The effectiveness of our core curriculum lessons for seniors is evident in our data. The counselors at Clinton High School believe that collecting data and obtaining results are crucial to maintaining an effective school counseling program. Our first lesson reviewed student transcripts, reviewed using the career decision making model, and information about the FAFSA. Using a pre/post test and a survey using a Google form we were able to gather data showing growth in all three areas assessed. For outcome data we used the state of Iowa’s FAFSA completion site to track our senior’s progress in completing the FAFSA. At the end of the year we had 53% of our seniors file the FAFSA. The second lesson was on writing SMART goals and updating their four year plans. For this lesson we were able to discern that are students improved their knowledge of what is a SMART goal and the majority of them finished updating their four year plan on our college and career computer program, I Have A Plan Iowa. We graded every senior’s SMART goal which they wrote in their career and educational portfolio. 94% of these students wrote a SMART that was deemed proficient. The last lesson of this unit focused on career and college exploration. After this lesson 82% of our seniors could identify two or more careers that they were interested in. We also had these students fill out a google form in which they indicated their current career goal. Thirty-six percent of the seniors stated that they had a career goal by the end of our core curriculum lessons.
The results of our core curriculum lessons will have a direct impact on our core curriculum lessons as a whole as well as other activities within our program. In regards to our 12th grade lessons, the data collected indicated that there are some things that need to be changed. On our pre/post test for the third lesson we asked the seniors if they had two or more careers they were interested in. After discussing these results it was decided that a better question would be if they had at least one career they were interested in. Also, on the google form that we had our seniors complete only 36% of them had a specific career goal. This was disappointing to us as we have been working with them for the last four year to develop their post-secondary plans. We need to explore further if this number was due to the students not knowing what they want to do or if it was because they do not know specifically what they want to do. For example, a student may know they want to go to college for business but they may not know yet what specific career they want to do within the business field. We are going to find a way to word this question so that students give us their post-secondary plans in addition to their career goal. We also have changed, for the 2018-2019 school year, the delivery of this same content. We now focus this lesson more on all post-secondary options available to our students and not have such a major focus on two and four year colleges. We also have changed our unit to include a summative activity where students have to make a choice on their post-secondary option so that they may listen to a guest speaker from their chosen path (on the job training, apprenticeships, military, trade/technical schools, two year colleges, and four year colleges/universities).
One of the most important aspects of being an ASCA model program is that the school counseling program must be data driven. The school counseling program must use data that indicates a change in student academic success and ensures that every student receives the benefits of the school counseling program. Without this data, the school counseling program cannot validate its importance to the overall district and school mission. Through the use of our core curriculum results reports, the Clinton High School Counseling Program has been able to show our stakeholders that we are making a positive impact on our student body.