Standards for School Counseling

Standards for School Counseling
WAC Standards .......................................................................................................................... 1
CACREP Standards .................................................................................................................... 7
Conceptual Framework Standards ............................................................................................ 13
WAC Standards
The items below indicate the candidate’s estimated level of achievement and/or competency.
The knowledge and skills evaluated are areas of competence for the Residency-Level
Benchmarks for School Counselors Standards reflected in WAC 180-78A-270 (a) (5) [Rev.
STANDARD 1: Foundations of the School Counseling Profession
Certified school counselors design, deliver, and evaluate student-centered, data-driven
school counseling programs that advance the mission of the school in light of
recognized theory, research, exemplary models, community context, and professional
1. Articulates key features, benefits, goals, and objectives of a comprehensive school
counseling program;
2. Conducts counselor time utilization activity according to national ASCA model;
3. Collects and analyzes data to determine impact of school counselor program on student
4. Articulates and documents how the school counseling program and counselor activities
support the mission of the school and impact student learning;
5. Demonstrates understanding of school district policies and procedures regarding counseling
activities, student behavior, and general operation of the school;
6. Demonstrates understanding of School Improvement Plan (SIP) processes and how it relates
to the school counseling program;
7. Uses school report card, other data, and SIP to design systemic interventions based on
research and theory.
STANDARD 2: School Counseling and Student Competencies
Certified school counselors know and can integrate academic, career, and
personal/social student competencies, including Washington State Learning Goals and
Essential Academic Learning Requirements, into the school counseling program; can
teach counseling and guidance related material by using effective curriculum,
instructional strategies, and instructional management; support teachers and parents in
helping students develop knowledge and skill for learning, living and working; and
provide information about best practices to a school community.
8. Identifies needs of students in academic, career, personal, and social domains and determines
positive impact on student learning;
9. Demonstrates knowledge and skills in curriculum development, instructional and assessment
practices, and classroom management;
10. Uses student records to assist students and their parents/guardians to align academic and
career expectations;
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11. Knows and integrates academic, career, and personal/social student competencies, including
Washington State Learning Goals, Essential Academic Learning Requirements, and Grade
Level Expectations, into the school counseling program;
12. Guides individuals and groups of students through the development of educational and career
awareness and/or plans in order to develop knowledge and skills for learning, living, and
13. Promotes academic rigor and helps prepare students for successful transitions to the next
level of schooling from kindergarten to high school and beyond;
14. Assists teachers with infusing affective skills and career development, e.g., problem solving,
goal setting and decisions making;
15. Able to design needs assessment, analyze results, and use data to set priorities.
STANDARD 3: Human Growth and Development
Certified school counselors apply comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of human growth
and development to improve student learning and well being and to enhance resiliency;
provide guidance to parents and teachers about developmentally appropriate practices
that support students throughout their schooling experience.
16. Demonstrates comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of human growth and development to
improve student learning and well-being;
17. Provides guidance to parents and caregivers about developmentally appropriate practices that
support students to motivate and nurture growth in academic, career, and personal/social
18. Consults with staff and families about developmental needs of students and increases
resiliency of students through development of skills in academic, career, and personal/social
domains and enhances personal connections to school, family and community;
19. Applies knowledge of learning theory, including styles, modalities, and multiple
STANDARD 4: Counseling Theories and Techniques
Certified school counselors demonstrate an understanding of established and emerging
counseling theories through effective use of individual and group techniques for working
with a diverse population.
20. Counsels individual students and small groups of students using appropriate theories and
techniques with respect to each diverse learner;
21. Uses counseling strategies to help students so they can be emotionally and socially prepared
to maximize their instructional time;
22. Applies career development theory in educational planning;
23. Articulates a personal and professional belief statement and counseling philosophy;
24. Demonstrates a knowledge of mental health disorders, including substance abuse, and knows
how and when to make referrals;
25. Uses counseling strategies that maximizes students’ success and instructional time.
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STANDARD 5: Equity, Fairness, and Diversity
Certified school counselors value and show respect for all members of the community;
demonstrate fairness, equity, and sensitivity to every student, and they advocate for
equitable access to instructional programs and activities; use data for designing and
implementing plans that remove barriers to learning; and help to close achievement
gaps among sub-groups of students.
26. Models, demonstrates, and advocates for fairness, equity, sensitivity, and respect for
students, staff, parents/caregivers, and community members;
27. Advocates for equitable access to instructional programs and activities through the design
and implementation of plans that remove barriers to learning;
28. Disaggregates data to identify areas where students may be negatively impacted by school
practices and policies and proposes solutions;
29. Demonstrates an awareness of school climate and how it impacts student learning, especially
for families and students who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized;
30. Demonstrates knowledge and awareness of special education and IEP goals and objectives.
STANDARD 6: School Climate
Certified school counselors work to establish and foster a safe, inclusive, and nurturing
learning environment for students, staff, and families and use strategies designed to
prevent or resolve problems that could limit or diminish the capacity of students to learn
and achieve at their highest levels.
31. Advocates for a safe, inclusive, nurturing, and intellectually stimulating learning
32. Demonstrates knowledge of current law and best practices in the prevention of
bullying/harassment, violence, and substance abuse as barriers to student learning;
33. Can articulate the school counselor’s role as an active participant in the school improvement
planning process to ensure a school climate that supports equitable learning for all students;
34. Understands the site’s comprehensive safe schools plan and the role of staff, students,
families, and community in this process, including peer helper and student leadership
35. Facilitates new student integration into the school environment;
36. Demonstrates knowledge of the strategies and methodologies designed to prevent or resolve
problems that could limit or diminish the capacity of students to learn and achieve at their
highest goals;
37. Collects and analyzes data regarding physical, social, psychological, and intellectual safety of
the school environment;
38. Models caring, acceptance, communication, and human relations skills to students, staff,
parents, and community;
39. Demonstrates knowledge of ways to identify child physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and
child neglect. Knows mandated child abuse reporting laws. Understands the impact of abuse
on student learning and behavior. Has knowledge of child abuse prevention programs. Can
provide teachers with information the effects of abuse on the classroom environment and best
practices for teaching children who have been the victims of child abuse.
STANDARD 7: Collaboration with School Staff, Family, and Community
Certified school counselors work collaboratively with school staff, families, and
community members to achieve common goals for the education of students,
improvement of schools, and advancement of the larger community; know appropriate
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behavior management strategies and can team with staff and families to improve
student achievement; and use their knowledge of community resources to make
appropriate referrals based on the needs of students.
40. Recognizes and fosters the value of community involvement in the schools and the design of
effective methods for formal and informal written and oral communication;
41. Demonstrates knowledge of effective methods for consultation;
42. Accesses appropriate social service providers;
43. Develops appropriate strategies to promote effective, positive support plans for students;
44. Reduces barriers to student learning through direct referred services and/or in-district
45. Provides support for students in crisis situations with a calm, effectual, and ethical manner
consistent with school policies and procedures;
46. Works with teachers and administrators to promote and support behavior management
47. Regularly attends counseling staff meetings and other counseling related meetings;
48. Demonstrates knowledge of commonly used medications for school-aged children;
49. Adheres to laws and regulations governing limits of information sharing.
STANDARD 8: Information Resources and Technology
Certified school counselors select and use informational resources and technology to
facilitate delivery of a comprehensive school counseling program that meets student
needs; and skillfully uses technology to enhance communication.
50. Demonstrates proficiency in word processing, presentation software, database use, and
utilization of search and navigation skills related to school counseling;
51. Selects and utilizes technology to facilitate delivery of a comprehensive school counseling
program that meets student needs;
52. Utilizes technology to strengthen communication with staff, families, and community.
STANDARD 9: Student Assessment and Program Evaluation
Certified school counselors understand the basic principles and purposes of
assessment; collection and use of data; regularly monitor student progress and are able
to communicate the purposes, design, and results of assessments to various
audiences; know basic principles of research design, action research, and program
evaluation for purposes of program improvement and accountability.
53. Assesses, interprets, and communicates results to students, faculty, and parents and
community with respect to aptitude, achievement, interests, and learning styles;
54. Utilizes assessment tools, individual planning skills, and counseling to facilitate informed
choices (aptitude, interest, academics, and careers);
55. Collaborates with staff concerning assessment of students with special needs;
56. Interprets results of Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) and/or other
informal/formal assessments to a variety of audiences;
57. Uses data to identify and support students at risk of school failure;
58. Articulates the basic principles and purposes of program evaluation;
59. Identifies a “closing the gap” activity, articulates a tentative hypothesis, and proposed a
research-based intervention.
STANDARD 10: Leadership and Advocacy
Certified counselors support practices and policies that promote academic rigor—skills
for learning, living, and working; provide leadership that enhances student academic,
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career, and personal/social development and advocate for guidance as an integral part
of a school's educational system; model practices that help students, parents, teachers,
and policy makers understand how curriculum, instruction and assessment can help
students see the relationship between effort, performance, and success beyond high
school. Certified school counselors help promote understanding of graduation
requirements, WASL scores, and development of the high school and beyond plan.
60. Contributes to the school improvement planning process;
61. Facilitates understanding the link between curriculum, instruction, and assessment to student
effort, performance, and success beyond high school;
62. Works with colleagues to provide an effective learning climate within classrooms and the
63. Promotes active student and parent/guardian engagement in educational planning;
64. Practices effective listening, conflict resolution, and group facilitation skills as a team
65. Conducts meaningful trainings, in-services, or presentations based on assessed needs;
66. Promotes best practices in, and advocates for, professional school counseling;
67. Advocates for balanced interventions that support needs of the whole child.
STANDARD 11: Professionalism, Ethics, and Legal Mandates
Certified school counselors develop a professional identity congruent with knowledge of
all aspects of professional functions, professional development, and state and national
school counselor organizations. They adhere strictly to the profession’s codes of ethics,
especially those that have been established by the American Counseling Association
(ACA), the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the National Board for
Certified Counselors (NBCC), and other relevant codes of ethics. They are familiar with
state and federal policies, laws, and legislation relevant to school counseling.
68. Writes and speaks effectively in formal and informal communications;
69. Demonstrates professional and responsible work habits;
70. Follows the current ASCA Guidelines For Practice and ACA Code of Ethics;
71. Demonstrates knowledge of local, state and federal policies, and laws relevant to school
counseling including FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA
(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act);
72. Maintains current knowledge and skills through on-going reading, professional development,
and participation in professional organizations;
73. Provides for a safe, confidential setting in which students can present their needs and
74. Promotes appropriate use of assessment tools and presentation of relevant, unbiased data.
STANDARD 12: Reflective Practice
Certified school counselors integrate knowledge, skills, and life experiences to respond
effectively to new or unexpected critical events and situations; serve as change agents
by using their understanding of schools as social, cultural and political systems within a
larger organizational context; monitor practice with continuous, in-depth reflection; and
make adjustments as needed.
75. Reflects on and provides thoughtful rationales for his/her school counseling decisions;
76. Actively solicits and uses feedback for continuous improvement on his/her school counseling
77. Evaluates critical events and responds effectively and efficiently;
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78. Demonstrates knowledge of systems and organizational change theory to promote engaging
learning environments;
79. Develops a Draft Professional Growth Plan.
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The following are the school counseling standards for the Council for Accreditation of
Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). These are the 2009 stadnards.
CACREP Standards
Students who are preparing to work as school counselors will demonstrate the professional
knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to promote the academic, career, and personal/social
development of all K–12 students. In addition to the common core curricular experiences
outlined in Section II.F, programs must provide evidence that student learning has occurred in
the following domains.
A. Knowledge
1. Knows history, philosophy, and trends in school counseling and educational systems.
2. Understands ethical and legal considerations specifically related to the practice of school
3. Knows roles, functions, settings, and professional identity of the school counselor in
relation to the roles of other professional and support personnel in the school.
4. Knows professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials that are relevant
to the practice of school counseling.
5. Understands current models of school counseling programs (e.g., American School
Counselor Association [ASCA] National Model) and their integral relationship to the
total educational program.
6. Understands the effects of (a) atypical growth and development, (b) health and wellness,
(c) language, (d) ability level, (e) multicultural issues, and (f) factors of resiliency on
student learning and development.
7. Understands the operation of the school emergency management plan and the roles and
responsibilities of the school counselor during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing
B. Skills and Practices
1. Demonstrates the ability to apply and adhere to ethical and legal standards in school
2. Demonstrates the ability to articulate, model, and advocate for an appropriate school
counselor identity and program.
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C. Knowledge
1. Knows the theories and processes of effective counseling and wellness programs for
individual students and groups of students.
2. Knows how to design, implement, manage, and evaluate programs to enhance the
academic, career, and personal/social development of students.
3. Knows strategies for helping students identify strengths and cope with environmental and
developmental problems.
4. Knows how to design, implement, manage, and evaluate transition programs, including
school-to-work, postsecondary planning, and college admissions counseling.
5. Understands group dynamics—including counseling, psycho-educational, task, and peer
helping groups—and the facilitation of teams to enable students to overcome barriers and
impediments to learning.
6. Understands the potential impact of crises, emergencies, and disasters on students,
educators, and schools, and knows the skills needed for crisis intervention.
D. Skills and Practices
1. Demonstrates self-awareness, sensitivity to others, and the skills needed to relate to
diverse individuals, groups, and classrooms.
2. Provides individual and group counseling and classroom guidance to promote the
academic, career, and personal/social development of students.
3. Designs and implements prevention and intervention plans related to the effects of (a)
atypical growth and development, (b) health and wellness, (c) language, (d) ability level,
(e) multicultural issues, and (f) factors of resiliency on student learning and development.
4. Demonstrates the ability to use procedures for assessing and managing suicide risk.
5. Demonstrates the ability to recognize his or her limitations as a school counselor and to
seek supervision or refer clients when appropriate.
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E. Knowledge
1. Understands the cultural, ethical, economic, legal, and political issues surrounding
diversity, equity, and excellence in terms of student learning.
2. Identifies community, environmental, and institutional opportunities that enhance—as
well as barriers that impede—the academic, career, and personal/social development of
3. Understands the ways in which educational policies, programs, and practices can be
developed, adapted, and modified to be culturally congruent with the needs of students
and their families.
4. Understands multicultural counseling issues, as well as the impact of ability levels,
stereotyping, family, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual identity, and their effects
on student achievement.
F. Skills and Practices
1. Demonstrates multicultural competencies in relation to diversity, equity, and opportunity
in student learning and development.
2. Advocates for the learning and academic experiences necessary to promote the academic,
career, and personal/social development of students.
3. Advocates for school policies, programs, and services that enhance a positive school
climate and are equitable and responsive to multicultural student populations.
4. Engages parents, guardians, and families to promote the academic, career, and
personal/social development of students.
G. Knowledge
1. Understands the influence of multiple factors (e.g., abuse, violence, eating disorders,
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, childhood depression) that may affect the
personal, social, and academic functioning of students.
2. Knows the signs and symptoms of substance abuse in children and adolescents, as well as
the signs and symptoms of living in a home where substance abuse occurs.
3. Identifies various forms of needs assessments for academic, career, and personal/social
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H. Skills and Practices
1. Assesses and interprets students’ strengths and needs, recognizing uniqueness in cultures,
languages, values, backgrounds, and abilities.
2. Selects appropriate assessment strategies that can be used to evaluate a student’s
academic, career, and personal/social development.
3. Analyzes assessment information in a manner that produces valid inferences when
evaluating the needs of individual students and assessing the effectiveness of educational
4. Makes appropriate referrals to school and/or community resources.
5. Assesses barriers that impede students’ academic, career, and personal/social
I. Knowledge
1. Understands how to critically evaluate research relevant to the practice of school
2. Knows models of program evaluation for school counseling programs.
3. Knows basic strategies for evaluating counseling outcomes in school counseling (e.g.,
behavioral observation, program evaluation).
4. Knows current methods of using data to inform decision making and accountability (e.g.,
school improvement plan, school report card).
5. Understands the outcome research data and best practices identified in the school
counseling research literature.
J. Skills and Practices
1. Applies relevant research findings to inform the practice of school counseling.
2. Develops measurable outcomes for school counseling programs, activities, interventions,
and experiences.
3. Analyzes and uses data to enhance school counseling programs.
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K. Knowledge
1. Understands the relationship of the school counseling program to the academic mission
of the school.
2. Understands the concepts, principles, strategies, programs, and practices designed to
close the achievement gap, promote student academic success, and prevent students from
dropping out of school.
3. Understands curriculum design, lesson plan development, classroom management
strategies, and differentiated instructional strategies for teaching counseling- and
guidance-related material.
L. Skills and Practices
1. Conducts programs designed to enhance student academic development.
2. Implements strategies and activities to prepare students for a full range of postsecondary
options and opportunities.
3. Implements differentiated instructional strategies that draw on subject matter and
pedagogical content knowledge and skills to promote student achievement.
M. Knowledge
1. Understands the ways in which student development, well-being, and learning are
enhanced by family-school-community collaboration.
2. Knows strategies to promote, develop, and enhance effective teamwork within the school
and the larger community.
3. Knows how to build effective working teams of school staff, parents, and community
members to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of students.
4. Understands systems theories, models, and processes of consultation in school system
5. Knows strategies and methods for working with parents, guardians, families, and
communities to empower them to act on behalf of their children.
6. Understands the various peer programming interventions (e.g., peer meditation, peer
mentoring, peer tutoring) and how to coordinate them.
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7. Knows school and community collaboration models for crisis/disaster preparedness and
N. Skills and Practices
1. Works with parents, guardians, and families to act on behalf of their children to address
problems that affect student success in school.
2. Locates resources in the community that can be used in the school to improve student
achievement and success.
3. Consults with teachers, staff, and community-based organizations to promote student
academic, career, and personal/social development.
4. Uses peer helping strategies in the school counseling program.
5. Uses referral procedures with helping agents in the community (e.g., mental health
centers, businesses, service groups) to secure assistance for students and their families.
O. Knowledge
1. Knows the qualities, principles, skills, and styles of effective leadership.
2. Knows strategies of leadership designed to enhance the learning environment of schools.
3. Knows how to design, implement, manage, and evaluate a comprehensive school
counseling program.
4. Understands the important role of the school counselor as a system change agent.
5. Understands the school counselor’s role in student assistance programs, school
leadership, curriculum, and advisory meetings.
P. Skills and Practices
1. Participates in the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of a
comprehensive developmental school counseling program.
2. Plans and presents school-counseling-related educational programs for use with parents
and teachers (e.g., parent education programs, materials used in classroom guidance and
advisor/advisee programs for teachers).
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Conceptual Framework Standards
Conceptual Framework and Assessment
The conceptual framework for school counseling and school psychology outlines specific
competencies based on our national accreditation bodies. CWU school counseling candidates
value and have demonstrable skills in nine identified content areas. These are derived from the
National Model and the content domains recommended by the Council for Accreditation of
Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP):
Contextual Dimensions: Candidates must possess the knowledge of strategies and the
skills that promote, develop, and enhance effective teamwork within the school and the
larger community.
Knowledge and Skills for the Practice of School Counseling:
o Guidance Curriculum – Candidates can present instruction through K-12
classroom and group activities.
o Individual Student Planning – Candidates can coordinate ongoing systemic
activities designed to assist students individually in establishing personal goals
and developing future plans.
o Responsive and Preventive Services – Candidates run activities that meet
individual students’ immediate needs through counseling, consultation, referral,
peer helping or information. They will also create preventive services to potential
problems at their campuses (Brown, 2006)
Research and Evaluation: We expect CWU school counselor candidates will not only
become knowledgeable about the design and delivery of comprehensive, developmental
school counseling programs, but they will also develop the research and evaluation skills
necessary to design and implement outcome evaluation studies.
Human Growth and Development: School counselors will be able to create ageappropriate interventions for children, adolescents, and adults according to their physical,
emotional, and intellectual needs.
Social and Cultural Foundations: School counselors are aware of diversity issues in all
groups and successfully identify the ways in which cultural factors change group
dynamics. The school counselor has the skills and knowledge to adapt an intervention to
meet the needs of diverse students.
Counseling Relationships: Successful candidates will demonstrate successful
interventions for individuals, groups, and families.
Lifespan Career Development: Successful candidates will demonstrate appropriate ways
to identify student interests, abilities, and motivation for career development.
Appraisal: Candidates will demonstrate the appropriate interview, testing, diagnosis, and
treatment plan skills.
Professional Orientation: Candidates can articulate the role of school counselors in
Washington State and are advocates for our profession.