The Impact of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs on

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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.
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