Redesigning School Counseling – Process
The Redesigning School Counseling process enables schools to develop a vision-based and data-driven school counseling program that meets the needs of all students. Schools and communities work together to develop a vision for student success, secure additional resources to support student guidance and counseling, set program goals, and create a system for data-based evaluation.
STEP ONE: THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Schools first create a School Counseling Advisory Council consisting of 20-30 representatives of stakeholder groups that exist in their school and community. The Advisory Council consists of counselors, teachers, students, parents, business representatives, and community representatives. The Advisory Counsel Brainstorm Chart helps schools think about who to invite to serve on their Advisory Council. Talking points and a follow-up letter sample to use when making your initial contact with potential Advisory Council members are also available.
To help sustain your Advisory Council, it is important that all participants feel their participation was important. Some schools convey this by printing minutes that include participant comments and acknowledge the contributions of various council members. School counselors can use group facilitation skills to ensure that all group participants have a chance to talk and that each member feels heard and understood. Some schools send each participant a follow-up letter (sample) to thank each council member for their participation and let them know that their contribution was important.
STEP TWO: REDESIGNING SCHOOL COUNSELING PROCESS
The Redesigning School Counseling Process used by the Indiana Student Achievement Institute is based on the Vision-to-Action school improvement model developed by the Indiana Student Achievement Institute in 1996. Vision-to-Action is not a "one-size fits all" improvement process. Rather, it is a "discovery" process through which schools discover the guidance and counseling activities that will support the goals of the local School Improvement Plan related to raising student achievement and closing achievement gaps.
Data-Driven Design Process
The Vision-to-Action transformation process is based on carefully analyzed local data that reflects 1) student mastery of defined guidance indicators, 2) student counseling needs, 3) student choices related to educational success, and 4) student achievement.
The Vision-to-Action transformation process is based on the belief that guiding the community's young people is a school and community responsibility. Counselors, teachers, parents, and community members join forces to implement the guidance and counseling initiatives needed by the community's young people.
The Vision-to-Action transformation process is accountable for 1) student mastery of targeted guidance indicators, 2) improvements in targeted student choices, and 3) improvements in targeted student achievement fields as defined in the school improvement plan. Attention is also given to achievement gaps which may exist between the groups of students found in No Child Left Behind.
STEP THREE: EIGHT ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETINGS
Schools hold eight meetings of the School Counseling Advisory Council for the purpose of transforming their school counseling programs. Schools typically hold one meeting per month. Facilitation resources for each of the Advisory Council meetings are available on this website.
Advisory Council Meeting Focus:
- Achievement / Choice Priorities
- Guidance and Counseling Priorities
- Student Goals
- Guidance, Counseling, and Advocacy Activities