DEVELOPMENT: The goal of the three core curriculum lessons developed were to meet the counseling program’s academic goal of increasing the number of students who earn Bs or better from 30% to 35% , an unweighted 3.0 grade point average, by the end of the 2017 school year. All core curriculum lessons were presented by the school counselors in either JROTC classes or advisory (once a week small learning community) in order to increase the number of students who have access to all counseling program lessons. Students were given a pretest prior to the lesson as well as a post test to assess knowledge, attitude and skills of the topic.
The stress management lesson applies to ASCA Mindset (M-1) and ASCA behavior (SMS-7). The objective of the lesson was for 9th grade students to learn coping skills to manage and reduce their stress. Based on the post-test, an area of improvement would be to refine questions in order to collect accurate data. For example, two the of the post survey questions revolved around student strategies to reduce or manage stress, reducing the amount of perception data collected. Time is also an area that should be taken into account, students were not always able to complete posttest and the facilitator often had to adjust presentations to be more concise.
The sophomore transcript review was given to all sophomores and focused on students being able to impact their semester GPA, and in turn impact their cumulative GPA. The lesson was also completed in advisory by a counselor with two to three classes present at a time. Student ASCA Mindset (M-6) and Behavior (LS-6) were addressed in the lesson. All students were given a pre and post test through a texting application that allowed students to reply through their cell phones. As the students were completing the pretest, answers were projected to the class. The school counselor was able to quickly identify the needs of student knowledge, attitude and skills in the live data from the pretest and share it with the group. Consequently, students realized the importance of the content, creating an engaged audience. The advisor teachers were a great support during the presentation allowing students to receive more one on one assistance. However, in the future this lesson will be planned out so that it is given to one advisory at a time.
In the academic success lesson, student’s posttests showed an increase in knowledge, positive change of attitude as well as an increase of skills. The lesson supported ASCA Mindset (M-2) “self-confidence in ability to succeed” and (M-5) “belief in using abilities to their fullest to achieve high-quality results and outcomes”. Incorporating ASCA Behavior (LS-3) “use time-management, organizational and study skills” has built a strong foundation of skills for our 9th grade students. With these skills students create both short and long term S.M.A.R.T. goals and have the ability to monitor their own academic progress or needs. Therefore, the lesson was a great way to allow students to become better prepared to reach academic success. Moving forward, student’s GPA will be monitored for improvement more regularly to obtain an increase in the percentage of students with a 3.0 or higher.
In future planning, the counseling team wants to focus on completing transcript reviews across all grades levels. Increasing the number of students who have access to lessons will assist in the number of students who will meet the counseling program academic goal. It is also important that we continue to focus on the objectives of all lessons to gather the perception data necessary to meet future student needs. As students build their knowledge and skills, content of lessons are adjusted to meet future needs. Based on the data, there was a significant increase in the number of students with 3.0 or better GPA. In the 2016 school year there were 30% of students with 3.0+ GPA, in 2017 there was 54% of students with a 3.0 or higher. We have plans to continue all three lessons with improvements to work towards meeting our overall program goals.