Advancing College & Career Readiness Through a Comprehensive School Counseling Program

Overview

Advancing College & Career Readiness Through a Comprehensive School Counseling Program
Go Alliance Academy

This module includes four sessions that help school counselors analyze their current practices and redesign their school counseling programs to more effectively help students prepare for postsecondary education and careers. Participants will build knowledge and skills in several areas, including how to advocate for school counseling services; how to evaluate postsecondary education and career advising practices; how to build school-based, community-based, and postsecondary partnerships; and how to maximize counselors’ time and effectiveness. Participants will engage in constructive discussions in a learning community with their colleagues during each session and complete practical, hands-on activities while working toward a Final Action Plan throughout the course.

Session 1: Advancing the Role of the School Counselor Through Ethical Practice and Advocacy

This session focuses on building the knowledge and skills counselors need to advocate for college and career counseling programs to all stakeholders. Participants also learn about how to act in an ethical manner to help students make informed postsecondary choices and successfully enroll in education after high school. Additionally, counselors gain insight into how their personal postsecondary experiences may impact their own beliefs about education after high school and how they work with students.

In this session, participants: 

  1. Learn about the legal and ethical implications of postsecondary advising;
  2. Recognize how personal postsecondary experiences impact belief systems about higher education and postsecondary advising;
  3. Define the role of the school counselor in helping students and families make informed postsecondary choices and decisions;
  4. Develop and practice strategies to advocate for college and career counseling services; and
  5. Research and navigate existing or proposed state-level policies in order to advocate for school counseling programs.

Session 2: Evaluating and Refining Your College and Career Advising Programs

In this session, school counselors learn how to structure college and career counseling services as part of a comprehensive school counseling program. Participants evaluate the context in which they work, look at their strengths and weaknesses of current postsecondary advising services, and set goals to improve/enhance their work.

In this session, participants:

  1. Learn various ways to structure school counseling programs;
  2. Collect and analyze data to identify strengths and weaknesses of their current college and career advising programs; and
  3. Create a plan to improve and/or enhance those programs.

Session 3: Working with School-Based and Community Partners

This session focuses on how to develop contacts and build meaningful relationships with key partners in schools, communities, and postsecondary institutions. Participants first learn strategies for networking with and engaging partners, then form a plan for how to collaborate with these partners to improve the reach and impact of their college and career programs.

In this session, participants:

  1. Identify and research potential partners in the school and community;
  2. Make a plan for collaborating with others in the school and community in order to improve the reach and effectiveness of postsecondary advising activities; and
  3. Build relationships with postsecondary admissions staff in order to better understand the admissions process and advocate for students.

Session 4: Maximizing School Counselors’ Time and Effectiveness

This session helps counselors learn about various technology tools that can be used to maximize their time and the scalability of their postsecondary advising programs, including how to conduct a use-of-time study. Additionally, participants learn classroom management strategies to deliver college and career programming more effectively.

In this session, participants:

  1. Explore technology tools that can be used to maximize counselors’ time as well as the effectiveness and scalability of their college and career advising programs;
  2. Learn classroom management strategies and create a lesson plan for delivering school counseling curricula to students; and
  3. Conduct a use-of-time assessment to determine the amount of time spent on direct and indirect school counseling services with students.