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James E. Guarino, Ed.D. Salem (CT) Middle School Arthur W. Lisi, Ph.D. Coventry (RI) High School ASCA National Conference Atlanta, Georgia July 1, 2008. Developing, Aligning, and Assessing Your School Counseling Curriculum. Goals of the Workshop.

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developing aligning and assessing your school counseling curriculum

James E. Guarino, Ed.D.

Salem (CT) Middle School

Arthur W. Lisi, Ph.D.

Coventry (RI) High School

ASCA National Conference

Atlanta, Georgia

July 1, 2008

Developing, Aligning, and Assessing Your School Counseling Curriculum
goals of the workshop
Goals of the Workshop

Develop an essential school counseling curriculum

Align the curriculum with ASCA Standards

Identify outcomes by documenting essential counseling activities

Assess student progress toward these outcomes (standards) by examining data

Evaluate the impact of the counseling program


The RI School Counselor Association, to help counselors develop and organize their school counseling program, has published these EIGHT RISCA TOOLKITS

1. Strategic and Annual Planning

2. Essential Counseling Program

3. School Counseling Data Management

4. Professional Development Program

5. Family and Community Engagement

6. Program Implementation Management

7. Planning for Results

8. Individual Student Learning Plans

using the risca toolkit approach

Answers the question: What do I do tomorrow to implement a comprehensive school counseling program based on the ASCA National Model?

Provides structured processes, clearly defined protocols, and easy to use tools to capture and organize the results of your work.

Produces quality documentation that can be used to promote the value of school counseling to student success and health of the school community.

Appreciation to Dr. Karl Squier, RISCA member

Can be accessed at

goal 1 what do we need to do to develop a school counseling curriculum
Goal 1:What Do We Need to Do to Develop a School Counseling curriculum?
  • Start by identifying the key activities (informational talks, lessons, classroom meetings, etc) you are already doing in your role as a school counselor.
  • You can create a list of these, but better still would be to create a map/blueprint of when you do these activities, the type of activity and who your audience is.
brainstorm what you do in delivering your essential school counseling program
Brainstorm what you do in delivering your essential school counseling program…

Counseling Curriculum (what you do to include ALL students, such as structured classroom lessons/presentations, small group activities, etc.)‏

Individual Planning

Responsive Services

System Support

Non-counseling activities

Mapping your Guidance curriculum can be achieved by placing your guidance activities in aScope and Sequence
  • Scope and sequence shows the progression of interventions/activities throughout the school year and across grades.
  • Make sure …
    • Sequence of activities is developmentally appropriate
    • Activities, viewed collectively, provide students with multiple opportunities to progress toward, and achieve, the ASCA standards
what is the school counseling curriculum
What is the School Counseling Curriculum?

“The Guidance curriculum consists of structured developmental lessons designed to assist students in achieving the competencies and is presented systematically through classroom and group activities, K-12.”

- ASCA National Model Workbook (2005)

the essential school counseling curriculum is one which
The Essential School Counseling Curriculum Is One Which…
  • Is a written instructional program presented developmentally and comprehensively.
  • It is an event that engages students and personalizes their learning experience.
  • Delineates your planned interventions.
  • Aligns with ASCA standards in the areas of academic, career, and personal/social development.
  • It is capable of generating data on student progress toward the stated outcomes in the activity and toward ASCA standards.
  • It is (or will be) documented.
goal 2 aligning your curriculum with asca standards
Goal 2Aligning your Curriculum with ASCA Standards
  • Standards-based education involves the Guidance program as well
  • Do your guidance activities meet the criteria of “curriculum” – structured lessons to help all students learn the knowledge, skills, beliefs and behaviors/attitudes/dispositions?
  • If so, they need to be aligned to ASCA’s nine standards and possibly to the eleven National Career Development Guidelines.
goal 3 identifying outcomes and documenting each activity
Goal 3Identifying Outcomes and Documenting Each Activity

Identifying outcomes/assessing needs is a key step even if you have existing activities in your curriculum

Documenting essential counseling curriculum is an important step in building counselor capacity for change

It enables counselors to reflect – and build -on best practices

Allows counselors to reconsider what concrete results they want students to achieve

Insures that detailed documentation gives other counselors information to successfully conduct the activity.

documentation means creating school counseling lesson plans
Documentation means creating School Counseling Lesson Plans
  • Title your activity – it can be referenced, catalogued, and becomes a part of your guidance curriculum
  • Give yourself credit!
  • Grade level
  • Materials
  • Collaboration required? Helpful?
  • ASCA and National Career Development Standards utilized
  • What results do we expect from the students?**
lesson plans continued
Lesson Plans (continued)‏

What preparations do we need to make?

What resources do we need?

How many sessions are there?

What are the “action steps” and who is responsible for each step?

Attach any worksheets.

freshman advisory the credit story
Freshman Advisory: The Credit Story

Graduation Requirements:

1) A minimum of 24 credits required including the following (most will earn 28 credits.)

  • 4 credits in English
  • 4 credits in Math (or a math related class such as accounting, physics, etc)
  • 3 credits in Science
  • 3 credits in Social Studies (including America & the World 2 and 3)
  • 2 years of a world language (or literacy/reading if recommended)
  • 2 credits in physical education/health (must pass PE every year)
  • .5 credits in the visual, performing or fine arts
  • .5 credits in computer literacy/technology
  • The remaining 5 credits come from electives, Career and Technical programs, etc.

2) Demonstration of Proficiency (what we call “PBGRs”) through each of the following:

  • Capstone Project (a research and exhibition project)
  • Electronic Portfolio (which includes tasks assigned in every class)

What is a credit?

Any course that meets for a full year (FY on your schedule) in worth 1 credit, such as:

lesson plan is written in terms of results
Lesson Plan is written in terms of RESULTS!!
  • What are the outcomes we want students to achieve as a result of participating in the particular learning experience?
  • Define concrete results that are observable and measurable.
results statements are important because they
RESULTS Statements are important because they…
  • Insure that ALL students receive the benefit of the counseling curriculum
  • Insures that we – like all educators – are involved in observing and measuring learning against a standard
  • Aligned with ASCA National Standards, thus designed to help students achieve all 9 standards;
  • Provide student with opportunities to demonstrate what the student knows and can do – especially in a performance-based environment
    • multiple opportunities to learn
    • multiple opportunities to apply (practice)
    • multiple opportunities demonstrate the learning
other examples of meaningful results statements
Other Examples of Meaningful Results Statements

Other Examples of Meaningful Results Statements

goal 4 assessing the learning how do we know that a student has successfully achieved the outcome
Goal 4Assessing the Learning: How do we know that a student has successfully achieved the outcome?
  • Tied to the specific results that we have identified for that activity.
  • Identify criteria that specifies what kind of compelling evidence that will tell us that the student has met the outcome.
  • If fixing a car (CTE), it is easier to see if the outcome (changing oil, fixing a flat) has been met – not as easy to gauge outcomes/results of guidance instruction
  • Pre-post measures are one way to assess student learning
  • Assessing student progress toward an outcome/standard, AND assessing the impact of implementing your counseling program are both crucial
the credit story what do you know
The Credit Story – What Do You Know??

Please take this short survey to see how much you know about Coventry High School’s promotion and graduation policies. Please mark your answers in the left column under the heading “Pre”. We will re-administer this survey after The Credit Story lesson.

looking for results data for systemic change
Looking for Results – Data for Systemic Change
  • Attendance data
  • Classroom cuts
  • Disciplinary rates
  • SAT/ACT participation, scores
  • State and other assessment scores
  • Parental involvement
  • School culture and climate surveys
  • Peer relationships results
  • Graduation/Retention/Drop-out rates
  • Honors/AP classes enrollment
  • Other results-based data elements
goal 5 evaluating your counseling curriculum
Goal 5Evaluating Your Counseling Curriculum

Are your counseling curriculum activities/lesson plans…

  • For all students?
  • Organized, planned and written?
  • Sequential and flexible?
  • An integral part of the educational process?
  • Opportunities to collaborate with teachers and other staff?
  • Helping students learn more effectively in all three domains?
  • Using data to help us assess our program:
    • Did we do it? (process data)
    • Does it appear that things went well? (perception data)
    • How well did we do it? (results data – actual learning, change has happened).
  • CSCOR is conducting research on the impact of states’ counseling programs
  • We have made a difference in students’ lives…
for more information
For More Information

For Toolkit information, forms, procedures, hints, etc., visit the RISCA Website at

Arthur Lisi,

Jim Guarino,