School Counselor Advocacy: It s Not a Choice Anymore!

School Counselor Advocacy: It’s Not a Choice Anymore! Presenters: Mike Lefort~Professional School Counselor/ Coordinator (Retired) Cathy Smith~Profes...
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School Counselor Advocacy: It’s Not a Choice Anymore! Presenters:

Mike Lefort~Professional School Counselor/ Coordinator (Retired) Cathy Smith~Professional School Counselor

Louisiana Counseling Association Conference September 15-17, 2013 New Orleans, LA

 Each

secondary school SHALL provide school counselors ……. REVISED

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT each secondary school (shall) provide school counselors at a ration of 1:450 - or a major fraction thereof.

Bulletin 741


 January

16, 2013 – BESE

Meeting  Testified on behalf of school counselors  Result

◦ Kept in ‘Shall’ and the 450:1 ratio ◦ Added two statements making school counselor’s optional if schools can provide counseling services through alternate means.

BESE Meeting #1

 

Refer to the Louisiana State Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Model. B. Each secondary school shall provide school counselors at a ratio of 1:450 or a major fraction thereof. Each elementary school and middle school shall provide school counselors when enrichment formula funds are provided. 1. THIS PROVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO SCHOOLS CAPABLE OF PROVIDING ACADEMIC GUIDANCE, POSTSECONDARY COUNSELING, AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENTAL SUPPORT THROUGH ALTERNATE MEANS. 2. THE LDE MAY REQUEST INFORMATION REGARDING THE SERVICES PROVIDED IN SITUATIONS WHERE THE ABOVE RATIO IS NOT BEING MET. C. A planned, comprehensive counseling program that is preventive and developmental in nature shall be provided in the school through an interdisciplinary approach.

Bulletin 741

LSCA meets with Superintendent John White and BESE President Chas Roemer

February 19, 2013  Increased Flexibility for Districts and Schools 

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Graduation coaches Career Compass Higher education institutions Community mentors Community health providers Local business leaders or professionals

DOE Newsletter

 Louisiana

Register March 20, 2013 ◦ 20 days to mail public comments to BESE ◦ EBLAST; emails; phone calls

 Result

◦ 206 letters mailed in – all in support of school counselors

Notice of Intent

 Added

an evaluation for private service providers  LSCA – still not satisfied! CONFERENCE CALL WITH SUPERTENTENT WHITE


About 30 school counselors and LSU graduate students attended  During testimonies….  Mr. Walter Lee, 4th BESE District of Shreveport motioned to return to original language. 


◦ Make request to State Superintendent of Education John White for his consideration

BESE Meeting #2

 Bulletin

741 remains untouched from last year original – before all the revisions.  DOE has reached out to LSCA ◦ Working relationship



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A video…


does ‘Advocacy’ mean to you?


Lee (1998) defined advocacy ◦ “the process or act of arguing or pleading for a cause or proposal”. ◦ Recommends that counselors become agents of social change…

◦ Argue for the advancement of the counseling profession… ◦ Find themselves intervening with systems and organizations “Advocacy for Counseling and Counselors: A Professional Imperative” by Meyers, Sweeney, White

What is advocacy?

 Research

indicates effective schools are: Characterized by staff members who support a guiding mission, purpose, and goals, and understand the importance of colleagues’ specialized roles in reaching school goals (Lieberman, 2004).

Why school counselor advocacy?

Professional school counselors are

 

Important members of school teams

Professional school counselors face challenges

 

Fellow educators and other stakeholders are unclear about their current position in schools (Dotson, 2009).

Why school counselor advocacy?

School counselor’s role is unclear

School counselors’ tasks, expectations and demands vary

Definition of the school counselor’s role is left to the administrator’s discretion (ASCA, Public Relations and Advocacy)

and also because…

Individual school counseling program ◦ Comprehensive ◦ Data-driven program

School counselors ◦ Must educate the public ◦ Clarify the function of a school counseling curriculum

and also because…

Where is advocacy in the model?

Develop a comprehensive counseling program handbook

Provide workshops to explain the role of the professional school counselor and the components of a comprehensive counseling program.

Communicate with the total school family-that includes custodians, cooks, and bus drivers as well as other educators.

Advocacy activities on role of PSCs

Publish a monthly counseling newsletter.

Let others know the process for referring a student for services.

Organize and maintain a counseling advisory committee made up of parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, students, and community members.

Advocacy activities on role of PSCs

Serve as a member on school/district wide committees.

Present the role of the professional school counselor to new staff members during new staff orientation meetings.

Provide workshops to share special topics to meet student needs.

More advocacy activities…

Present information about the counseling program at monthly faculty meetings.

Prepare a brochure about your school’s comprehensive counseling program to demonstrate what services are available.

Be visible, be helpful, and involve others in your counseling program activities.

More advocacy activities…

Make posters and hang them in classrooms, hallways, and the office to advocate the counseling services available.

Develop a job description to share with appropriate stakeholders.

Publish a monthly counseling newsletter for teachers

Let students and teachers know the process for referring a student for responsive services.

More advocacy activities…

Brown and Trusty (2005) derived several useful practice guidelines from the advocacy competencies.

A step-by-step model of the advocacy process based on those guidelines and based on the competencies follows.

A Model of the Advocacy Process

Develop and clarify professional identity around advocacy dispositions.

These are motivating to the advocacy process, and they help in making decisions of an ethical-legal nature.

1. Develop advocacy dispositions

Build collaborative relationships with decision-makers and potential advocacy resource people and groups.

Acquire knowledge of parameters, and gain an understanding of relevant systems within and outside the school.

2. Develop relationships/knowledge

Gather data and other information to understand and objectively assess and define the advocacy problem and to aid advocacy efforts.

Determine problem etiology and understand the problem in the context of systems.

3. Define the advocacy problem

Clear and specific plans of action should effectively utilize resources and anticipate difficulties.

Be flexible unless an important moral principle is at stake.

4. Develop action plans.

Use problem-solving skills, communication skills, collaboration skills, dispute resolution mechanisms, and advocacy models for producing change.

Monitor, organize, and manage advocacy efforts on various fronts.

5. Implement action plans

Ensure that agreed-upon changes are implemented.

Promote and support collaborators and others as changes unfold and as setbacks occur.


5. Implement action plans

Evaluate the effectiveness of advocacy efforts by following up on changes and determining if needs are met.

The problem assessment and problem definition should specify or imply appropriate evaluation criteria.

6. Make an evaluation

If advocacy efforts are successful, recognize and reward contributions to success and empower all involved (including students and families) to become advocates for themselves and others.

If goals were not reached, regroup and focus on support and coping.

7. Celebrate or regroup


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A video…

Get mad?

Get even?

Get upset?

Get ahead?

As comedian Lily Tomlin once said, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

What are we to do?

The time is now for all professional counselors and counselor educators to advocate for the profession to which you have dedicated yourselves.

You need to advocate for the profession with as much intensity as you exhibit in advocating for those whom you serve.

When do I do this and how?

 List

three activities you will do to advocate at your school.


 School

Counseling as a program – not a position within the schools.

A program ◦ “A coherent sequence of instruction based upon a validated set of competencies” (WV, 2011) ASCA 2013 Springfield Public Schools Carol A. Dahir Ylanda D. Johnson

A Shift in Thinking!

Design – Implement – Evaluate Comprehensive array of services Preventative and developmental

A Shift in Thinking

Program Foundation Delivery System

Management System

Accountability System

What does ASCA tell us we are supposed to do?

Align school counseling practice with district and building goals  Help the principal to understand the work of school counselors  Ask the question - How are students different as a result of school counseling program?  Counselors will need to see the connection between comprehensive school counseling and effectiveness 

What should School Counselors do?

 The

program must also be evaluated to ensure that desired student learning outcomes are achieved.  Proactively get ahead of the curve, instead of waiting for the next phase of a mandate.


 •

Everyone is accountable for student success! CHALLENGE • Show how the school counseling program influences critical data elements on the school’s report card.

A DATA-DRIVEN APPROACH to building your program will help support and secure the school counselor’s position as a valued player in school improvement. Have priorities to achieve goals


 School

Counselors are active participants in an evaluation process that supports collaboration and continuous learning.

Continuous Learning

Self Assessment

Summative Evaluation

Formatting Assessment/Evaluation

Analysis, Goal Setting and Plan Development

Implementation of the PLAN

Louisiana School Counseling Model 

Appendix C Program Audit Sample

ASCA National Model ◦ School Counseling Program Assessment


Results of Needs Assessment ◦ Parent, Teacher and Student

Test Scores  School Improvement Plan  School Report Card 

Ask Yourself Analysis

How will students be DIFFERENT as a result of the school counseling program?

Student Learning Targets Goal Setting and Developing Plan

 Formatting

assessments and

evaluation  Yearly calendar  Weekly calendar

How are students DIFFERENT as a result of the school counseling program?

Implement Plan

Summative Evaluation

Self Assessment

Summative Evaluation

Formatting Assessment/Evaluation

Start all over!

Analysis, Goal Setting and Plan Development

Implementation of the PLAN

 Administrators

 Teachers  Parents  Other

relevant stakeholders

ASCA 2013 Needs Assessment as an Advocacy Tool Dr. Amy Milson

Share Results Widely

 Website  Newsletter

 Announcements

Use Different Formats


Scene  ASCA Scene  Counselor’s Toolbox  Attend professional development  Get involved Networking


results to:

◦Inform others of next year’s goals ◦Make changes ◦Celebrate


Cathy Smith • [email protected]

Mike Lefort ◦ [email protected]

School Counselor Advocacy: It’s Not a Choice Anymore!