Saturday, May 31, 2014
How do school districts know if their school counseling program is fully implemented?
This is one of the questions ASCA's leadership has been discussing in focus groups. It is a question I have discussed often with colleagues in my district. Our school division, like most, has very uneven implementation of the ASCA National Model. My school is one of 4 in our district that achieved RAMP this year. Some of our counselors are intimidated by the amount of data required to RAMP. Many do not know how to construct needs assessments and valid pre and post tests. Others honestly don't want to even look at the achievement related data in their school. When I shared our RAMP application with our school board liaison she told me she wished all of our schools had comprehensive programs. She asked me why I thought many did not. I told her that counselors need ongoing professional development and need to be held accountable for having all the components of the Model in place. I believe having a fully implemented program that just Re-RAMPed has helped me avoid a lot of non-counseling responsibilities. I do think having 3 strong program goals and a master calendar are good indicators a "program" is in place. I know in our school if you asked any member of the Counseling Advisory Council they could point out specific examples of the program's implementation. My co-counselor and I continually try to help the other counselors in our district build the capacity of their programs - not everyone is interested. I personally disagree with the goal of our district to have every school apply for RAMP. I would like to see them all have the ASCA Model in place. Any comments?