In response to retained 9th grade students failing 57% of their classes and meeting at-risk criteria, counselors developed a goal-setting, study skills, and time management lesson. Students learned about effective study habits, setting short and long-term goals, and participated in a goal-setting activity. Counselors presented the lesson to 603 9th graders, including the retained 9th grade students. Perception data reflects the lesson was beneficial with a 21.7% increase of students reporting they will study at home three or more times a week based on pre and post surveys. There was also a 21.1% increase of students reporting setting short and long-term goals are important. Outcome data indicates the lesson helped accomplish one of the counseling program goals for retained 9th grade students to pass 50% more of their classes. Additionally, when comparing retained 9th graders from 2015 – 2016 to 2016 – 2017, retention decreased from 1.9% to 1.6%. Counselors used interactive activities, and students appeared engaged; therefore, counselors recommend using interactive lessons. The lesson was held at the beginning of the year; however, counselors believe a follow-up lesson in the spring to evaluate goals set in the fall and check perceptions of study skills would enhance results. Because of the success of the lesson based on perception and outcome data and the observed level of engagement from the students, the lesson will be used in the future.
Counselors created an attendance lesson for all 10th graders and those denied credit for attendance to help improve campus attendance and to help achieve the counseling program goal. A new attendance law in Texas began in 2016 – 2017, so counselors aimed to educate students on the new law and emphasize the importance of coming to school. The results reflect the lesson was effective based on perception and outcome data. Perception data from pre and post surveys showed 95% of students have a moderate understanding or higher of the new attendance law compared to 34.4% on the pre survey. In addition, on the post survey, over 90% of students reported it is moderately important or higher to attend school to be successful. Outcome data revealed the number of 10th graders denied credit due to attendance decreased 50% compared to their 2015 – 2016 school year. Finally, outcome data relative to the counseling program goal revealed the students denied credit for attendance increased their attendance by an average of 90.5%. Consequently, counselors came very close to meeting this goal. The activities in the lesson were varied and hands-on, so counselors, again, recommend using hands-on activities to make an impact. Counselors recommend teaching this lesson to every grade level but were limited by how often classroom instruction can be interrupted. Counselors are considering using technology like Zoom and the advisory period to deliver this lesson to all grade levels. Improving campus attendance remains a district and campus goal, so counselors will continue to use this lesson with slight variations to the activities each year.
All 11th graders learned about the importance of preparing for the SAT and received resources on test preparation. Overall, the lesson was found to be productive based on perception and outcome data. The post survey disclosed 94% of students reported it is important to prepare for the SAT compared to 90.4% on the pre survey. In addition, there was a 26.7% increase of students reporting they would likely prepare for the March 1, 2017 school-wide SAT. Another noteworthy result is almost 86% of students reported they learned about new SAT preparation resources. Outcome data exhibited the lesson was successful with .84% increase in overall SAT scores. The lesson was developed to help meet district, campus and counseling program goals. Unfortunately, counselors cannot boast the goal was fully achieved. While there was an overall increase compared to 2016 scores, the increase was not high enough to achieve the goal. Math scores decreased affecting the results. Consequently, counselors will be meeting with the math department to discuss strategies counselors and math teachers can use to help students. Counselors recommend implementing the lesson earlier in the school year with a follow up lesson closer to the test. Another action needed for a more efficient delivery is counselors need to ensure students know their College Board login prior to the lesson. Many students struggled with this problem, slowing down the lesson. Counselors can work with teachers in advance for students to know their login information. Counselors plan to use the lesson in the future with updated information on resources and math strategies.