School Counselor Benchmarks

Required implementation by November, 2013

STANDARD 5.A. School Counseling Program: Certified school counselors develop, lead, and evaluate a data-driven school counseling program that is comprehensive, utilizes best practices, and advances the mission of the school.

1.  Residency Level: The school counselor demonstrates knowledge of: 

            A. History, philosophy, and trends in school counseling and educational systems; 

            B. Best practices of school counseling and guidance program design and implementation; 

            C. Methods of evaluation for school counseling programs and counseling outcomes.

2. The school counselor demonstrates skills to:

 
 Residency Level  Professional Level  Career Level
 A.
Program Implementation
Design and lead a comprehensive school counseling program aligned with the mission of the school.
Implements a comprehensive school counseling program aligned with the mission of the school.
Leads in continuous improvement of a sustainable and evolving comprehensive school counseling program aligned with the mission of the school.
 B.
Program measures
Define, use, and communicate measurable career, personal/social, and academic benchmarks and outcomes.
Works with stakeholders to define, use, and communicate measurable career, personal/social, and academic benchmarks and outcomes.
Leads others to define, use, and communicate measurable career, personal/social, and academic benchmarks and outcomes in relationship to educational decisions.
C.
Program data
Use data to inform decision-making and demonstrate accountability.
Works with stakeholders to use a variety of data to inform decision-making and demonstrate accountability.
Leads analysis of data to inform decision-making and demonstrate accountability.
D.
Program technology
Select and use informational resources and technology to facilitate delivery and evaluation of a comprehensive program.

Seeks and adapts informational resources and technology to respond to the individual and system needs in delivery and evaluation of a comprehensive program.
Leads in the adaptation of informational resources and technology to respond to the individual and system needs in delivery and evaluation of a comprehensive program.

STANDARD 5.B. Student Learning and Assessment: Certified school counselors use their knowledge of pedagogy, child development, individual differences, learning barriers, and Washington State learning requirements to support student learning. They work effectively with other educators to monitor and improve student success.

1. Residency Level: The school counselor demonstrates knowledge of:

A. The factors influencing student development, achievement and engagement in school;

B. Current Washington State learning goals, assessments, and requirements;

C. Group dynamics and team facilitation strategies to enable students to overcome barriers to learning

D. Curriculum design, lesson plan development, classroom management strategies, and differentiated instructional strategies.

2. The school counselor demonstrates skills to:

  Residency Level  Professional Level  Career Level
A.
Assesses
student learning
Select appropriate assessment strategies to evaluate student progress.
Analyze and utilize assessment information to facilitate interventions that promote student success.
Utilize a broad array of assessment strategies to consult, plan, and advocate effectively with and for students.
B.
Collaboration
on student learning
Consult with educators and parents/guardians to support student learning needs.
Apply strategies, methods, and results in working with other educators and families to support student learning needs.
Participate in and build effective teams of educators and families to support student learning needs.
C.
Barriers to learning
Assess the barriers that impede students’ academic development and develop plans to address these barriers.
Recognize and respond accurately to the multiple factors that may affect student success.
Counselors convene, lead, and collaborate with others in addressing systemic barriers to learning.
D.
Career readiness
Conduct programs to enhance student development and prepare students for a range of post-secondary options.
Develop and conduct strength based programs that promote student career development and life role readiness skills.
Counselors facilitate groups to identify programs and facilitate life/career development across the curriculum.

STANDARD 5.C. Counseling Theories and Techniques: Certified school counselors use a variety of research-based counseling approaches to provide prevention, intervention, and responsive services to meet the academic, personal/social and career needs of all students.

1. Residency Level: The school counselor demonstrates knowledge of: 

            A. Current theories and methods for delivering individual and group counseling and classroom guidance for individual, target, and universal domains;

            B. Strategies for helping students make transitions, develop career/post-secondary plans, and cope with environmental and developmental problems;

            C. School and community resources to support student needs across the three domains; 

            D. Research relevant to the practice of school counseling.

2. The school counselor demonstrates skills to:

  Residency Level  Professional Level  Career Level
A.
Relational
Counseling
Establish an environment of respect and rapport in order to serve the needs of all students


Builds respective and positive relationships with students, families, and staff members in order to effectively support student development and facilitate transitions.
Builds effective partnerships across stakeholder groups and K-12 systems to support student development and facilitate transitions.
B.
Responsive 
Services
Respond effectively and lead others through crisis and disruption of the learning environment.

Effectively applies best-practices to respond to a range of student needs and disruptions to the learning environment.
Implements and leads others to take a systemic approach to student needs and responsive services according to best current research practices.
C.
Individual and group counseling
Conduct individual and group counseling to meet identified student needs.

Identifies student needs through consultation and assessment; develops individual and group interventions to promote academic and life success.
Develops identification systems that are predictive and responsive to the academic, personal/social, and career development needs of students.
D.
Guidance programs
Plan, lead and assess guidance programs to promote student development and future planning.


Leads in the planning and implementation of research-based guidance programs designed to meet the identified needs of students.

In coordination with K-12 stakeholders, assesses the effectiveness of guidance program adoptions and makes recommendations for district-wide program improvement.
E.
Intervention 
services
Implement procedures for the assessment and management of high risk behaviors.
Works with stakeholders to respond and facilitate student academic success; distinguishes underlying issues in addressing behavior concerns.
Collaborates and consults with staff and community partners to coordinate services for students who need intensive support services to be successful in school.

STANDARD 5.D. Equity, Advocacy, and Diversity: Certified school counselors understand cultural contexts in a multicultural society, demonstrate fairness, equity, and sensitivity to every student, and advocate for equitable access to instructional programs and activities.

Residency Level:

1. Residency Level: The school counselor demonstrates knowledge of:

            A. The cultural, ethical, economic, legal, and political issues surrounding equity and student learning;

            B. The community, environmental, and institutional opportunities that affect the academic, career, and personal/social development of students;

            C. The ways in which educational decisions, programs, and practices can be adapted to be culturally congruent and respectful of student and family differences.

2.The school counselor demonstrates skills to:

  Residency Level  Professional Level  Career Level
A.
Culturally 
relevant counseling
Provide culturally relevant counseling, instruction, and communication.
Collaborate in providing culturally relevant counseling, instruction, and communication.
Lead others in providing culturally relevant counseling, instruction, and communication.
B.
Academic language
Collaborate with educators to address the academic language needs of students.
Collaborate with educators and families to integrate the academic language needs of students in comprehensive guidance and counseling practice.
Leads others to integrate the academic language needs of students in comprehensive guidance and counseling practices.
C.
Equitable services and policies
Advocate for school policies, programs, and services that are equitable, responsive, and prevent harassment and marginalizing behaviors.
Collaborate in the development of school policies, programs, and services that are equitable, responsive, and prevent harassment and marginalizing behaviors.
Lead in the development of school policies, programs, and services that are equitable, responsive, and prevent harassment and marginalizing behaviors.

STANDARD 5.E. School Climate and Collaboration – Certified school counselors collaborate with colleagues, families, and community members to establish and foster an inclusive, nurturing, and physically safe learning environment for students, staff, and families.

1. Residency Level: The school counselor demonstrates knowledge of: 

            A. Elements of safe and effective learning environments; 

            B. Effective approaches to build family and community partnerships to support student learning;

            C.Systems change theories and models of collaboration in school settings; 

            D. The potential impact of and models to address crises, emergencies, and disasters on students, educators, and school. 

2. The school counselor demonstrates skills to:

  Residency Level  Professional Level  Career Level
A.
Learning
environment
Engage in positive and productive relationships with colleagues, students, parents/guardians, and community partners.
Builds collaborative relationships with school, family, and community stakeholders to foster a positive school learning environment.
Establishes collaborative partnerships with school district and community stakeholders to foster a positive P-12 learning environment.
B.
Assesses schoolwide 
needs
Assess and articulate school-wide needs and safety concerns.
Monitors student needs data to identify school-wide needs and safety concerns; communicates effective counseling program response to concerns.
Develops processes to monitor student needs data, identify concerns, and effectively implement counseling program responses.
C.
Policies and services

Advocate for school policies, programs, and services that enhance a positive school climate.
Utilizes data and systems change theory to advocate for school policies, programs, and services that enhance a positive school climate.
Leads school-wide efforts to identify barriers to student learning and create an inclusive, nurturing, and physically safe learning environment.
D.
Crisis preparedness
Participates on teams to address school-wide needs and prepare for disasters or crises.
Facilitates teams to address school-wide needs and prepare for disasters and crises.
Collaborates with district personnel and local agencies to coordinate school crisis response with community crisis response.

Standard 5.F. Professional Identity and Ethical Practice: Certified school counselors engage in continuous professional growth and development and advocate for appropriate school counselor identity and roles. They adhere to ethical practices and to the Washington State and federal policies, laws, and legislation relevant to school counseling.\

1. Residency Level: The school counselor demonstrates knowledge of: 

            A. Professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials that are relevant to the practice of school counseling; 

            B. The school counselor's role as member of and leader in the educational community; 

            C. Ethical and legal considerations specifically related to the practice of school counseling.

2. The school counselor demonstrates skills to:

  Residency Level  Professional Level  Career Level
 A.
Professional growth planning
Maintain current knowledge and skills through professional growth planning and participation in K-12 guidance teams, professional organizations and trainings. Engages in professional growth planning as a habit of practice, accessing the expertise of peers and professional associations.
Leads others to build systems of professional learning.
 B.
Reflective practice
Reflect upon the impact of their own practice, strengths, limitations, and biases and make adjustments as needed.
Models reflective practice and modification of behavior to peers.
Leads others to create an environment of reflective practice.
C.
Counselor program identity
Articulate, model and advocate for an appropriate school counselor identity and program.
Facilitates conversations and rationale for counselor identity and program.
Leads system redesign to enhance counselor identity and programs.
D.
Ethical and legal standards
Apply and adhere to the ethical and legal standards in school counseling, including prevention and reporting of child abuse and neglect, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Collaborates with others to assure adherence to ethical and legal standards in school counseling, including prevention and reporting of child abuse and neglect, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Leads in the design of curriculum, structures, and policy to assure adherence to ethical and legal standards in school counseling, including prevention and reporting of child abuse and neglect, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.