The Impact of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs on Student Performance Greg Brigman, Ph.D. Linda Webb, Ph.D. Elizabeth Villares, Ph.D. Florida Atlantic University Whiston, et al meta-analysis (2010) 116 pre-post comparison group studies were included in Whiston’s meta-analysis. This is the latest of a series of research reviews that have found school counseling to be very beneficial to students (Lapan, Gysbers & Sun, 1997; Sink, et al. 2008; Sink & Stroh, 2003) Three types of measures used in the 116 studies reviewed by Whiston Cognitive: Behavior: Affective: Cognitive Measures GPA Achievement tests Behavior Measures Attendance Physical altercations Disciplinary referrals Peer counseling skills Problem solving Behavior rating scales Assess of social skills Affective Measures Self-esteem Personal or social development Anxiety Depression Results Average study = 139 participants 59 (50%) = Elementary 21 (18%) = Middle School 29 (25%) = High School 7 (6%) = combined ages Average Effect Sizes Found Meta-analysis results from116 studies Average Effect Size = .45 Type of Measures and Effect Sizes Cognitive Measures: GPA =.15 Achievement = .16 Behavioral Measures: Discipline referrals = .83 Student problem solving = .96 Peer Counseling Skills = 1.14 Affective Measures Effect Sizes Self-Esteem = .19 Anxiety = .40 Depression = .37 Delivery of interventions Classroom Curriculum (51 studies) and Small Group Counseling ( 47 studies) had similar ES = .36 Individual Counseling (6 studies) ES = .07 Parent Workshops (5 studies) ES = .94 School Counselor interventions with largest Effect Sizes Decreasing discipline problems (.83) Increasing student problem solving (.96) Peer helping skills (1.14) Other Effect Sizes for school counselor interventions Social skills: (.33) Attendance: (.30) School counselor interventions are effective across all three levels Elementary Average Effect Size Middle Average Effect Size Guidance Curriculum = .31 Responsive services = .40 Guidance Curriculum = .46 Responsive services = .22 High Average Effect Size Guidance Curriculum = .39 Responsive services = .35 Whiston’s findings support a balanced school counseling program approach The effectiveness of guidance curriculum and responsive services were consistent with both components having and average ES of .35 Center for School Counseling Outcome Research (CSORE) University of Massachusetts, Amherst Statewide Evaluations in Utah and Nebraska (Carey & Harrington, 2010) CSORE partnered with State Departments of Education After controlling for differences in school-level demographics, clear and consistent evidence of four important sets of results were found Four important sets of results were found School counseling contributes to important student outcomes Student to counselor ratios matter How the school counseling program is organized matters What counselors do matters School counseling contributes to important student outcomes Increase math and reading proficiency Lower suspension rates Lower discipline rates Increase attendance Higher graduation rates Student to counselor ratios matter In both states, the ratio of students to counselors was strongly related to its student outcomes. More favorable ratios were associated with improved attendance, completion rates, and decreased discipline rates. How the school counseling program is organized matters The longer a school has been implementing a comprehensive developmental model (ASCA) the better the educational outcomes. The more strongly organized programs are better able to produce positive outcomes for students. What counselors do matters Both Nebraska and Utah results indicate that career development-focused interventions seem to be particularly important in producing positive academic outcomes. CSORE has reviewed other evidencedbased school counseling programs shown to have strong positive impact on student performance, i.e. Student Success Skills Student Success Skills: A Foundational Learning Skills Approach SSS helps students in grades 4-10 improve math and reading through: Cognitive Skills Social Skills Self-Management Skills Student Success Skills: Key Skill Areas Goal setting and progress monitoring Creating a caring, supportive and encouraging classrooms Cognitive/Memory skills Performing under pressure: Managing test anxiety Building Healthy Optimism Student Success Skills Meta-Analysis Five studies: Brigman and Campbell (2003) Brigman, Webb, and Campbell (2007) Campbell and Brigman (2005) Webb, Brigman and Campbell (2005 ) León, Villares, Brigman, Webb, and Peluso (2010) Effect Size of SSS on Math Scores Study n ES A Brigman and Campbell, 2003 222 .36 B Campbell and Brigman, 2005 302 .51 C Webb, Brigman, and Campbell, 2005 418 .37 D Brigman, Webb, and Campbell, 2007 220 .45 E León, Villares, Brigman, Webb, and Peluso. 2010 156 .37 Effect Size for Math .41 ES of SSS on Reading Scores Study n ES A Brigman and Campbell, 2003 222 .26 B Campbell and Brigman, 2005 302 .23 C Webb, Brigman, and Campbell, 2005 418 .11 D Brigman, Webb, and Campbell, 2007 220 -.03 E León, Villares, Brigman, Webb, and Peluso. 2010 156 .37 ES for Reading .17 What kind of gains can we expect in math and reading? Hill, Bloom, Black, and Lipsey (2008) reviewed 192 meta-analyses of educational interventions to evaluate there impact on reading and math standardized test scores. What kind of gains can we expect in math and reading? Hill, et al (2007) found that for students in grades K-12, the overall average effect sizes of: 0.23 Elementary 0.27 Middle 0.24 High Annual achievement test score gains in reading and math Grades 4-5 Read= .40 Grades 6-7 Read= .32 Grades 9-10 Read= .19 Math= .56 Math= .41 Math=.25 Hill, C., Bloom, H., Black, A. & Lipsey, M. (2007) Practical Impact of Interventions If a study of an intervention, say a new math curriculum or method of teaching math, found an effect size of .10 Then using Hill’s benchmark of Average Yearly Gains, the impact of this intervention: In reading would be comparable to one-quarter of an additional year of learning for 4th graders. For math the .10 effect size would be comparable to one-fifth of an additional year for 4th graders Practical significance of a Student Success Skills .41 ES in math Grades 4-5 An additional 4/5 of a year’s growth Grades 6-7 An additional 1 year’s growth Grades 9-10 An additional 1 2/3 year’s growth Hill, C., Bloom, H., Black, A. & Lipsey, M. (2007) Practical significance of Student Success Skills .17 ES in Reading Grades 4-5 growth An additional 1/3 of a year’s Grades 6-7 An additional 1/2 year’s growth Grades 9-10 An additional 1 year’s growth Hill, C., Bloom, H., Black, A. & Lipsey, M. (2007) So What? So if the best interventions known average an effect size of .25 And school counselors can delivery interventions that focus on foundational learning skills which have as large or larger impact as these best known interventions, Then school counselors have an important seat at the school improvement table. We cannot afford to throw away such an important resource to improving math and reading proficiency as well as discipline, attendance and graduation rates. Data Driven Decision Making If one looks at recent reviews of rigorous educational research Then it is clear that comprehensive school counseling programs And specific school counselor led classroom interventions such as SSS Can have a large positive effect on student learning. Contact information Greg Brigman, Ph.D. Linda Webb, Ph.D. [email protected] [email protected] Elizabeth Villares, Ph.D. [email protected] References Brigman, G. & Campbell, C. (2003). Helping student improve academic achievement and school success behavior. Professional School Counseling, 7. Brigman, G., Webb, L. & Campbell, C. (2007). Building skills for school success: Improving the academic and social competence of students. Professional School Counseling, 10, 279-288. Campbell, C., & Brigman, G. (2005). Closing the achievement gap: A structured approach to group counseling. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 30, 67-82 References Carey, J. & Harrington, K. (2010). Nebraska school counseling evaluation report. Amherst, MA: Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation. Carey, J. & Harrington, K. (2010). Utah school counseling evaluation report. Amherst, MA: Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation. References Hill, C., Bloom, H., Black, A. & Lipsey, M. (2007). Empirical benchmarks for interpreting effect sizes in research, MDRC Working Papers Research Methodology, New York, NY:MDRC. Available at: www.mdrc.org/publications/459/full.pdf Leon, A., Villares, E., Brigman, G., Webb, L., & Peluso, P.(accepted). Closing the Achievement Gap of Hispanic Students: A School Counseling Response. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation. References Webb. L., Brigman, G. & Campbell, C. (2005). Linking school counselors and student success: A replication of the Student Success Skills approach targeting the academic & social competence of students. Professional School Counseling, 8, 407411. Whiston, S., Tai, W. ,Rahardja, D. & Eder, K. (2011). School counseling outcome: A Metaanalytic examination of interventions. Journal of Counseling and Development, 89, 37-55.