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Ideal School wide Guidance and Counseling Program

Today’s generation have radically changed from the many generations past that children in school settings face myriad complexities. If there are many services that a school may offer, the guidance and counseling center and its function must go beyond service (Campbell & Dahir, 1997; Lapan, 2001). The ideal one should be a kind of program that is integrated and incorporated into the life system of the whole school. Such is an important difference and significantly will be transformational from the start to finish.

Knowing of course, that other factors come into play with such programs, nevertheless, there are optimal expectations for positive and long-term results. This paper seeks to outline and describe an ideal school wide guidance and counseling program that may address any school’s needs or the community’s needs where that school is located. It attempts to elaborate on what were time-tested strategies and more recent or contemporary approaches to a becoming more and deeply complicated school system. It therefore makes the following assumptions:

  1. That the presentation of an ideal school wide guidance and counseling program will be culturally sensitive;
  2. It pursues a very enthusiastic vision of the present and future results or impact of its capabilities and contributions;
  3. It seeks to answer the academic, emotional and moral demands of a pluralistic society;
  4. It will establish a holistic empowering of individual students in their developmental or physical and psychological problems, whenever possible (Lee, 2001). This is a tall order, but sufficient to meet the values expected to inculcate to appropriate clients by the key people in a particular organization.

Discussion Part I. Description of the program The attempt to create an idealized guidance and counseling program is not a whimsical choice of what should be incorporated and what are not. Rather it uses evidence-based tools and results of findings from groundbreaking researches and observations across the country for the decades that had gone by. The primary aim of a school with the right program is to produce children who are excellent in the years that they spent in the school and the effects and impact even beyond the corridors of this school (Lee, 2001).

Because the school has a total educational program, this developmentally oriented and comprehensive program in guidance and counseling is a selling point of the school wide campaign. The delivery of the component areas of the program depends on coordinated and team effort in planning of the counsellors and the management team and staff of the school. It is in the interest of the school and the counsellors that any impediment of the student’s learning be reduced or eliminated. Sequential activities that are contributed by members of the academic community make for the developmental slant or orientation (Education Trust, 1996).

The program utilizes all its resources and organized into a systematic and systemic approach based on the four mechanisms which are the basis of evaluation. These four mechanisms are subdivided into the components that follow. Mechanism One: A. Curriculum for Guidance and counseling ~Description Provision of guidance materials to every student (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).

Areas specifically attended to:

1. Developing responsible behavior

2. Establishment and development of Proper self-confidence 3. Building communication skills

4. Sensitivity and effectiveness to diversity

5. Achieving and the motivation to do it

6. Social skills or effective working with interpersonal relationships

7. Problem-solving, decision-making, goal-setting and planning skills. (Fall & VanZandt, 1997).

~Responsibilities handled by Counselor = Professional Standards are upheld and/or sustained = Implementation and facilitation of the program = Guidance = Consultation (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).

Mechanism Two: B. Specific Services that respond to specific areas of needs ~Description Addresses the urgent areas of needs of students

~Areas specifically attended to:

1. Prevention of suicide

2. having to cope with stress

3. Academic problems or issues

4. School adjustment and other related concerns

– Bullying – Tardiness, absences and truancy

– Misbehaviour

– School-avoidance

– Prevention of the occurrence of drop-out

5. Concerns over relationships

6. Physical/Emotional/Sexual abuse as provided by the State

7. Issues of harassment in all forms 8. Issues in the family 9. Substance abuse

10. Grief and loss Source: Gysbers & Henderson, 2001 ~Responsibilities handled by Counselor = Adherence to professional standards = Referral = Counseling = Coordination = Consultation

Source: Gysbers & Henderson, 2001 Mechanism Three: C. Student’s Individual Goal Setting and Planning

~Description

Provides assistance and support to individual students in keeping track of their developmental challenges and growth or progress in those areas (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).

~Areas specifically attended to:

1. Personal and Social Needs/areas – developing healthy and normal self-concepts – developing of socially adjustive and adaptive behavior

2. Educational areas – acquiring academic or student skills – Utilization of test scores – Lifelong learning – Awareness of opportunities in the educational arena – Choosing the appropriate course

3. Career/if necessary – Knowledge of work skills or positive habits in the workplace

– Acquisition of knowledge of potential career opportunities – Knowledge of vocational training ~Responsibilities handled by Counselor = Adherence to professional standards = Assessment = Guidance = Consultation Mechanism Four: D. System-wide Support Mechanism

~Description Identifies the activities and services for the enhancement of professional abilities and skills to the staff (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).

~Areas specifically attended to

1. Public relations

2. Opportunities for research and publishing

3. Development of the guidance program

4. Improvement of School planning

5. Outreach in the community

6. Consultation among teacher and administrator

7. Education of the Parent

8. Development of educator staff

~Responsibilities handled by Counselor = Adherence to professional standards = Consultation = Program Management Implementation schedule and other components I. The School A. Vision B.

Rationale of the thrust/Core Values

– It is planned and based on priorities

– It works on a preventive stand and prepared for crisis counseling

– Believes that group guidance is also an effective approach

– Programs are year round and consistent to all its target clients/students.

– Centers on the Program rather than on service

– Employs a developmentally oriented curriculum

– Orientation towards the students’ goal attainment

– Thorough and timely evaluation with changes applied based from the results of the evaluation tools

– Working team includes the Counsellors and the members of the school force/staff (Source: Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).

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II. School Counseling Program A. School counsellor to student ratio The average U. S. Counselor to students’ ratio is 1:313 although many schools have triple the population versus Counselor. The ideal would be achieving the average or if possible reach the 1:250 mark (Lee, 2001).

The caseloads will not be as burdensome for the counsellors and they will be able to address effectively the abovementioned areas of needs as stipulated in the four mechanisms (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001).

Part II. Implementation scheme Guidance could be implemented effectively when part of the curriculum where students are required to take it as any other subject according to different developmental needs using age-appropriate learning technique or approach (Lee, 2001). It can also be integrated as part of the different instructional disciplines depending on the school’s discretion.

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