Comprehensive developmental school counseling is designed to respond to the developmental needs of all students in a school district. The developmental approach is founded on the belief that individuals experience general stages of personal/social growth and that school counseling programs must be structured to anticipate and fulfill the academic, career, and personal/social needs of all students. The emphasis in a developmental school counseling program shifts from working with individuals to working with all students through classroom school counseling activities and structured group experiences. The emphasis also shifts from remediation to prevention, from crisis-based to a planned orientation, and from unplanned and unstructured approaches to a systematic approach that delivers a school counseling curriculum and individual planning sessions to all students.
The Southington Public Schools’ Comprehensive School Counseling Program facilitates student development in three broad areas:
- Academic Development
- Career Development
- Personal/Social Development
Academic development includes acquiring attitudes, knowledge and skills which contribute to effective learning in school and across the lifespan; employing strategies to achieve success in school; and understanding the relationship of academics to the world of work, and to life at home and in the community.
Career development includes the foundation for the acquisition of skills, attitudes and knowledge that enable students to a successful transition from school to the world of work and from job to job across the life career span. It includes the employment of strategies to achieve future career success and job satisfaction as will as fostering understanding of the relationship between personal qualities, education and training, and the world of work.
Personal/social development includes the acquisition of skills, attitudes, and knowledge which help students understand and respect self and others, acquire effective interpersonal skills, understand safety and survival skills, and develop into contributing members of society.
There are three goals for academic development, career development and personal/social development. These nine goals are followed by a list of student competences or desired student learning outcomes. These define the specific knowledge, attitudes and skills that students should obtain or demonstrate as a result of participating in the Southington Public School District School Counseling Program.
The Southington Public School District School Counseling Program contains four major components:
Curriculum consists of structured developmental experiences presented systematically to all students through classroom and group activities.
Individual planning consists of activities that focus on assisting each student to develop, analyze and evaluate his/her education, career and personal goals and plans. Individual planning activities address the same objectives for all students in a given grade.
Responsive services are reactions to the immediate needs and concerns of individual students, whether these concerns involve individual or group counseling, information dissemination, crisis intervention, consultation or referrals.
System support activities are those that establish, maintain and enhance the preceding three program components. Activities in this component include program development, program evaluation and assessment, parent education, materials development, community relations and support for administrators.
The comprehensive school counseling model emphasizes a commitment to designing planning, implementing and evaluating a program that has a clearly defined mission with identified student competencies that are systematically addressed throughout a student’s school career by school counselors in collaboration with teachers, administrators, students and parents.
Adapted from: American School Counseling Standards (ASCA), Connecticut Comprehensive School Counseling Program (2000), and CCSU Graduate Program Project- Williamstown