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Evaluation Standards and Criteria: School Counseling


ItemDescription
Policy TitleEvaluation Standards and Criteria: School Counseling
Policy CategoryEvaluations & Qualifications (EVAL)
Policy IDEVAL-026
Policy Date2016-04-07
Previous Policy Dates05/08/1998, 01/13/1999, 11/02/2006, 12/07/2006, 06/07/2007, 09/06/2007, 12/04/2008, 06/30/2010, 06/02/2011, 08/04/2011, 03/01/2012, 04/05/2012, 10/04/2012, 04/04/2013, 10/03/2013, 12/03/2015

Formerly TCP-C-006

NORTH CAROLINA PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELING STANDARDS

 The North Carolina Professional School Counseling Standards are the basis for school counselor preparation, evaluation, and professional development. Colleges and universities are changing their programs to align with these standards; a new school counselor evaluation instrument has been created; and professional development is taking on a new look based on these Standards. Each of these will include the skills and knowledge needed for 21st century teaching and learning.

Vision for School Counseling

The demands of 21st century education dictate new roles for school counselors. Schools need professional school counselors who are adept at creating and utilizing systems for change and at building relationships within the school community. Professional school counselors create nurturing relationships with students that enhance students’ academic achievement and personal success as globally productive citizens in the 21st century. Utilizing leadership, advocacy, and collaboration, professional school counselors promote academic success and personal success by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program that encompasses areas of academic, career, and personal/social development for all students.

In order to deliver a comprehensive school counseling program, the professional school counselor should understand and be competent in the following areas:

  • Human growth and development
  • Core components for helping relationships
  • Culture diversity
  • Societal change and trends
  • Student learning and academic success
  • Evaluation of student needs
  • Group and individual counseling techniques
  • Career development
  • Use of data
  • Use of technology
  • Role of the school counselor in leadership, advocacy, and systemic change
  • Legal and ethical guidelines
  • Collaboration with internal and external stakeholders
  • Research and program evaluation
  • School culture and mission, and
  • Interaction with other educational professionals.

Intended Purpose of the Standards

The North Carolina Standards for School Counseling have been developed as a resource for school counselors to enhance their knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the school counselor to provide services as part of a comprehensive multidisciplinary team with complementary knowledge, skills, and experiences.

The school counselor standards will:

  • guide professional development as school counselors move forward in the 21st century;
  • provide the focus for schools and districts as they support, monitor, and evaluate their school counselor; and
  • assist higher education programs in developing the content and requirements of school counselor education curricula.

Organization of the Standards

Standard: The Standard is the broad category of the School Counselor’s knowledge and skills.

Summary: The summary provides explicit descriptions of the Standard’s content.

Practices: The practices define the various tasks undertaken to demonstrate the Standard. The list of practices is not meant to be exhaustive.

Artifacts: The artifacts are the examples of standard practices the School Counselor might include as evidence in meeting the Standards.

These Standards are intended for use by North Carolina schools and local education agencies that employ school counselors. In developing these Standards, the State Board of Education Mission and Goals; State Board of Education Policies; State General Statutes 115C-333 and 115C-335; current North Carolina School Counselor Job Description; The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs; the current State Comprehensive School Counseling Standard Course of Study; the North Carolina Standards for the Preparation of School Counselors; and the U.S. Department of Education’s The Guidance Counselor’s Role in Ensuring Equal Educational Opportunity were consulted.

STANDARD 1: SCHOOL COUNSELORS DEMONSTRATE LEADERSHIP, ADVOCACY, AND COLLABORATION.

Professional school counselors demonstrate leadership, advocacy, and collaboration by developing a positive place for students and staff members to learn and grow. School counselors manage a comprehensive school counseling program that supports academic, career, and personal/social development for all students. School counselors advocate for equity for all students and staff members regardless of their learning style, cultural background, or individual learning needs. School counselors improve the counseling profession by demonstrating high ethical standards and by following the code of ethics set out for them.

a.  School Counselors demonstrate leadership in the school. 

School counselors work collaboratively with all school staff to create a positive learning community. School counselors take an active role in analyzing local, state, and national data to develop and enhance school counseling programs. School counselors create data-driven goals and strategies that align with the school improvement plan to improve student learning. School counselors annually discuss the comprehensive school counseling program with the school administrator. School counselors provide input in the selection of professional development for the school staff that meets the needs of students and choose professional development activities that foster their own professional growth. School counselors mentor and support colleagues to improve the academic success of students.

    • Work collaboratively with all school staff to create a positive learning community.
    • Take an active role in analyzing local, state, and national data to develop and enhance school counseling programs.
    • Create data driven goals and strategies that align with the school improvement plan.
    • Discuss the comprehensive school counseling program with the school administrator.
    • Provide input in the selection of professional development for the school staff.
    • Choose professional development activities that foster their own professional growth.
    • Mentor and support colleagues.

b.  School Counselors enhance the counseling profession. 

School counselors strive to improve the counseling profession by staying current in research and best practices. School counselors contribute to establishing a positive school climate. School counselors promote professional growth for all educators and collaborate with their colleagues to improve the profession.

    • Strive to enhance the counseling profession.
    • Contribute to establishing a positive school climate.
    • Promote professional growth.
    • Collaborate with their colleagues.

c.  School Counselors advocate for schools and students,

School counselors advocate for positive change in policies and practices affecting student learning. School counselors promote awareness of, and responsiveness to, learning styles, cultural diversity, and individual learning needs. School counselors collaborate with staff in building relationships with students that have a positive impact on student achievement. School counselors participate in the implementation of initiatives to improve the education and development of all students. School counselors advocate for equitable, student-centered legislation, policy, and procedures.

    • Advocate for positive change in policies and practices affecting student learning.
    • Promote awareness of, and responsiveness to, learning styles, cultural diversity, and individual learning needs.
    • Participate in the implementation of initiatives to improve the education and development of all students.
    • Advocate for equitable, student-centered legislation, policy, and procedures.

d.  School Counselors demonstrate high ethical standards.

School counselors demonstrate ethical behaviors. School counselors uphold the American School Counselor Association’s Ethical Standards for School Counselors, revised June 26, 2004 (http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=173), the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators (effective June 1, 1997), and the Standards for Professional Conduct adopted April 1, 1998. (Please see Appendix A).

    • Demonstrate ethical behaviors.
    • Uphold the American School Counselor Association’s Ethical Standards for School Counselors.
    • Uphold the Code of Ethics and Standards for North Carolina Educators and Standards for Professional Conduct.


STANDARD 2: SCHOOL COUNSELORS PROMOTE A RESPECTFUL ENVIRONMENT FOR DIVERSE POPULATION OF STUDENTS.

Professional school counselors establish a respectful school environment to ensure that each student is supported by caring staff. School counselors recognize diversity and treat students as individuals, holding high expectations for every student. Knowing that students have many different needs, school counselors work to identify those needs and adapt their services to meet them. School counselors recognize the fact that many adults share responsibility for education students and collaborate with them to facilitate student academic success.

a.  School Counselors foster a school environment in which each student has a positive, nurturing relationship with caring adults.

School counselors create an environment that is inviting, respectful, supportive, inclusive, and flexible. School counselors model and teach behaviors that lead to positive and nurturing relationships through developmentally appropriate and prevention-oriented activities.

    • Create an environment that is inviting, respectful, supportive, inclusive, and flexible.
    • Model and teach positive behaviors that lead to positive and nurturing relationships through developmentally appropriate and prevention-oriented activities.

b.  School Counselors embrace diversity in the school community and in the world.

School counselors demonstrate knowledge of the history of diverse cultures and their role in shaping global issues. School counselors collaborate with teachers to ensure that the presentation of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study is relevant to a diverse student population. School counselors actively select materials and develop activities that counteract stereotypes and incorporate histories and contributions of diverse cultures. School counselors recognize the influence of culture on a child’s development and personality. School counselors help other understand how a student’s culture, language, and background may influence school performance and consider these influences in the programs and services they provide.

    • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of diverse cultures and their role in shaping global issues.
    • Collaborate with teachers to ensure that the presentation of the Standard Course of Study is relevant to a diverse student population.
    • Select materials and develop activities that counteract stereotypes and incorporate histories and contributions.
    • Understand how a students’ culture, language, and background may influence school performance and consider these influences in the programs and services they provide.

c.  School Counselors treat students as individuals.

School counselors maintain high expectations, including graduation from high school, for students of all backgrounds. School counselors appreciate differences and value the contributions of each student in the learning environment.

    • Maintain high expectations for all students.
    • Appreciate differences and value the contributions of each student in the learning environment.

d.  School Counselors recognize students are diverse and adapt their services accordingly.

School counselors recognize that all students have different needs and collaborate with school and community personnel to help meet their needs. School counselors identify these needs using data, referrals, observation, and other sources for information. School counselors collaborate with others to create a customized plan of action that provides follow-up services to meet students’ varied needs.

    • Collaborate with school and community personnel to help meet student needs.
    • Identify special needs using data, referrals, observations, and other sources of information.
    • Collaborate with others to create a customized plan of action that provides follow-up services to meets students’ varied needs.

e.  School Counselors work collaboratively with families and significant adults in the lives of students.

School counselors recognize that educating students is a shared responsibility involving the school, parents/guardians, and the community. School counselors improve communication and collaboration among the school, home, and community in order to promote and build trust, understanding, and partnerships with all segments of the school community. School counselors seek solutions to overcome barriers that may stand in the way of effective family and community involvement in the education of students.

    • Improve communication and collaboration among the school, home, and community.
    • Promote and build trust, understanding, and partnerships with all segments of the school community.
    • Seek solutions to overcome barriers that may stand in the way of effective family and community involvement.


STANDARD 3: SCHOOL COUNSELORS UNDERSTAND AND FACILITATE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM.

Professional school counselors align their programs with state and national best practices to ensure that their role fits in the school program. A comprehensive school counseling program meets the academic, career, and social/emotional development needs of students through the implementation of programming including individual counseling, classroom presentation, academic advising, career development services, consultation, parent education and other responsive services. School counselors deliver a comprehensive school counseling program for all students and provide developmentally appropriate services and activities based on student needs. A school counselor must engage in leadership, advocacy, and collaboration with all school personnel for the successful implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. School counselors understand how students learn and help all students develop in the areas of academic, career and personal social success. School counselors align with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study to meet the needs of students.

a.  School Counselors align their programs to support student success in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.  

In order to support the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, school counselors align content standards and implement program models developed by professional organizations in school counseling. School counselors support equity and access to rigorous and relevant curricular for all students. School counselors develop and apply strategies to enhance student success.

    • Align content standards and implement program models develops by professional organizations in school counseling.
    • Support equity and access to rigorous and relevant curricula.
    • Develop and apply strategies to enhance student success.

b.  School Counselors understand how their professional knowledge and skills support and enhance student success.

School counselors bring richness and depth of understanding to their school through their knowledge of theories and research about human development, student learning, and academic success. School counselors apply this knowledge as they address the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students.

    • Know theory and research about human development, student learning, and academic success.
    • Address the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students.

c.  School Counselors recognize the interconnectedness of the comprehensive school counseling program with academic content areas/disciplines.

School counselors understand how the comprehensive school counseling program relates to other disciplines. School counselors support the mission and goals of the school and district by providing technical assistance to all curricula areas as they align components of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study to their content areas/disciplines. School counselors support teachers and other specialists’ use of the North Carolina State Standards to develop and enhance students’ twenty-first century skills and global awareness.

    • Support the mission and goals of the school and district by providing technical assistance to all curricula areas as the align components of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Guidance Curriculum to their content areas/disciplines.
    • Support teachers and other specialists’ use of the North Carolina Guidance Curriculum to develop and enhance students’ 21st century skills and promote global awareness.

d.  School Counselors develop comprehensive school counseling programs that are relevant to students.

School counselors use data to develop comprehensive programs that meet student needs. School counselors deliberately, strategically, and broadly incorporate into their programs the life skills that students need to be successful in the twenty-first century. These skills span the academic, personal/social, and career domains and include leadership, ethics, accountability, adaptability, personal productivity, personal responsibility, people skills, self-direction, and social responsibility.

    • Use data to develop comprehensive programs that meet student needs.
    • Incorporate into their programs the life skills that students need to be successful in the 21st century.


STANDARD 4: SCHOOL COUNSELORS PROMOTE LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS.

Professional school counselors are knowledgeable of the ways learning takes place and understands the significance of academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. School counselors work to eliminate barriers that students may experience. School counselors use data to plan programs that help students develop their academic and career- related skills as well as their abilities to relate cooperatively and effectively with other people. School counselors use a variety of methods to implement programs that will help raise achievement and close gaps. School counselor help students think through their problems and fine solutions. School counselors listen and communicate well, and they model those behaviors for others around them.

a.  School Counselors know how students learn.

 

School counselors understand the teaching and learning process. School counselors know the influences that affect individual student learning, such as human development, culture, and language proficiency. School counselors are aware of barriers that impact student learning and assist in overcoming them. School counselors provide resources to staff to enhance student strengths and address student weaknesses.

    • Know the influences that affect individual student learning, such as human development, culture, and language proficiency.
    • Assist in overcoming those barriers that impact student learning.
    • Provide resources to staff to enhance student strengths and address student weaknesses.

b.  School Counselors plan their programs for the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students.

School counselors use academic, behavior, and attendance data to plan appropriate programs for students. School counselors discuss the comprehensive school counseling program with school administrators and communicate the goals of the program to stakeholders. School counselors consult and collaborate with colleagues, parent/guardians, and other stakeholders to ensure that students’ needs are addressed. School counselors make their programs responsive to cultural diversity and student needs.

    • Use academic, behavior and attendance data to plan appropriate programs.
    • Discuss the comprehensive school counseling program with school administrators and communicate the goals of the program to stakeholders.
    • Consult and collaborate with colleagues, parents/guardians, and other stakeholders.
    • Make their programs responsive to cultural diversity and student needs.

c.  School counselors use a variety of delivery methods.

School counselors utilize the Guidance Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, and Preventive and Responsive Services in meeting the needs of students as they strive to raise achievement and close gaps. School counselors spend the majority of their time in these direct services, allocating time based on the developmental needs of their students. School counselors are responsive to individual student needs and differences in learning styles and culture in the programs and activities they provide. School counselors employ technology as appropriate to enhance delivery of their programs.

    • Utilize the Guidance Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, and Preventive and Responsive Services in meeting the needs of students as they strive to raise achievement and close gaps.
    • Allocate time based on the developmental needs of their students.
    • Respond to individual student needs and differences in learning styles and culture in the programs and activities they provide.
    • Employ technology as appropriate to enhance delivery of their programs.

d.  School Counselors help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

School counselors assist all students with developing academic, career, and personal/social skills. School counselors help students utilize sound reasoning, understand connections, and make complex choices. School counselors help students learn problem-solving techniques that incorporate critical thinking skills such as identifying problems, recognizing options, weighing evidence, and evaluating consequences. School counselors encourage students to use these skills to make healthy and responsible choices in their everyday lives.

    • Assist all students with developing academic, career, and personal/social skills.
    • Help students utilize sound reasoning, understand connections, and make complex choices.
    • Help students learn problem-solving techniques that incorporate critical thinking skills such as identifying problems, recognizing options, weighing evidence, and evaluating consequences.
    • Encourage students to use these skills to make healthy and responsible choices in their everyday lives.

e.  School Counselors use and promote effective listening and communication skills.

School counselors listen responsively to students, colleagues, parents/guardians, and other stakeholders in order to identify issues and barriers that impede student success. School counselors use a variety of methods to communicate effectively in support of the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. School counselors assist students in developing effective listening and communication skills in order to enhance academic success, build positive relationships, resolve conflicts, advocate for themselves, and become responsible twenty-first century citizens.

    • Listen responsively to students, colleagues, parents/guardians, and other stakeholders in order to identify issues and barriers that impede student success.
    • Use a variety of methods to communicate effectively in support of the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students.
    • Assist students in developing effective listening and communication skills in order to enhance academic success, build positive relationships, resolve conflicts, advocate for themselves, and become responsible 21st century citizens.


STANDARD 5: SCHOOL COUNSELORS ACTIVELY REFLECT ON THEIR PRACTICE.

Professional school counselors demonstrate accountability for managing and delivering a comprehensive school counseling program. School counselors analyze formal and informal data to evaluate their programs in a deliberate on-going manner. School counselors participate in professional development opportunities that support the school and district’s mission as well as the comprehensive counseling program. School counselors recognize that change is constant and use best practices to continually improve their programs.

a.  School Counselors analyze the impact of the school counseling program.

School counselors think systematically and critically about the impact of the comprehensive school counseling program on student academic, career, and personal/social development. School counselors analyze student achievement, behavior, and school climate data, as well as feedback from students, parents, and other stakeholders to continually develop their program. School counselors evaluate the effectiveness of their program based on these data.

    • Think systematically and critically about the impact of the comprehensive school counseling program on student academic, career, and personal/ social development.
    • Analyze student achievement, behavior, and school climate data, as well as feedback from students, parents, and other stakeholders to continually develop their program.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of their program.

b.  School Counselors link professional growth to the needs of their school and their program goals.

School counselors participate in continued, high quality professional development that reflects a global view of educational practices; includes twenty-first century skills and knowledge; aligns with the State Board of Education priorities; and meets the needs of students and their own professional growth.

    • Participate in continued, high quality professional development.

c.  School Counselors function effectively in a complex dynamic environment.

Understanding that change is constant, school counselors actively investigate and consider new ideas that improve student academic, career, and personal/social development as well as the school counseling profession. School counselors collaborate with students, staff, parents, and other stakeholders to implement these ideas.

    • Actively investigate and consider new ideas that improve student academic, career, and personal/social development as well as the school counseling profession.
    • Collaborate with students, staff, parents, and other stakeholder to implement these ideas.

 

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