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COUNS 717: Foundations of School Counseling




The course will begin with a review of the historical, philosophical, legal, and ethical underpinnings of the school counseling profession.  The current and emerging role of the school counselor will be covered with particular attention to areas of recent emphasis in the field of school counseling, including the balance between remedial and developmental activities, academic, career, social/personal development, and consultation and liaison services within and outside of the school setting. Students will also be introduced to various school counseling functions, such as student advocacy, academic planning, individual and group counseling, and developmental programming. Students will have an opportunity to apply their learning through several application papers and a presentation.

COCO 725
Students are required to join th American School Counseling Association as a student member []

1.    Students will gain knowledge of the history, philosophy, and current trends in school counseling and educational systems.
2.    Students will have knowledge of the ethical principles that guide the practice of school counselors as well as the dispositions that support the guidelines.
3.    Students will demonstrate an awareness of the roles, functions, and professional identity of the school counselor in relation to the roles of other professionals in the school setting.
4.    Students will be able to identify and describe the implications of cultural diversity (i.e., learning disability, racial/cultural, sexual orientation) for school counselors.
5.    Students will be able to design and implement small group or group guidance plans. 
6.    Student will increase her/his understanding of partnerships with parents, guardians, families and communities in order to promote each student’s academic, career and personal/social success.

Weekly sessions will center on lectures and there will be group discussions related to reading material and course assignments. 

Cobia, D.C. & Henderson, D.A. (2007). Developing an effective and accountable school counseling program (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:  Merrill Prentice Hall.

House, R. M., & Hayes, R. L. (2002). School counselors: Becoming key players in school reform. Professional School Counseling, 5, 249-256.

Stone, C.B. & Dahir, C.A. (2007). School counselor accountability: A measure of student success (2nd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Ethics for the American School Counselor Association:

Ethics for the American Counseling Association:

Gysbers, N. & Henderson, P. (2000). Developing and Managing Your School Guidance program, 3rd Ed. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Dykeman, C. (1998). Maximizing School Guidance Program Effectiveness: A guide for school administrators and program directors. Greensboro, NC: ERIC/CASS Publications.

Campbell, C. & Dahir, C. (1997). Sharing the Vision: The National School Counseling Standards. Alexandria, VA: American School Counseling Association Press.

Dahir, C., Sheldon, C. & Valiga, M. (1998).Vision into Action: Implementing the National Standards. Alexandria, VA: American School Counseling Association Press.



1.    Attendance and Class Participation
This is an applied course for which attendance and participation are mandatory.  Students who miss more than two classes may have their grade lowered by one-half a grade and may be asked to repeat the course.  If you are ill or have an emergency, please notify the Professor before class, when possible.  Repeated tardiness will also impact your grade.  

2. School Counselor Interview and Written Paper
Students are required to interview one school counselor about his or her job and daily responsibilities. The following questions should be included in your interview, but you may also ask questions of your own choosing.  
-    What is the school counselor’s role?
-    What is a typical day for him or her?
-    How does s/he make decisions about allocating time with many demands?
-    How does the counselor feel about his or her job?

In the counselor’s current school setting, which of the following activities are most and least frequently used? Why?
-    Large group guidance  -Small group guidance  -Individual counseling
-    Group counseling  - Assessment of students  -Strategies for career development

In the counselor’s current school setting, which of the following problems are of greatest concern?
-    Academic failure  - Family Dysfunction  - Unwanted pregnancies
-    Child abuse  - Anger management  - Peer relationship  - Racial and ethnic tension  - Drugs and alcohol – Gang Violence  - Other

In what ways does the counselor promote the school counseling program to faculty, administration, and community?
-    How is the program funded?
-    Has the counselor sought external funding for guidance or counseling project? If so, what and how?
-    What kinds of records about the program does the counselor keep?

Written Assignment: Students are required to write a 5- 7 page paper (double-spaced, using APA format) describing the key points of the school counselor’s role, key issues at the school, ways of addressing problems. Students should also discuss how the interview impacted their conceptualization of what it means to be a school counselor. You should be prepared to share important aspects of your interview with the class.

3. Paper - Professional Review of Research
Students are required to select a topic from their interview or from other school-based experiences they have had and write a 10-page research paper that includes the following:
a.    Description of the magnitude of the problem: use national or state data to show need for intervention
b.    Behavioral characteristics of the problem (full description of problem)
c.    Possible interventions or strategies to address the problem
d.    Conclusions and Recommendations
e.    References should include a minimum of five (5) research articles drawn form the ASCA member area, three (5) programs/agencies, and three (3) internet sites.

*Students should prepare a bibliography and copies for the class.

Examples of appropriate topics include but are not limited to child/adolescent suicide, school violence, meeting the needs of at-risk youth, homelessness, eating disorders, and many other topics that you may identify. Examples of appropriate interventions for addressing the problem might include in-class guidance or developmental programming, consultation, advocacy, group or individual counseling. Be prepared to discuss your paper topic on  [    ].

Your paper should include an introduction that outlines the general background for your topic, the purposes/goals concerning the paper or why this topic needs to be explored, and a review of current and historical literature on your topic. Information gathered through the literature should be synthesized into a comprehensive and meaningful discussion section that presents your thoughts and understanding regarding the topic. This may include addressing any gaps in the research. Finally, write a clear and concise conclusion to your paper. Revisit any striking content, but primarily draw your entire paper together. You should use headings as appropriate in your paper, and these headings should follow the guidelines presented in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (5th ed.).    

4.  Mid-Term Examination
Multiple choice and short answer.

5. Classroom Guidance Lesson & Presentation
Students are required to write a large group guidance curriculum utilizing the classroom guidance template that will be provided.  The classroom guidance lesson should address the problem written about in the research paper. For example, if you wrote about sexual risk-taking behavior and STDs, how would you create a developmentally appropriate guidance lesson to address this problem? To develop this lesson, students should utilize information from the school interview and research paper. Students should also download data about the school from the Department of Education database on NYC public schools.  

Presentation:  Students are required to present (10 minutes) their classroom guidance lesson to the class.  Before presenting the actual curriculum, students should provide participants with a brief description of the school (e.g., student body, age group, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc) for which they have prepared this lesson.  Students should be prepared to discuss how they will measure the results/effectiveness of this lesson plan. If your research indicates that another modality has greater efficacy or  may best serve a particular population , then that modality may be used for this assignment.

Paper:  Students are required to hand in their guidance lessons following and a short (limit 5 pages) paper describing how this lesson is appropriate for the given school, student population (e.g., 9th grade), racial/ethnic make-up, socio-economic status, etc. This assignment should be completed the day of you are scheduled to present.

Grading Evaluation
Interview  25%
Paper  25%
Midterm Exam
Middle Tape  25%
----------------------------- ----




100-97.5% = A+
92.5– 97.4% = A
90 – 92.4% = A-
87.5 – 89.9%
82.5 – 87.4% = B
80.0 – 82.4%
77.5 – 79.9%
70.0 – 77.4% = C
0 – 69.9% = F


Week 1 Introduction and Course Overview; Historical and Current Issues; Transformations of the Roles of School Counselors
K1 (a-h)
Week 2 The Profession of School Counseling / American School Counseling Association National Model- Framework; Professional Membership
K1 (a-h)
Week 3 Comprehensive School Counseling Programs- Planning Implementation& Evaluation / Accountability A1-10, C1 (a-g)
Week 4 School Counselor as Program Coordinator / Closing Achievement Gap/ National Standards A1-10
Week 5 School Counselor as an Educational Leader/ Counseling and Consultation K5 (a-b), C3 (a, d)
Week 6 The Guidance Curriculum / Demonstrating Accountability C1 (a-g)
Week 7 Individual Planning/ Interventions – Ethical Standards K1h, K5 (a-b)
Week 8 Responsive Services / MEASURE – Creating Systemic Change B1-7
Week 9 Midterm K7 (a-i)
Week 10 System Support – Demystifying Data and Assessment A1-10, C2 (a-b)
Week 11 Elementary School Counselor Program/ Class Room Intervention Strategies K6e, A1-10
Week 12 Middle School Counseling Program / Group Work A1-10, C2h
Week 13 Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling in Secondary School / Crisis Intervention A1-10, B1-7
Week 14 Becoming a Systematic Change Agent- Advocacy
Week 15 Final Exam



Expectations for Written Proficiency
Students must demonstrate consistently satisfactory written English in coursework. The Hunter College Writing Center provides tutoring to students across the curriculum and at all academic levels. For more information, see In addition, the Teacher Placement Office in the School of Education offers a writing workshop during the semester and a series of free writing classes are offered to students who are in need of additional support in improving their writing skills. In both cases, stop by room I000 West for information and dates of workshops.

Integrity and Plagiarism
Hunter College has subscribed to the online company, allows faculty to compare student papers with extensive databases of billions of documents in order to detect and verify material that has been plagiarized.  In this course, is used to deter students from plagiarizing material.  Please be aware that student papers will be examined from time to time.  Students who plagiarize will be punished. “Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty.  The college is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.”

Statement of Reasonable Accomodation
In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical and/ or Learning) consult the Office of AccessABILITY located in Room E1124 to secure necessary academic accommodations.  For further information and assistance please call (212- 772- 4857)/TTY (212- 650- 3230).


K.1.a. history and philosophy of the counseling profession, including significant factors and events;

K.1.b. professional roles, functions, and relationships with other human service providers;

K.1.c. technological competence and computer literacy;

K.1.d. professional organizations, primarily ACA, its divisions, branches, and affiliates, including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current emphases;

K.1.e. professional credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues;

K.1.f. public and private policy processes, including the role of the professional counselor in advocating on behalf of the profession;

K.1.g. advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients; and

K.1.h. ethical standards of ACA and related entities, and applications of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling.

K.5.a. counselor and consultant characteristics and behaviors that influence helping processes including age, gender, and ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills;

K.5.b. an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills so that the student is able to develop a therapeutic relationship, establish appropriate counseling goals, design intervention strategies, evaluate client outcome, and successfully terminate the counselor-client relationship. Studies will also facilitate student self-awareness so that the counselor-client relationship is therapeutic and the counselor maintains appropriate professional boundaries;

K.6.e. approaches used for other types of group work, including task groups, psychoeducational groups, and therapy groups;

K.7.a. historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment;

K.7.b. basic concepts of standardized and nonstandardized testing and other assessment techniques including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, behavioral observations, and computer-managed and computer-assisted methods;

K.7.c. statistical concepts, including scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and correlations;

K.7.d. reliability (i.e., theory of measurement errbr, models of reliability, and the use of reliability information);

K.7.e. validity (i.e., evidence of validity, types of validity, and the relationship between reliability and validity);

K.7.f. age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, disability, culture, spirituality, and other factors related to the assessment and evaluation of individuals, groups, and specific populations;

K.7.g. strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counseling;

K.7.h. an understanding of general principles and methods of case conceptualization, assessment, and/or diagnoses of mental and emotional status; and

K.7.i. ethical and legal considerations.

A.1. history, philosophy, and current trends in school counseling and educational systems;

A.2. relationship of the school counseling program to the academic and student services program in the school;

A.3. role, function, and professional identity of the school counselor in relation to the roles of other professional and support personnel in the school;

A.4. strategies of leadership designed to enhance the learning environment of schools;

A.5. knowledge of the school setting, environment, and pre-K-12 curriculum;

A.6. current issues, policies, laws, and legislation relevant to school counseling;

A.7. the role of racial, ethnic, and cultural heritage, nationality, socioeconomic status, family structure, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, occupation, physical and mental status, and equity issues in school counseling;

A.8. knowledge and understanding of community, environmental, and institutional
opportunities that enhance, as well as barriers that impede student academic, career, and personal/social success and overall development;

A.9. knowledge and application of current and emerging technology in education and school counseling to assist students, families, and educators in using resources that promote informed academic, career, and personal/social choices; and

A.10. ethical and legal considerations related specifically to the practice of school
counseling (e.g., the ACA Code of Ethics and the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors).

B1 . advocacy for all students and for effective school counseling programs;

B2. coordination, collaboration, referral, and team-building efforts with teachers, parents, support personnel, and community resources to promote program objectives and facilitate successful student development and achievement of all students;

B3. integration of the school counseling program into the total school curriculum by systematically providing information and skills training to assist pre-K-12 students in maximizing their academic, career, and personal/social development;

B4. promotion of the use of counseling and guidance activities and programs by the total school community to enhance a positive school climate;

B5. methods of planning for and presenting school counseling-related educational programs to administrators, teachers, parents, and the community;

B6. methods of planning, developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating comprehensive developmental counseling programs; and

B7. knowledge of prevention and crisis intervention strategies.

C.1.a. use, management, analysis, and presentation of data from school- based information (e.g., standardized testing, grades, enrollment, attendance, retention, placement), surveys, interviews, focus groups, and needs assessments to improve student outcomes;

C.1.b. design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of comprehensive
developmental school counseling programs (e.g., the ASCA National Standards for School Counseling Programs) including an awareness of various systems that affect students, school, and home;

C.1.c. implementation and evaluation of specific strategies that meet program goals and objectives;

C.1.d. identification of student academic, career, and personal/social competencies and the implementation of processes and activities to assist students in achieving these competencies;

C.1.e. preparation of an action plan and school counseling calendar that reflect appropriate time commitments and priorities in a comprehensive developmental school counseling program;

C.1.f. strategies for seeking and securing alternative funding for program expansion; and

C.1.g. use of technology in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a comprehensive school counseling program.

C.2a. individual and small-group counseling approaches that promote school success, through academic, career, and personal/social development for all;

C.2b. individual, group, and classroom guidance approaches systematically designed to assist all students with academic, career and personal/social development;

C.2h. approaches to recognizing and assisting children and adolescents who may use alcohol or other drugs or who may reside in a home where substance abuse occurs.

C.3a. strategies to promote, develop, and enhance effective teamwork within the school and larger community;

C.3d. knowledge and skills in conducting programs that are designed to enhance students' academic, social, emotional, career, and other developmental needs.

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