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Counselling

Counselling

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Published by: githuo on Apr 26, 2010
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The evaluation of guidance and counselingprograms and their activities and services, has been partof professional dialogue since the 1920s (Gysbers,2004). Today, however, the issue of evaluation isreceiving even more attention. School counselorsincreasingly are being asked to demonstrate that theirwork contributes to student success, particularly studentacademic achievement, as a result of the passage of theNo Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110) in 2001(McGannon, Carey, & Dimmitt, 2005).Three kinds of evaluation are required for schoolcounselors to demonstrate that their work within theframework of comprehensive guidance and counselingprograms contributes to overall student success.Personnel evaluation, the first kind, describes the wayschool counselors are supervised and evaluated.Program evaluation, the second kind, reviews the statusof a district’s program against established programstandards to ascertain the degree to which the programis being implemented. Results evaluation, the thirdkind, focuses on the impact that the activities andservices of a program are having on students, the school,and the community.Each type of evaluation is important. Equallyimportant however, is how they relate to and interactwith each other. Personnel evaluation plus programevaluation equals results evaluation. The personnel of a program need to be doing the work of the program,and the program must be fully in place and fullyfunctioning in order to achieve the desired results.
Personnel Evaluation
Personnel evaluation is the procedure used to judge the effectiveness of school counselors workingwithin the framework of comprehensive schoolguidance and counseling programs. Judgments aremade about school counselor effectiveness usingpersonnel performance standards, criteria, anddescriptors that are derived directly from the languageof the framework of comprehensive guidance andcounseling programs (Gysbers & Henderson, 2006;Missouri Department of Elementary and SecondaryEducation, 2000). Personnel performance standards areacknowledged measures of comparison used to make judgments about the scope of the work of schoolcounselors within a comprehensive program. Once asufficient number of personnel performance standardshave been specified that fully represent a completecomprehensive program, criteria and descriptors arewritten for each standard specifying all of the importantaspects of that standard. Enough criteria and descriptorsare needed to assure evaluators that all of the importantaspects of each personnel performance standard havebeen identified and can be evaluated.What do personnel performance standards,criteria, and descriptors look like? To illustrate, thefollowing is an example standard with two criteria andseveral descriptors from
Guidelines for Performance- Based Professional School Counselor Evaluation
(Missouri Department of Elementary and SecondaryEducation, 2000). This document can be obtained athttp://www.dese.mo.gov/divteachqual/profdev/ counselorscorrected2.pdf 
Standard 1:
The professional school counselorimplements the Guidance CurriculumComponent through the use of effectiveinstructional skills and the careful planning of structured group sessions for all students.
Criterion 1:
The professional school counselorteaches guidance units effectively.The professional school counselor:1. Organizes units for student mastery basedon student needs.2. Uses effective instructional strategies.3. Establishes an environment conducive forstudent learning through the use of effectiveclassroom management techniques.4. Other . . .
 Article 41
Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Evaluation:Program + Personnel = Results
 Norman C. Gysbers and Patricia Henderson
 
188
Criterion 2:
The professional school counselorencourages staff involvement to ensure the effectiveimplementation of the guidance curriculum.The professional school counselor:1. Collaborates with or assists teachers indeveloping and/or teaching guidance unitseffectively.2. Serves as a resource regarding guidancematerials appropriate to the guidance unitsbeing taught.3. Provides in-service training for teachers onguidance-related subject matter andguidance instruction methodology.4. Other . . .In Missouri, school counselor evaluation using thestandards, criteria, and descriptors found in the
Guidelines
document is both formative and summative.Ongoing professional development and supervisionprocedures using the standards, criteria, and descriptorsconstitute the formative part of the evaluation. Thesummative part of the process deals with the evaluationof school counselors’ work at an end point. Variousforms used to conduct both types of evaluation areavailable in the
Guidelines
document.
Program Evaluation
Program evaluation is the procedure used todetermine the degree to which a school district’scomprehensive guidance and counseling program is inplace and functioning fully. Judgments are made aboutthe status of a program using program evaluationstandards and criteria that are derived directly from thelanguage of the framework of comprehensive guidanceand counseling programs (Gysbers & Henderson,2006). Enough program evaluation standards andcriteria are required to ensure that a completecomprehensive guidance and counseling program isfully represented.Once the standards and criteria have been chosenthat fully represent a comprehensive guidance andcounseling program, a scale is created for each criterionthat can range from 5 to 6 or 7 points. Sometimes ascoring guide is provided that describes what anevaluator would look for at each point. A scoring guidecan also include examples of evidence evaluators wouldexpect to find along with the documentation requiredto show the degree to which the standards and criteriahave been met.What do program evaluation standards look like?To illustrate, the following is an example standard withseveral example criteria.
Standard 2:
Students have access toresponsive services that assist them inaddressing issues and concerns that mayaffect their personal, academic, social, andcareer development.
Criteria 1:
Individual counseling services areavailable to all students who may be experiencingproblems that are interfering with their healthydevelopment.Small group counseling is available to all studentswho may be experiencing problems that areinterferring with their health development.To assess the degree to which each criterion isbeing implemented a 7-point scale could be developedas follows:1 2 3 4 5 6 7Beginning Partially Fullyto Implemented ImplementedImplementWhen and how often a district conducts programevaluation depends on the purposes to be achieved. Forself-study purposes the American School CounselorAssociation (ASCA; 2005) recommended that programevaluation be conducted when a program is beingdesigned and yearly thereafter. The state of Utah usesprogram evaluation to determine whether or not a schooldistrict has met the standards for program organizationand implementation in order to receive state funding(Utah State Office of Education, 2003). Whetherprogram evaluation is done yearly or periodically, thistype of evaluation provides the opportunity to determineif the written district program is the actual implementeddistrict program. The results of program evaluationreveal where progress has been made or whetherprogress is lacking in overall comprehensive guidanceand counseling program implementation.
Results Evaluation
Results evaluation is the procedure used to answerthe question, What impact do comprehensive guidanceand counseling programs (activities and services) haveon students’ success, particularly on students’ academicachievement? Outcomes typically addressed in resultsevaluation include attendance, discipline referrals, gradepoint average, achievement test scores, and classroombehavior. Positive changes in outcomes such as theseare anticipated as a result of students’ participation in adistrict’s comprehensive guidance and counselingprogram.
 
189
It is recommended that school counselors developand carry out a results-based evaluation plan as a partof the overall implementation of their districts’comprehensive guidance and counseling programs. Theoutcomes to be addressed in the plan come from theirdistricts’ comprehensive school improvement plan,mission statement, and/or strategic plan. Thesedocuments contain outcomes chosen as important for adistrict to achieve.A results evaluation plan can focus on specificguidance and counseling activities or services chosenbecause they address specific outcomes identified in adistrict’s comprehensive improvement plan. If thisapproach is chosen, then the plan needs to include thespecific outcomes desired, the activities or services tobe used that can address the desired outcomes, how theactivities or services will be provided and by whom,the evaluation design to be used, how the data will becollected and analyzed, and what kind of report (powerpoint presentation) will be prepared and to whom itwill be presented. A results evaluation plan can alsofocus more broadly on the impact of an entire district’sguidance and counseling programs K-12 or a specificgrade grouping such as elementary, middle, or highschool districtwide or statewide. The same procedureswould be used as already identified.In designing a results evaluation plan, severaltypes of data can be used. Process data, the first type,describe what guidance and counseling activities andservices were provided, when, and for whom. Processdata provide evidence that guidance and counselingactivities and services were actually provided.Perception data, the second type, tell us what students,parents, teachers, administrators, or others think aboutor feel about the activities and services and the work of school counselors. Outcome data (results data), the thirdtype, are the actual behaviors of students as measuredby attendance rates, discipline referral rates, grade pointaverages, and achievement test scores. All three typesof data are useful in ascertaining the impact of comprehensive guidance and counseling programs onstudent behavior (ASCA, 2005).Disaggregating data is an important step in dataanalysis because it allows us to see if there are anystudents who are not doing as well as others. TheAmerican School Counselor Association (2005)suggested that the common fields for disaggregatingdata are as follows:
gender,• ethnicity,• socioeconomic status (free and reducedlunch),vocational (multiperiod vocational programtrack),language spoken at home,special education,grade level, and• teacher(s).An important tool for results data analysis is aspread sheet such as Excel. Spread sheets allow us toenter results data and conduct various statisticalprocedures as appropriate. In addition, various chartsand graphs can be created to show relationships of results data to possible outcomes such as stateachievement test scores and external tests such as theSAT or ACT.Finally, a results evaluation plan needs toemphasize how results data will be used. One use of such data is to demonstrate the contributions schoolcounselors make to the goals of education as presentedin a district’s comprehensive school improvement plan.The second is how the data are used to enhance thedistrict’s current comprehensive guidance andcounseling program. Results evaluation data serve bothto prove and improve the program.
References
American School Counselor Association. (2005).
The ASCA national model: A framework for schoolcounseling programs
(2
nd
ed.). Alexandria, VA:Author.Gysbers, N. C. (2004). Comprehensive guidance andcounseling programs: The evolution of accountability.
Professional School Counseling, 8
,1–14.Gysbers, N. C., & Henderson, P. (2006).
 Developingand managing your school guidance and counseling program
(4
th
ed.). Alexandria, VA: AmericanCounseling Association.McGannon, W., Carey, J., & Dimmitt, C. (2005).
Thecurrent status of school counseling outcome research
(Research Monograph No. 2). Amherst, MA: Centerfor School Counseling Outcome Research,University of Massachusetts, School of Education.Missouri Department of Elementary and SecondaryEducation. (2000).
Guidelines for performance-based professional school counselor evaluation
.Jefferson City, MO: Author.No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-110, 115, Stat. 1434. (2001).

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