind: Developing a Data-Driven and Equity- Focused School Counseling Program Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Ph.D. [email protected] My Goals Today To remind us of our (school counselors) mission in today’s schools through my favorite quotes and narratives!

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Leave no counselor behind l.jpg

Leave No Counselor Behind:

Developing a Data-Driven and Equity- Focused School Counseling Program

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Ph.D.

[email protected]


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My Goals Today

  • To remind us of our (school counselors) mission in today’s schools through my favorite quotes and narratives!

  • To share ideas about how to to use data as an “equity” tool

  • To stimulate your thoughts regarding the transformation of your programs to be more social justice and equity focused.




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There can be huge changes in a lifetime, but PEOPLE have to be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”-Stephen Raudenbush Sociologist and Educator, Univ. of Chicago


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Wayne be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”


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The G.A.T.E Philosophy of Counseling be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”Giving StudentsAccessTo Excel


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G.A.T.E be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”


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Giving Access To…. be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”

  • Resources/Information

  • Relationships

  • Respect

  • “Real and Relevant” Instruction

  • Rigorous Courses


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Blocking Access is Socially Unjust…NO WALLS be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”


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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. be given a chance! And the smallest changes can contribute to that chance!”-Martin Luther King, Jr.


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How successful is Baltimore City in moving students successfully through the education pipeline?


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Are there inequities in achievement in Baltimore City? successfully through the education pipeline?


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Are there inequities in achievement in Baltimore City? successfully through the education pipeline?


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Are there inequities in achievement in Baltimore City? successfully through the education pipeline?


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Are there inequities in achievement in Baltimore City? successfully through the education pipeline?


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Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity. successfully through the education pipeline? -Henry Harman


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Advanced Math Would Advance Equity successfully through the education pipeline?

  • College Access: Students whose parents did not go to college can more than double their own chances of doing so by taking advanced math.

  • College Success: Taking advanced math has a greater influence on whether students graduate from college than other factor— including race and family background.

  • Economic Opportunity: Inequities in advanced math courses account for one-quarter of the income gap between students from low-income and middle-class families ten years after graduation from high school.


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The Problem Is Lack of Opportunity, Not Lack of Ambition successfully through the education pipeline?

  • Students-of-color express just as much interest in taking advanced math courses—and minority girls express the most.

  • Yet they are far less likely to say that advanced math courses are available to them.

  • The problem is not peer pressure, either. Students-of-color are less likely to say their friends discourage them from taking advanced math and twice as likely to say their TEACHERS do.


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Advanced Math: Big Inequities by Race and Ethnicity successfully through the education pipeline?

Source:National Center for Education Statistics. (2007, June). High School

Coursetaking: Findings from The Condition of Education 2007.

Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. (p. 24, Table SA-8).


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Advanced Math: Even Bigger Inequities by Family Wealth successfully through the education pipeline?

Percent of 2004 Graduates Completing Math Beyond Algebra II


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The missing link between good intentions and effective actions is the ability to align subconscious beliefs with conscious goals.--Robert Williams



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Developing Your Equity-Focused Program… Counseling Program

  • Assess Your Beliefs about schools, students, access, equity, student achievement, and social justice

  • Assess Your Skills: 3 levels of mastery (identification, basic, and teaching)

  • Assess Your Students’ Needs, Intervene, and Evaluate by examining and critically analyzing data

  • Create a Vision for your program


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Beliefs Determine Actions Counseling Program

  • Do you believe that all students can achieve? What does student success mean to you?

  • Why do you believe there is an achievement gap? What is your responsibility in closing the gap?

  • What are your cultural biases and prejudiced beliefs about different groups of students (e.g., poor students, African American students, Asian students, girls)


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What Do We Believe About Our Profession? Counseling Program

  • Do you agree or disagree…

    • I believe that school counseling as a profession should be more social justice and equity-focused?

    • I believe school counselors are partly responsible for the disparity in opportunities and access experienced by low-income and minority students.”


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Assess Your Skills…. Counseling Program


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Assess Your Skills…. Counseling Program

  • Identification Mastery: You are able to identify the skill or strategy through observation.

  • Basic Mastery: You are able to engage in the skill or strategy. You can use the skill or strategy with students, teachers, parents, etc.

  • Teaching Mastery: You can teach others to implement this skill or strategy


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Assess Student’s Needs, Intervene, and Evaluate Counseling Program

  • Utilize the SOARING Model (Gilchrist, 2006)

    • S---Standards

    • O—Objectives (measurable)

    • A---Assessment (how will I determine if I met my objectives?)

    • R---Results (gathering and calculating results)

    • I----Impact (describes results and how the intervention impacted students

    • N---Network (telling others)

    • G---Guide (review of results and decisions about next steps)


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SOARING Counseling Program


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Vision Includes….. Counseling Program

  • Main goals for students

  • Current student inequities and disproportionalities

  • Proposed value-added by school counseling interventions/practices

  • Describe strategies/activities focused on teachers

  • Describe strategies/activities focused on students

  • Describe strategies focused on parents and communities



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I want my school to become a place where students will (or can) ___________________(fill in the blank)


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I want my school to become a place where parents will (or can) ___________________(fill in the blank)


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Good luck On Your Journey! can) ___________________


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