Comprehensive Guidance Programs That Work II Norman Gysbers and Patricia Henderson A Model Comprehensive Guidance Program Chapter 1 Norman C. Gysbers The Comprehensive Guidance Program Model described in this chapter had its genesis in the early 1970s. In 1972, the staff of a federally funded project at the University of Missouri-Columbia conducted a national conference on guidance and developed a manual to be used by state guidance leaders as a guide to developing their own manuals for state and local school district use.
The manual was published in early 1974 and provided the original description of the Comprehensive Guidance Program Model. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the position orientation to guidance dominated professional training and practice in our schools. The focus was on a position (counselor) and a process (counseling), not on a program (guidance). Administratively, guidance, with its position orientation, was included in pupil personnel services along with other such services as attendance, social work, psychological, psychiatric, speech and hearing, nursing, and medical (Eckerson & Smith, 1966).
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The position orientation had its beginnings when guidance was first introduced in the schools as vocational guidance. As early as 1910, vocational counselors had been appointed in the elementary and secondary schools of Boston, and by 1915 a central office Department of Vocational Guidance had been established with a director, Susan J. Ginn. The vocational counselors in Boston were teachers who took on the work with no financial return and often no relief from other duties (Ginn, 1924). What were the duties of vocational counselors? The Duties of a Vocational Counselor: 1.
To be the representative of the Department of Vocational Guidance in the district; 2. To attend all meetings of counselors called by the director of Vocational Guidance; 3. To be responsible for all material sent out to the school by the Vocational Guidance Department; 4. To gather and keep on file occupational information; 5. To arrange with the local branch librarians about shelves of books bearing upon educational and vocational guidance; 6. To arrange for some lessons in occupations in connection with classes in Oral English and Vocational Civics, or wherever principal and counselor deem it wise; 7.
To recommend that teachers show the relationship of their work to occupational problems; 8. To interview pupils in grades 6 and above who are failing, attempt to find the reason, and suggest remedy. 9. To make use of the cumulative record card when advising children; 10. To consult records of intelligence tests when advising children; 11. To make a careful study with grade 7 and grade 8 of the bulletin “A Guide to the Choice of Secondary School”; 12. To urge children to remain in school; 13. To recommend conferences with parents of children who are failing or leaving school; 14.
To interview and check cards of all children leaving school, making clear to them the requirements for obtaining working certificates; 15. To be responsible for the filling in of Blank 249 and communicate with recommendations to the Department of Vocational Guidance when children are in need of employment. (Ginn, 1924, pp. 5-7) As more and more positions titled vocational counselor were filled in schools across the country, concern was expressed about the lack of centralization, the lack of a unified program.
In a review of the Boston system, Brewer (1922) stated that work was “commendable and promising” (p. 36). At the same time, however, he expressed concern about the lack of effective centralization: In most schools two or more teachers are allowed part-time for counseling individuals, but there seems to be no committee of cooperation between the several schools, and no attempt to supervise the work. It is well done or indifferently done, apparently according to the interest and enthusiasm of the individual principal or counselor. p. 35) Myers (1923) made the same point when he stated that “a centralized, unified program of vocational guidance for the entire school of a city is essential to the most effective work” (p. 139). The lack of a centralized and unified program of guidance in the schools to define and focus the work of vocational counselors presented a serious problem. If there was no agreed-upon, centralized structure to organize and direct the work of building-level vocational counselors, then “other duties as assigned” could become a problem.
As early as 1923 this problem was recognized by Myers (1923). Another tendency dangerous to the cause of vocational guidance is the tendency to load the vocational counselor with so many duties foreign to the office that little real counseling can be done. The principal, and often the counselor himself, has a very indefinite idea of the proper duties of this new office. The counselor’s time is more free from definite assignments with groups or classes of pupils than is that of the ordinary teacher.
If well chosen he has administrative ability. It is perfectly natural, therefore, for the principal to assign one administrative duty after another to the counselor until he becomes practically assistant principal, with little time for the real work of a counselor. (p. 141) During the 1920s and 1930s, as formal education was being shaped and reshaped as to its role in society, a broader mission for education emerged. Added to the educational mission was a vocational mission. How did education respond to these additional tasks and challenges?
One response was to add pupil personnel work to the education system. What was pupil personnel work? According to Myers (1935), “pupil personnel work is a sort of handmaiden of organized education. It is concerned primarily with bringing the pupils of the community into the educational environment of the schools in such condition and under circumstances as will enable them to obtain the maximum of the desired development” (p. 804). In his article, Myers (1935) contrasted pupil personnel work and personnel work in industry.
He then listed eight activities he would include in pupil personnel work and the personnel who would be involved, including attendance officers, visiting teachers, school nurses, school physicians, as well as vocational counselors. In his discussion of all the activities involved in pupil personnel work and the personnel involved, he stated that “Probably no activity in the entire list suffers so much from lack of a coordinated programs as does guidance, and especially the counseling part of it” (p. 807).
In the late 1920s, in response to the lack of an organized approach to guidance, the services model of guidance was initiated to guide the work of individuals designated as counselors. Various services were identified as necessary to provide to students, including the individual inventory service, information service, counseling service, placement service, and follow-up service (Smith, 1951). By this time too, the traditional way of describing guidance as having three aspects – vocational, educational, and personal-social – was well established.
Vocational guidance, instead of being guidance, had become only one part of guidance. By the 1940s and 1950s, guidance was firmly established as a part of pupil personnel services with its emphasis on the position of counselor. Beginning in the 1960s, but particularly in the 1970s, the concept of guidance for development emerged. During this period, the call came to re-orient guidance from what had become an ancillary set of services delivered by a person in a position (the counselor) to a comprehensive, developmental program.
The call for reorientation came from diverse sources, including a renewed interest in vocational-career guidance (and its theoretical base, career development), a renewed interest in developmental guidance, concern about the efficacy of the prevailing approach to guidance in the school, and concern about accountability and evaluation. The work of putting comprehensive guidance programs into place in the schools continued in the 1980s. Increasingly, sophisticated models began to be translated into practical, workable programs to be implemented in the schools.
As we near the close of the 1990s, comprehensive guidance programs are rapidly encompassing the position orientation to guidance. Comprehensive guidance programs are becoming the major way of organizing and managing guidance in the schools across the country. This chapter begins with a brief review of traditional organizational patterns for guidance. Next, the development of a Comprehensive Guidance Program Model that had its genesis in the early 1970s is presented. The content of the model is described, ollowed by a presentation of the structure of the program, the processes used in the program, and the time allocations of staff required to carry out the program. Finally, there is discussion of the program resources required for the model if it is to function effectively. Traditional Organizational Patterns By the 1960s, the evolution of guidance in the schools had reached a peak. The guidance provisions of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (Public Law 85-864) caused the number of secondary counselors in schools to increase substantially.
Later, due to an expansion of the guidance provisions of the act, elementary guidance was supported and as a result, the number of elementary counselors in schools increased rapidly. Counselors put their expertise to work in schools where three traditional organizational patterns for guidance were prevalent, often under the administrative structure called pupil personnel services or student services; the services model, the process model, or the duties model. In many schools, combinations of these three approaches were used. Services The ervices model had its origins in the 1920s and consists of organizing the activities of counselors around major services including assessment, information, counseling, placement and follow-up. Although the activities that are usually listed under each of these services are important and useful, it is a limited model for three reasons. First, it is primarily oriented to secondary schools. Second, it does not lend itself easily to the identification of student outcomes. And third, it does not specify how the time of counselors should be allocated. Processes The process model had its origins in the 1940s.
It emphasizes the clinical and therapeutic aspects of counseling, particularly the processes of counseling, consulting, and coordinating. This model is appealing because it is equally applicable to elementary and secondary counselors. However, the process model has some of the same limitations as the services model: It does not lend itself easily to the identification of student outcomes and it does not specify allocations of counselor time. Duties Often, instead of describing some organizational pattern such as the services model or the process model, counselor duties are simply listed (duties model).
Sometimes these lists contain as many as 20-30 duties and the last duty is often “and perform other duties as assigned from time to time. ” Although equally applicable to elementary school and secondary school counselors, student outcomes are difficult to identify and counselor time is almost impossible to allocate effectively. Position Oriented Rather Than Program Focused One result of these traditional organizational patterns has been to emphasize the position of the counselor, not the program of guidance. Over the years, as guidance evolved in the schools, it became position oriented rather than program focused.
As a result, guidance was an ancillary support service in the eyes of many people. This pattern placed counselors mainly in a remedial-reactive role – a role that is not seen as mainstream in education. What was worse, this pattern reinforced the practice of counselors performing many administrative-clerical duties because these duties could be defended as being “of service to somebody. ” Because of the lack of an adequate organization framework, guidance had become an undefined program. Guidance had become the add-on profession, while counselors were seen as the “you-might-as-well” group (“While you are oing this task, you might as well do this one too”). Because of the absence of a clear organizational framework for guidance, it was easy to assign counselors new duties. Counselors had flexible schedules. And, since time was not a consideration, why worry about removing current duties when new ones were added? Origin of the Comprehensive Guidance Program Model In October of 1969, the University of Missouri-Columbia conducted a national conference on career guidance, counseling and placement that led to regional conferences held across the country during the spring of 1970.
Then in 1971, the University of Missouri-Columbia was awarded a U. S. Office of Education grant under the direction of Norman C. Gysbers to assist each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in developing models or guides for implementing career guidance, counseling and placement programs in their local schools. Project staff in Missouri conducted a national conference in St. Louis in January of 1972 and developed a manual (Gysbers & Moore, 1974) to be used by the states as they developed their own guides.
The manual that was published in February of 1974 provided the first description of an organizational framework for the Comprehensive Guidance Program Model that was to be refined in later work (Gysbers, 1978; Gysbers & Henderson, 1994; Gysbers & Moore, 1981; Hargens & Gysbers, 1984). The original organizational framework for the Comprehensive Guidance Program Model contained three interrelated categories of functions, and on-call functions. The curriculum-based category brought together those guidance activities which took place primarily in the context of regularly scheduled courses of study in an educational setting.
These activities were a part of regular school subjects or were organized around special topics in the form of units, mini courses, or modules. They were based on need statements and translated into goals and objectives and activities necessary for the development of all students. Typical topics focused on self-understanding, interpersonal relationships, decision making, and information about the education, work, and leisure worlds. School counselors were involved directly with students through class instruction, group processes, or individual discussions.
In other instances, school counselors worked directly and cooperatively with teachers, providing resources and consultation. Individual facilitation functions included those systematic activities of the comprehensive guidance program designed to assist students in monitoring and understanding their development in regard to their personal, educational, and occupational goals, values, abilities, aptitudes, and interests. School counselors served in the capacity of “advisers,” “learner managers,” or “development specialists. Personalized contact and involvement were stressed instead of superficial contact with each student once a year to fill out a schedule. The functions in this category provided for the accountability needed in an educational setting to ensure that students’ uniqueness remained intact and that educational resources were used to facilitate their life career development. On-call functions focused on direct, immediate responses to students needs such as information seeking, crisis counseling, and teacher/parent/specialist consultation.
In addition, on-call functions were supportive of the curriculum-based and individual facilitation functions. Adjunct guidance staff (peers, paraprofessionals, and volunteers/support staff) aided school counselors in carrying out on-call functions. Peers were involved in tutorial programs, orientation activities, ombudsman centers, and (with special training) cross-age counseling and leadership in informal dialogue centers. Paraprofessionals and volunteers provided meaningful services in placement and followup activities, community liaison, career information centers, and club leadership activities.
The 1974 version of the model focused on the importance of counselor time usage by featuring “time distribution wheels” to show how counselors’ time could be distributed to carry out a developmental guidance program. A chart was provided to show how counselors’ time could be distributed across a typical school week using the three categories as organizers. REFINEMENTS TO THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE PROGRAM MODEL In 1978, Gysbers described refinements that had been made to the model since 1974. By 1978, the focus was on a total comprehensive, developmental guidance program.
It included the following elements: definition, rationale, assumptions, content model, and process model. The content model described the knowledge and skills that students would acquire with the help of activities in the guidance program. The process model grouped the guidance activities and processes used in the program into four interrelated categories: curriculum-based processes, individual-development processes, on-call responsive processes, and systems support processes. It is interesting to note the changes that had been made between 1974 and 1978 in the model.
The concepts of definition, rationale, and assumptions had been added. The model itself was now organized into two parts. The first part listed the content to be learned by students, while the second part organized into four categories the guidance activities and processes needed in a program. The category of individual facilitation was changed to individual development, the word responsive was added to on-call, and a new category – systems support – was added. Also in 1978, Gysbers described seven steps required to “remodel a guidance program while living in it”: 1. Decide you want to change. 2. Form work groups. . Assess current programs. 4. Select program model. 5. Compare current program with program model. 6. Establish transition timetable. 7. Evaluate. Between 1978 and 1981, further refinements were made in the model. These refinements appeared in Improving Guidance Programs by Gysbers and Moore (1981). By then, the basic structure of the model was established. The terms “content model” and “process model” had been dropped. Also, the steps for remodeling a guidance program, first delineated in 1978, formed the basis for the organization the chapters in Improving Guidance Programs and were described in detail.
Between 1981 and 1988, the model was being used by state departments of education and local school districts with increasing frequency. During these years, two school districts in particular became involved: St. Joseph School District, St. Joseph, Missouri and Northside Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas. Hargens and Gysbers (1984), writing in The School Counselor, presented a case study of how the model was implemented in the St. Joseph School District. The work in the Northside Independent School District became the basis for much of the most recent description of the model (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994).
As the 1980s progressed, a number of states and a number of additional school districts across the country began to adapt the model to fit their needs. In 1988, the first edition of Gysbers and Henderson’s book Developing and Managing Your School Guidance Program was published by the American Association for Counseling and Development, AACD (now the American Counseling Association, ACA). Using the framework of the model presented in 1981, Gysbers and Henderson expanded and extended the model substantially.
Building upon the experiences of a number of local school districts and states and with particular emphasis on the experiences of the Northside Independent School District, the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation phases of the model were elaborated upon in much more detail. Sample forms, procedures, and methods, particularly those from Northside, were used extensively to illustrate the model and its implementation. The second edition of the book Developing and Managing Your School Guidance Program by Gysbers and Henderson was published in 1994.
DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE PROGRAM MODEL Conceptual Foundation The perspective of human development that serves as the foundation for the model and as a basis for identifying the guidance knowledge, skills, and attitudes (competencies) that students need to master is called life career development. Life career development is defined as self-development over a person’s life span through the integration of the roles, setting, and events in a person’s life. The word life in the definition indicates that the focus of this conception of human development is on the total person – the human career.
The word career identifies and relates the many often varied roles that individuals assume (student, worker, consumer, citizen, parent); the settings in which individuals find themselves (home, school, community); and the events that occur over their lifetimes (entry job, marriage, divorce, retirement). The word development is used to indicate that individuals are always in the process of becoming. When used in sequence, the words life career development bring these separate meaning words together, but at the same time a greater meaning evolves.
Life career development describes total individuals – unique individuals, with their own lifestyles (Gysbers & Moore, 1974, 1975, 1981). The meaning of the word career in the phrase life career development differs substantially from the usual definition of the term. Career focuses on all aspects of life as interrelated parts of the whole person. The term career, when viewed from this broad perspective, is not a synonym for occupation. People have careers; the marketplace has occupations. Unfortunately, too many people use the word career when they hould use the word occupation. All people have careers – their lives are their careers. Finally, the words, life career development do not delineate and describe only one part of human growth and development. Although it is useful to focus at times on different areas (e. g. , physical, emotional, and intellectual), it is also necessary to integrate these areas. Life career development is an organizing and integrating concept for understanding and facilitating human development. Wolfe and Kolb (1980) summed up the life view of career development as follows:
Career development involves one’s whole life, not just occupation. As such, it concerns the whole person, needs and wants, capacities and potentials, excitements and anxieties, insights and blind spots, warts and all. More than that, it concerns his/her life. The environment pressures and constraints, the bonds that tie him/her to significant others, responsibilities to children and aging parents, the total structure of one’s circumstances are also factors that must be understood and reckoned with, in these terms, career development and personal development converge.
Self and circumstances – evolving, changing, unfolding in mutual interaction – constitute the focus and the drama of career development. (pp. 1-2) COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE PROGRAM MODEL ELEMENTS The model program (see Figure 1. 1) consists of three elements: content, organizational framework, and resources. CONTENT There are many examples today of content (student knowledge and skills) for guidance. The content is generally organized around areas or domains such as career, educational, and personal-social. Most often, the content is stated in a student competency format.
For purposes of this chapter, the three domains of human development that are featured in the life career development concept are presented here: self-knowledge and interpersonal skills; life roles, setting and events; and life career planning (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994; Gysbers & Moore, 1974, 1981). Student competencies are generated from these domains to provide example program content for the model. Self-knowledge and Interpersonal Skills In the self-knowledge and interpersonal skills domain of life career development, the focus is on helping students understand themselves and others.
The main concepts of this domain focus on students’ awareness and acceptance of themselves, their awareness and acceptance of others, and their development of interpersonal skills. Within this domain, students begin to develop an awareness of their interpersonal characteristics – interests, aspirations, and abilities. Students learn techniques for self-appraisal and the analysis of their personal characteristics in terms of a real-ideal self-continuum. They begin to formulate plans for self-improvement in such areas as physical and mental health.
Individuals become knowledgeable about the interactive relationship of self and environment in such a way that they develop personal standards and a sense of purpose in life. Students learn how to create and maintain relationships and develop skills that allow for beneficial interaction within those relationships. They can use self-knowledge in life career planning. They have positive interpersonal relations and are self-directed in that they accept responsibility for their own behavior. See Figure 1. 1 Below The model program consists of three elements: content, organizational framework, and resources.
Comprehensive Guidance Program Elements Content Organizational Framework, Activities, Time Resources COMPETENCIES • • • Student Competencies Grouped by domains STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS • Definition • Assumptions • Rational PROGRAM COMPONENTS SAMPLE PROCESSES Guidance Curriculum Structured Groups Classroom presentations Individual Planning Advisement Assessment Placement & Follow-up • Responsive Services Individual counseling Small group counseling Consultation Referral System Support Management activities Consultation Community outreach Public relations • • RESOURCES • Human • Financial • Political SUGGESTED DISTRIBUTION OF TOTAL COUNSELOR TIME Elementary School 35-45% 5-10% 30-40% 10-15% Middle/Junior School 25-35% 15-25% 30-40% 10-15% High School 15-25% 25-35% 25-35% 15-20% Guidance Curriculum Individual Planning Responsive Services System Support Life Roles, Settings, and Events The emphasis in this domain of life career development is on the interrelatedness of various life roles (learner, citizen, consumer), settings (home, school, work, and community), and events (job entry, marriage, retirement) in which students participate over the life span.
Emphasis is given to the knowledge and understanding of the sociological, psychological, and economic dimensions and structure of their worlds. As students explore the different aspects of their roles, they learn how stereotypes affect their own lives and others’ lives. The implications of futuristic concerns is examined and related to their current lives. Students learn the potential impact of change in modern society and the necessity of being able to project themselves into the future.
In this way, they begin to predict the future, foresee alternatives they may choose, and plan to meet the requirements of the life career alternatives they may choose. As a result of learning about the multiple options and dimensions of their worlds, students understand the reciprocal influences of life roles, settings, and events, and they can consider various lifestyle patterns. Life Career Planning The life career planning domain in life career development is designed to help students understand that decision making and planning are important tasks in everyday life and to recognize the need for life career planning.
Students learn about the many occupations and industries in the work world and of their groupings according to occupational requirements and characteristics, as well as learning about their own personal skills, interests, values, and aspirations. Emphasis is placed on students’ learning of various rights and responsibilities associated with their involvement in a life career. The central focus of this domain is on the mastery of decision-making skills as a part of life career planning. Students develop skills in this area by learning the elements of the decision-making process.
They develop skills in gathering information from relevant sources, both external and internal, and learn to use the collected information in making informed and reasoned decisions. A major aspect of this process involves the appraisal of personal values as they may relate to prospective plans and decisions. Students engage in planning activities and begin to understand that they can influence their future by applying such skill. They accept responsibility for making their own choices, for managing their own resources, and for directing the future course of their own lives.
ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK The model program (see Figure 1. 1) contains seven components organized around two major categories: structural components and program components (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994; Gysbers & Moore, 1981). The three structural components describe the student focus of the program and how the program connects to other educational programs (definition), offer reasons why the program is important and needed (rational), and provide the premises upon which the program rests (assumptions).
The four program components delineate the major activities and the roles and responsibilities of personnel involved in carrying out the guidance program. These four program elements are as follows: guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support. Structural Components Definition The program definition includes the mission statement of the guidance program and its centrality within the school district’s total educational program. It delineates the competencies that individuals will possess as a result of their involvement in the program, summarizes the components, and identifies the program’s clientele.
Rational The rationale discusses the importance of guidance as an equal partner in the educational system and provides reasons why students need to acquire the competencies that will accrue as a result of their involvement in a comprehensive guidance program. Included are conclusions drawn from student and community needs assessments and statements of the goals of the local school district. Assumptions Assumptions are the principles that shape and guide the program.
They include statements regarding the contributions that school counselors and guidance programs make to students’ development, the premises that undergird the comprehensiveness and the balanced nature of the program, and the relationships between the guidance program and the other educational programs. Program Components An examination of the needs of students, the variety of guidance methods, techniques, and resources available, and the increases expectations of policy-makers and consumers indicates that a new structure for guidance programs in the schools is needed.
The position orientation organized around the traditional services (information, assessment, counseling, placement, and follow-up) and three aspects (educational, personal-social, and vocational) of guidance is no longer adequate to carry the needed guidance activities in today’s schools. When cast as a position and organized around services, guidance is often seen as ancillary and only supportive to instruction, rather than equal and complementary. The “three aspects” view of guidance frequently has resulted in fragmented and eventoriented activities and, in some instances, the creation of separate kinds of counselors.
For example, educational guidance is stressed by academic-college counselors, personalsocial guidance becomes the territory of mental health counselors, and vocational guidance is the focus of vocational counselors. If the traditional structures for guidance in the schools are no longer adequate, what structure is needed? One way to answer this question is to ask and answer the following questions: Are all students in need of specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are the instructional province of guidance programs? Do all students need assistance with their personal, educational, and occupational plans?
Do some students require special assistance in dealing with developmental problems and immediate crises? Do educational programs in the school and the staff involved require support that can be best supplied by school counselors? An affirmative answer to these four questions implies a structure that is different from the traditional position model. A review of the variety of guidance methods, techniques, and resources available today and an understanding of the expectations of national and state policy-makers and consumers of guidance also suggests the needs for a different model.
The structure suggested by an affirmative answer to the four questions and by a review of the literature is a program model of guidance techniques, methods, and resources organized around four interactive program components: guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994; Gysbers & Moore, 1981). The curriculum component was chosen because a curriculum provides a vehicle to impart guidance content to all students in a systematic way.
Individual planning was included as a part of the model because of the increasing need for all students to systematically plan, monitor, and manager their development and to consider and take action on their next steps personally, educationally, and occupationally. The responsive services component was included because of the need to respond to the direct, immediate concerns of students, whether these concerns involve crisis counseling, referral, or consultation with parents, teachers, or other specialists.
Finally, the system support component was included because, if the other guidance processes are to be effective, a variety of support activities such as staff development, research, and curriculum development are required. Also, system support encompasses the need for the guidance program to provide appropriate support to other programs in including assuming “fair share” responsibilities in operating the school. These components, then, serve as organizers for the many guidance methods, techniques, and resources required in a comprehensive guidance program.
In addition, they also serve as a check on the comprehensiveness of the program. A program is not comprehensive unless counselors are providing activities to students, parents, and staff in all four program components. Guidance Curriculum This model of guidance is based on the assumption that guidance programs include content that all students should learn in a systematic, sequential way. In order for this to happen, counselors must be involved in teaching, team teaching, or serving as a resource for those who teach a guidance curriculum.
This is not a new idea; the notion of guidance curriculum has deep, historical roots. What is new however, is the array of guidance and counseling techniques, methods, and resources currently available that work best as part of a curriculum. Also new is the concept that a comprehensive guidance program has an organized and sequential curriculum. The guidance curriculum typically consists of student competencies (organized by domain) and structured activities presented systematically through such strategies as the following: • Classroom Activities
Counselors teach, team teach, or support the teaching of guidance curriculum learning activities or unites in classrooms. Teachers also may teach such units. The guidance curriculum is not limited to being part of only one or two subjects but should be included in as many subjects as possible throughout the total school curriculum. These activities may be conducted in the classroom, guidance center, or other school facilities. • Group Activities Counselors organize large-group sessions such as career days and educational/college/vocational days.
Other members of the guidance team, including teachers and administrators, may be involved in organizing and conducting such sessions. Although counselors’ responsibilities include organizing and implementing the guidance curriculum, the cooperation and support of the entire faculty are necessary for its successful implementation. Individual Planning Concern for individual student development in a complex society has been a cornerstone of the guidance movement since the days of Frank Parsons. In recent years the concern for individual student development has intensified as society has become more complex.
This concern is manifested in many ways, but perhaps is expressed most succinctly in a frequently stated guidance goal: “Helping all students become the persons they are capable of becoming. ” To accomplish the purposes of this component of the Model, activities and procedures are provided to assist students in understanding and periodically monitoring their development. Students come to terms with their goals, values, abilities, aptitudes, and interests (competencies) so they can continue to progress educationally and occupationally.
Counselors become “person-development-and-placement specialists. ” Individual planning consists of activities that help students to plan, monitor, and manage their own learning and their personal and career development. The focus is on assisting students, in close collaboration with parents, to develop, analyze, and evaluate their educational, occupational, and personal goals and plans. Individual planning is implemented through such strategies as: • Individual Appraisal Counselors assist students to assess and interpret their abilities, interests, skills, and achievement.
The use of test information and other data about students is an important part of helping them develop immediate and long-range goals and plans. • Individual Advisement Counselors assist students to use self-appraisal information along with personal-social, educational, career, and labor market information to help them plan and realize their personal, educational, and occupational goals. • Placement Counselors and other educational personnel assist students to make the transition from school to work or to additional education and training.
Responsive Services Problems relating to academic learning, personal identity issues, drugs, and peer and family relationships are increasingly a part of the educational scene. Crisis counseling, diagnostic and remediation activities, and consultation and referral must continue to be included as an ongoing part of a comprehensive guidance program. In addition, a continuing need exists for the guidance program to respond to the immediate information-seeking needs of students, parents, and teachers.
The responsive services component organizes guidance techniques and methods to respond to these concerns and needs as they occur; it is supportive of the guidance curriculum and individual planning components as well. Responsive services consist of activities to meet the immediate needs and concerns of students, teachers, and parents, whether these needs or concerns require counseling, consultation, referral, or information. Although counselors have special training and possess skills to respond to immediate needs and concerns, the cooperation and support of the entire faculty are necessary for this component’s successful implementation.
Responsive services are implemented through such strategies as: • Consultation Counselors consult with parents, teachers, other educators, and community agencies regarding strategies to help students deal with and resolve personal, educational, and career concerns. • Personal Counseling Counseling is provided on a small-group and individual basis for students who have problems or difficulties dealing with relationships, personal concerns, or normal developmental tasks. The focus is on assisting students to identify problems and causes, alternatives, possible consequences, and to take action when appropriate. • Crisis Counseling
Counseling and support are provided to students or their families facing emergency situations. Such counseling is normally short term and temporary in nature. When necessary, appropriate referral sources are used. • Referral Counselors use other professional resources of the school and community to refer students when appropriate. These referral sources may include: mental health agencies employment and training programs vocational rehabilitation juvenile services social services special school programs (special or compensatory education) The responsive services component also provides for small-group counseling.
Small groups of students with similar concerns can be helped by intensive small-group counseling. All students may not need such assistance, but it is available in a comprehensive program. Adjunct guidance staff—peers, paraprofessionals, volunteers—can aid counselors in carrying out their responsive activities. Peers can be involved in tutorial programs, orientation activities, ombudsman functions and, with special training, cross-age counseling and leadership in informal dialog. Paraprofessionals and volunteers can provide assistance in such areas as placement, follow-up, and community-school-home liaison activities.
System Support The administration and management of a comprehensive guidance program require an ongoing support system. That is why system support is a major program component. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked or only minimally appreciated. And yet, the system support component is as important as the other three components. Without continuing support, the other three components of the guidance program are ineffective. This component is implemented and carried out through such activities as the following: • Research and Development
Guidance program evaluation, follow-up studies, and the continued development and updating of guidance learning activities are some examples of the research and development work of counselors. • Staff/Community Public Relations The orientation of staff and the community to the comprehensive guidance program through the use of newsletters, local media, and school and community presentations are examples of public relations work. • Professional Development Counselors must regularly update their professional knowledge and skills.
This may include participation in school inservice training, attendance at professional meetings, completion of postgraduate course work, and contributions to the professional literature. • Committee/Advisory Boards Serving on departmental curriculum committees and community committees or advisory boards are examples of activities in this area. • Community Outreach Included in this area are activities designed to help counselors become knowledgeable about community resources, employment opportunities, and the local labor market. This may involve counselors visiting local businesses and industries and social services agencies. Program Management and Operations This area includes the planning and management tasks needed to support the activities of a comprehensive guidance program. Also included in the system support component are activities that support programs other than guidance. These activities may include counselors being involved in helping interpret student test results to teachers, parents, and administrators, serving on departmental curriculum committees (helping interpret student needs data for curriculum revision), and working with school administrators (helping interpret student needs and behaviors).
Care must be taken, however, to watch the time given to these duties because the primary focus for counselors is their work in the first three components of the comprehensive guidance program. It is important to realize that if the guidance program is well run, focusing heavily on the first three components, it will provide substantial support for other programs and personnel in the school and the community. Program Time Counselors’ professional time is a critical element in the Model. How should professional certified counselors spend their time?
How should this time be spread across the total program? In this Model, the four program components provide the structure for making judgments about appropriate allocations of counselors’ time. One criterion to be used in making such judgments is the concept of program balance. The assumption is that counselor time should be spread across all program components, but particularly the first three. Another criterion is that different grade levels require different allocations of counselor time across the program components.
For example, at the elementary level, more counselor time is spent working in the curriculum with less time spent in individual planning. In the high school, these time allocations are reversed. How counselors in a school district or school building plan and allocate their time depends on the needs of their students and their community. Once chosen, time allocations are not fixed forever. The purpose for making them is to provide direction to the program and to the administrators and counselors involved.
Since the Model is a “100 percent program,” 100 % of counselors’ time must be spread across the four program components. Time allocations are changed as new needs arise, but nothing new can be added unless something else is removed. The assumption is that professional counselors spend 100 % of their time on task, implementing the guidance program. What are some suggested percentages? As an example, the state of Missouri (Starr & Gysbers, 1997) has adopted suggested percentages of counselor time to be spent on each program component.
These suggested percentages were recommended by Missouri counselors and administrators who had participated in the field-testing of the Missouri adaptation of the Comprehensive Guidance Program Model: Percent ES M/JH HS Guidance Curriculum 35-45 25-35 15-25 Individual Planning 05-10 15-25 25-35 Responsive Services 30-40 30-40 25-35 System Support 10-15 10-15 15-20 Resources Human Human resources for the guidance program include such individuals as counselors, teachers, administrators, parents, students, community members, and business and labor personnel.
All have roles to play in the guidance program. While counselors are the main providers of guidance and counseling services and coordinators of the program, the involvement, cooperation, and support of teachers and administrators is necessary for the program to be successful. The involvement, cooperation, and support of parents, community members, and business and labor personnel also is critical. A SchoolCommunity Advisory Committee is recommended to bring together the talent and energy of school and community personnel.
The School-Community Advisory Committee acts as a liaison between the school and community and provides recommendations concerning the needs of students and the community. A primary duty of this committee is to advise those involved in the guidance program. The committee is not a policy- or decision-making body; rather, it is a source of advice, counsel, and support and is a communication link between those involved in the guidance program and the school and community. The committee is a permanent part of the guidance program. A community person should be the chairperson.
The use and involvement of an advisory committee will vary according to the program and the community. It is important, however, that membership be more than in name only. Members will be particularly helpful in developing and implementing the public relations plan for the community. Financial The financial resources of a comprehensive guidance program are crucial to its success. Examples of financial resources include budget, material, equipment, and facilities. The Model highlights the need for these resources through its focus on the physical space and equipment required to conduct a comprehensive program in a school district.
To make the guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support components function effectively, adequate guidance facilities are required. Traditionally, guidance facilities have consisted of an office or suite of offices designed primarily to provide one-to-one counseling or consultation assistance. Such arrangements have frequently included reception or waiting areas that serve as browsing rooms where students have access to displays or files of educational and occupational information.
Also, this space has typically been placed in the administrative wing of the school so that the counseling staff can be near the records and the administration. The need for individual offices is obvious because of the continuing need to carry on individual counseling sessions. A need also exists, however, to open up guidance facilities and make them more accessible to all students, teachers, parents, and community members. One way to make guidance facilities more usable and accessible is to reorganize traditional space into a guidance center.
A guidance center brings together available guidance information and resources and makes them easily accessible to students. The center is used for such activities as group sessions, student self-exploration, and personalized research and planning. At the high school level, students receive assistance in areas such as occupational planning, job entry and placement, financial aid information and postsecondary educational opportunities. At the elementary school level, students and their parents receive information about the school, the community, and parenting skills; they also read books about personal growth and development.
An area for play therapy can be provided in the guidance center. Although the center is available for use to school staff and community members, it is student centered, and many of the center activities are student planned as well as student directed. At the same time, the center is a valuable resource for teachers in their program planning and implementation. Employers, too, will find the center useful when seeking part-time or full-time workers. Clearly, the impact of the center on school and community can be substantial.
If community members and parents are involved in the planning and implementation of the center and its activities, their interest could provide an impetus for the involvement of other community members. When parents and community members become involved in programs housed in the center, they experience the guidance program firsthand. Through these experiences, new support for the program may develop. The guidance center is furnished as comfortably as possible for all users. Provision is made for group as well as individual activities.
Coordinating the operation of the guidance center is the responsibility of the guidance staff, but all school staff can be involved. It is recommended that at least one paraprofessional be a part of the staff to ensure that clerical tasks are carried out in a consistent and ongoing manner. Political Education is not simply influenced by politics, it is politics. The mobilization of political resources is key to a successful guidance program. Full endorsement of the guidance program by the Board of Education as a “program of studies of the district” is one example of mobilizing political resources.
Another example is a clear and concise school district policy statement that highlights the integral and central nature of the school district’s comprehensive guidance program to other programs in the school district. Putting It All Together What does the Program Model look like when all of the Model’s elements are brought together? Figure 1 (see page 12) presents the Model on one page so that the three program elements can be seen in relationship to each other. Notice that the three program elements (program content, program structure, processes, and time, and program resources) represent the “means” of the program.
Without these means in place, it is impossible to achieve the full results of the program and to fully evaluate the impact of the program on the students, the school, and the community. Some Final Thoughts The Program Model, by definition, leads to guidance activities and structured group experiences for all students. It de-emphasizes administrative and clerical tasks, one-toone counseling only, and limited accountability. It is proactive rather than reactive. Counselors are busy and unavailable for unrelated administrative and clerical duties because they have a guidance program to implement.
Counselors are expected to do personal and crisis counseling as well as provide structured activities to all students. To fully implement the Program Model it is important that the program be as follows: 1. Understood as student-development oriented, not school maintenance-administrativeoriented. 2. Operated as a 100 % program; the four program components constitute the total program; there are no add-ons. 3. Started the first day of school and ended on the last day of school; not started in the middle of October with an ending time in April so that administrative, nonguidance tasks can be completed. . Understood as program focused, not position focused. 5. Understood as education-based, not agency or clinic based. References Brewer, J. M. (1922). The vocational guidance movement: Its problems and possibilities. New York: The Macmillan Company. Eckerson, L. O. , & Smith, H. M. (1966). Scope of pupil personnel services. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office. Ginn, S. J. (1924). Vocational guidance in Boston Public Schools. The Vocational Guidance Magazine, 3, 3-7. Gysbers, N. C. (1978). Remodeling your guidance program while living in it.
Texas Personnel and Guidance Association Journal, 6, 53-61. Gysbers, N. C. , & Henderson, P. (1994). Developing and managing your school guidance program (2nd ed. ). Alexandria, VA: American Association for Counseling and Development. Gysbers, N. C. , & Moore, E. J. (1974). Career guidance, counseling and placement: Elements of an illustrative program guide (A life career development perspective). Columbia, MO: University of Missouri, Columbia. Gysbers, N. C. , & Moore, E. J. (1975). Beyond career development—life career development. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 53, 647-652.
Gysbers, N. C. , & Moore, E. J. (1981). Improving guidance programs. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Hargens, M. , & Gysbers, N. C. (1984). How to remodel a guidance program while living in it: A case study. The School Counselor, 30, 119-125. Myers, G. E. (1923). Critical review of present developments in vocational guidance with special reference to future prospects. The Vocational Guidance Magazine, 2 (6), 139-142. Myers, G. E. (1935). Coordinated guidance: Some suggestions for a program of pupil personnel work. Occupations, 13 (9), 804-807. Smith G.
E. (1951). Principles and practices of the guidance program. New York: The Macmillan Company. Starr, M. F. , & Gysbers, N. C. (1997). Missouri comprehensive guidance: A model for program development, implementation and evaluation (1997 Rev. ). Jefferson City: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Wolfe, D. M. , & Kolb, D. A. (1980). Career Development, personal growth, and experimental learning. In J. W. Springer (Ed. ), Issues in career and human resource development (pp. 1-56). Madison, WI: American Society for Training and Development.