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Program Outcomes & Competencies

The School Counseling Program seeks to prepare students in each of the competencies listed below.

These outcomes are evaluated at the end of the first and second year in the Program and are stated on course syllabi and in the School Counseling Handbook. Our stated competencies are organized around the following content areas, reflected in our curriculum.

A - Counseling Theory and Skills

  1. Understand the major theories in counseling.
  2. Learn basic counseling skills with emphasis on the school setting.
  3. Learn and apply basic counseling techniques to individual students.
  4. Understand how your cultural background and worldview influence the counseling process.
  5. Understand the impact of the counselor-client relationship.
  6. Learn to apply culturally sensitive counseling techniques for students of culturally diverse backgrounds.
  7. Understand how to select counseling techniques from different theoretical orientations to accommodate student concerns

B - Professional Ethics & Legal Issues

  1. Understand ethical principles for school counselors and their application for practice.
  2. Understand relevant education law and legal issues in the school setting.
  3. Learn to apply ethical & legal standards in working with students and parents.
  4. Understand fundamental practices of the school counselor at different grade levels

C - Child and Adolescent Development

  1. Understand major developmental theories for children and adolescence.
  2. Understand and apply counseling strategies and techniques for addressing the developmental needs of students.
  3. Learn to assess and counsel student’s developmental challenges.
  4. Learn to communicate with parents and school staff for student achievement about various developmental issues

D - Cross Cultural Counseling

  1. Increase awareness of the effects that culture, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation have on the performance of youth in schools.
  2. Increase understanding of cultural values and beliefs among dominant ethnic groups in the U.S. and diversity within each group.
  3. Increase understanding of socio-cultural issues that influence cross-cultural interactions in the school environment.
  4. Promote ethnic and cultural identity development and a healthy climate that respects diversity throughout the school.
  5. Increase knowledge and skills in providing culturally appropriate counseling to support the personal and academic success of diverse youth.
  6. Understand how your cultural background and worldview influence the counseling process

E - Prevention and Intervention in Schools

  1. Understand and apply prevention and early intervention strategies for identifying and addressing student problems or issues.
  2. Understand and apply approaches for developing family-school collaborations and relationships.
  3. Understand the coordination of comprehensive support services for students utilizing school and community partnerships and resources.
  4. Learn to propose a prevention or intervention approach or program to meet student needs
  5. Learn to develop working relationships and coordinating services with the school, community, and family to impact student success.

F - Group Counseling

  1. Understand group dynamics and skills of group counseling with students.
  2. Understand interpersonal communication and group process in facilitating group work.
  3. Learn skills in planning and developing a group that identifies and meets the needs of a specific group of students.
  4. Learn skills in conducting and evaluating a group counseling session that develops awareness and skills for students

G - Assessment and The Counselor

  1. Understand test construction, measurement, testing instruments, and their biases or limitations.
  2. Understand how to interpret test results and to effectively use the information for counseling, planning, and consulting with teachers and parents.
  3. Learn skills in administering, scoring, and interpreting test results to children, adolescents and parents.
  4. Learn skills in using assessment information for developing personal counseling goals.

H - Consulting with Parents, Teachers, and Schools

  1. Develop understanding the role of school counselors as consultants with parents, teachers, schools, school districts and the larger community and how school/organizational culture impacts the consultants role.
  2. Examine multicultural, behavioral, ecological, and Caplanian approaches to consultation and how they translate to working in the school community with multiple stakeholders.
  3. Examine educational governance to better understand the impetus, interpretations, and implementation of school regulations and policies.
  4. Evaluate existing comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for effectiveness, and create strategies for the streamlining and development of services as dictated by changing needs and resources.

  5. Review effective collaboration and team building strategies among staff, to best utilize all resources within a school system for student and staff support, including the involvement of family and community.
  6. Examine community resources and how to connect the school with community resources to support and provide additional support for school systems and school stakeholders.
  7. Reinforce the vision and realities of counselors as change agents within the school and broader community. Effective leadership, customer service, and facilitation strategies therein are examined.

I - Problem-Solving Counseling

  1. Understand cognitive behavioral counseling strategies for promoting personal responsibility, decision-making, and social skills.
  2. Understand functional assessment strategies for students and measuring social and academic progress.
  3. Learn skills in applying counseling techniques for personal issues, for crisis intervention, and effective referrals.
  4. Learn skills in conducting a functional assessment, conceptualizing the student needs, and formulating a counseling plan for students, involving family and school personnel.

J - Academic Counseling

  1. Students will critically assess and respond to issues of diversity and equity that impact academic counseling and educational opportunity in K-12 settings.
  2. Students will apply knowledge of academic counseling, motivation, and learning theory to practical and culturally appropriate interventions at elementary, middle, and high school.
  3. Students will be able to apply counseling skills to support their students in academic adjustment, planning, advocacy, and success.
Students will become proficient in transcript analysis and academic planning to promote equity in access to postsecondary career and educational options.
  5. Students will become knowledgeable and will critically evaluate standardized testing that impacts their students’ academic opportunities (e.g., ACT, SAT). Students will be able to support their students through counseling, planning, organizational and study skills.
  6. Students will become knowledgeable about learning theories and diverse learning styles to best support their students’ success within the school system.
  7. Students will become knowledgeable of special education student needs and instruction strategies.
Students will become knowledgeable of school structures supporting learning, structure, and collaboration.
Students will become knowledgeable of SST, 504, and IEP policy, timeline, and processes.

K - Career Counseling

Understand systemic factors that lead to educational and career inequities and career development in the U.S.
Understand issues of diversity and access associated with academic and career counseling.
Develop academic and career counseling skills that are culturally and contextually informed.
Understand and critique key concepts of career development theories.
Become familiar with career counseling tools and interest inventories.
Students will acquire knowledge of the components of career development programs and will have the opportunity to design a school-based career development intervention program.
  7. Psychology of work and multicultural issues will also be explored.

  8. Students will also learn practical skills for promotion of employability skills.

L - Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Identify strengths and weaknesses for the basic qualitative and quantitative research designs.
  2. Read and critique published research in the school counseling, psychology, and education professions.

Conduct a school-based needs assessment for counseling and support services.
Develop a research proposal using qualitative and quantitative methods.
Understand ethical issues related to conducting research.

M - Qualitative and Quantitative Interpretation and Analysis

Understand measures of central tendency.
Use different coding techniques to code qualitative and quantitative data.
Create a data spreadsheet using SPSS 19.0.
Enter data into a spreadsheet.
Conduct basic data analysis.
Interpret qualitative and quantitative data.
Understand how to disseminate their research findings.
  8. Present their mixed methods succinctly and meaningfully to key stakeholders.

N - Advanced Multicultural Counseling

Awareness of how your worldview and cultural background influences the counseling process.
  2. Awareness of white privilege, micro-aggressions, and cultural biases and stereotypes.

  3. Increased awareness of one’s strengths as well as one’s areas for growth as a counselor.

  4. Further development of counselor as an advocate for clients.

Further development of counselor as agent of change.
  6. Increased sensitivity to and appreciation of equity and social justice issues in counseling.
Increased understanding of counseling as a process.
  8. Understand the role of power, privilege, and race in counseling.

Increased skills in counseling refugee and immigrant communities.
Understand the role of collectivistic coping and indigenous healing in the healing process for culturally diverse clients.
Enriched understanding and ability to apply essential interviewing and counseling skills and concepts to facilitate the development of a strong working relationship with a client.
  12. Increased understanding and application of the concepts of resistance, transference and countertransference.

Learning, practicing and gaining facility in using a structured interview; gentle confrontation; influencing and other skills.
Greater understanding of issues and ability to apply skills around termination.
  15. Increased sensitivity to counseling individuals of varying cultural, economic, disability and ethnic groups and other diverse backgrounds (e.g., gender, age, sexual orientation).

Application of counseling theories and systemic approaches in assessment, conceptualization, and intervention.
Understand the use of counseling techniques from a multicultural perspective (i.e., from initial intake interviews to integrating assessment information to formulating and carrying out intervention plans to termination).
Continue to use counseling techniques in a professional and ethical manner.
Further develop a comfort with techniques from different theoretical frameworks (e.g., humanistic) and counseling modalities (e.g., individual, group, family).

O - Trauma and Crisis Counseling in Urban and Multicultural Context

  1. Key concepts related to theories associated with conceptualizing trauma and crisis.

Nature and types of trauma/crisis.
Survey of intervention models in urban and multicultural settings.
Psychosocial factors associated with trauma response (e.g., age, ability, gender, cultural and racial identities, class, and spirituality/religious faith).
Overview of the cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological factors associated with trauma.
  6. Introduction and application of skills and techniques utilized in crisis intervention, including assessment and triage, safety and security concerns, facilitation of validation, and preparation and rehearsal for maintenance.

  7. Review of current practice trends in post trauma therapy.

Special topics in intervention including assessment of PTSD, chemical dependency, personal loss, sexual assault, and other school related crisis.
  9. Emphasis on racial-cultural counseling, racial trauma, and cultural competence as a counselor and psychologist in educational and community settings.

School counseling crisis interventions in urban public schools.
Overview of the functions of the brain and body in response to trauma and crisis.