Comprehensive school counseling Services— implemented by licensed school counselors, in collaboration with parents/guardians, teachers, and administrators— are effective in helping students build the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to respond to challenges of living and working in the 21st century. Educational Support Teams and Local Comprehensive Assessment Plans are integral data points.
Measuring Student Outcomes
With an emphasis on accountability, school counselors must learn how to measure student outcomes. The use of data is essential to ensure that all students benefit equitably from the school counseling Service (ASCA National Model, 4th ed., p. 32). More detailed information on Service assessment and available tools can be found in the Assess section of this document.
Pre/post-tests: These can be used to measure the impact of a lesson or unit from the school counseling curriculum.
Surveys: These can be used to measure attitudinal changes as a result of a school counseling intervention.
Rubrics: In instances where students are asked to write reflections, complete projects, or create portfolios, rubrics can be developed to measure students’ progress towards the desired school counseling standards.
Data from Student Information System [SIS] & Local Common Assessment System (LCAS): Grades, attendance, discipline, course taking patterns and report card comments are among data that can be extracted from a district/supervisory union’s SIS and used to measure the impact of counseling interventions.
VSAC (Vermont Student Assistance Corporation) & YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) data: These surveys provide rich sources of data that can be used to measure impact over time. VSAC Senior Survey and the YRBS provides school counselors with data ranging from 9th grade retention rates to college remediation rates.
Use of Data
Under the VTCSCP Model, comprehensive school counseling Services are data-informed. As school counselors become more data-literate, their role on district/supervisory union and school data teams becomes increasingly important. In a district/supervisory union where school counselors are viewed as data experts, they work with administrators, faculty and advisory councils to create a “big picture” of the district/supervisory union, schools and students’ needs. School counselors can lead data-informed conversations that focus the discussion and planning on important variables such as students’ developmental needs, the school climate, school policy and practices and/or the design and implementation of Tier 1 & 2 interventions or Tier 3 wrap-around services to meet the needs of special education, ELL, and marginalized students. A recommended resource is the Data support form.
School counselors also support administrators by using data to:
Performance Appraisal and Service Assessment
In addition to using data to determine essential school counseling activities and key interventions, school counselors strive for continuous improvement and use data to prove that activities related to Service delivery are effectively impacting students and the school community. Individual school counselors and entire school counseling Services are evaluated regularly in order to continuously improve and strengthen counseling services within a school and district/supervisory union. (Additional information can be found in the Professional Development section.)