Through the College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model, school counselors implement a standards-based, data-driven school counseling program to address the needs of each student. Effective collection, analysis, and use of data ensure school counselors are accountable for program implementation. Program performance and accountability measures are foundational in the work of school counselors and systemic change.
School Counseling Program Funding
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Administrative Rule R277-462: School Counseling Program outlines program implementation requirements for secondary schools (grades 7-12) to be eligible to receive Career and Technical Education (CTE) Add-On Funding for school counseling programs. As defined in this rule, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must adhere to the following guidelines to qualify for school counseling program funding:
- Implement the College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model.
- Conduct Plan for College and Career Readiness meetings consistent with the Utah State Legislature's Title 53E-2-304: School District and Individual School Powers. Plan for College and Career Readiness Definition and R277-462-5: Plan for College and Career Readiness.
- Participate in performance self-evaluations (annually), interim (3 year), and formal (6 year) on-site reviews. The On-Site Review Performance Self-Evaluation for Existing Programs is the tool used for these evaluations.
- Maintain a minimum 1:350 school counselor-to-student ratio within the LEA.
Program Performance Review
The School Counseling Program Model emphasizes a continual process of designing, planning, implementing, evaluating, and enhancing the school counseling program.
- The design of the program is the framework the school has developed.
- The plan is the written description of the school program, which can be informed/improved by ongoing self-evaluation and the effective use of data.
- All new programs are fully implemented when they meet the original 12 standards for program approval.
- Program evaluation occurs through annual performance self-evaluations (required for funding) and passing the interim (3 year) and formal (6 year) on-site performance reviews.
- Program enhancement occurs as school counselors align their school counseling program with student needs and school improvement goals.
The standards and indicators in the performance self-evaluation document are the criteria for evaluation of the school counseling program.
Performance Review Standards
According to R277-462, school counseling programs are required to be evaluated annually. A formalized accountability process of annual program evaluation is established through annual performance self-evaluations, interim, and formal on-site reviews.
The following On-Site Review Performance Self-Evaluation for Existing Programs is the tool used for these evaluations:
To support the performance self-evaluation process, school counselors provide evidence in the form of an Electronic Evidence Box. The electronic evidence box is an ongoing resource of shared files that supports program management, team effectiveness, and program evaluation and accountability of the school counseling program. The following documents/templates are tools that school counselors can use to support this process:
- College and Career Readiness Student Mindsets and Competencies Action Plan
- College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Electronic Evidence Box Guide
- Lesson Plan and Results Report
- Principal/Counselor Annual Agreement Template
- School Data Summary
- Time/Task Analysis
Annual Performance Self-Evaluation
An annual self-evaluation, using the performance review document, is required for all schools as part of the school counseling program funding process. School counseling teams, working with their local leadership, should establish an annual process to review school counseling program implementation, evaluate program outcomes, and set new program goals. To meet the annual performance self-evaluation requirement, school counselors complete the On-Site Review Performance Self-Evaluation for Existing Programs document by June 1. School counselors keep the completed document for their records, and future accountability process, in their electronic evidence box files. This document does not need to be submitted to a Utah State Board of Education School Counseling Program Specialist. The LEA leadership oversees that this process is completed annually.
Three-Year Interim Review
The Interim Review (3 year) is structured at the discretion of the Local Education Agency (LEA). These reviews should focus on identifying program strengths, areas of improvement, and using data to effect program change that results in improved behavior, attendance, or academic achievement for students. LEAs are encouraged to replicate the formal review process within the district to allow schools to plan and share their school counseling program within the district or the Career and Technical Education (CTE) region. LEA will provide names of schools and plans for review structure for the current year in their annual Request for Funding (RFF) for the school counseling program. If district personnel have program concerns and/or significant team changes, the district leadership can require a formal, traditional performance review using the onsite process, conducted by an outside district team. Interim review reports are completed by the LEA leadership and submitted via e-mail to a Utah State Board of Education Counseling Program Specialist by May 1. The annual self-evaluation is required to be completed by schools participating in the interim review.
Reporting template for Three-Year Interim Review:
Six-Year Formal On-Site Review
The Formal Review (6 year) is conducted by a Utah State Board of Education School Counseling Program Specialist. This process is developed within the Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program framework to ensure that the school counseling team has implemented the program elements described in the review standards. The on-site review process serves to:
- celebrate the College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program;
- recognize program strengths and accomplishments;
- identify goals and areas for improvement;
- minimize identified gaps in the areas of access, attainment, and achievement; and
- ensure program implementation promotes a whole child approach to academic, career, multicultural/global citizenship, and social/emotional development for all students.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Surveys
Systemic Assessment and Curriculum Delivery Survey
All schools receiving College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program funds are required to complete a formal Systemic Assessment and Curriculum Delivery Survey every three years. The Systemic Assessment is completed by school faculty, parents, and students. The parent and student survey should reflect a sampling of the population that is representative of the overall school demographics. Results from the Systemic Assessment offers a data-informed direction for the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program.
The Curriculum Delivery Survey is completed by teachers. This survey measures student mindsets and competencies in the four areas of Academic/Learning, Life/Career, Multicultural/Global Citizen, and Social/Emotional Development which are consistent with the School Counseling Program Model. Results from this survey allows school counselors to deliver intentional classroom instruction, design effective individual Plan for College and Career Readiness meetings, and support the academic, career, social, and emotional development of each student.
The Systemic Assessment and Curriculum Delivery Surveys are designed for Utah schools and provided for approved programs through CTE Surveys. School counseling programs can access their unique school account information from their Local Education Agency (LEA) leadership.
Student Outcome Accountability Report (SOAR)
The Student Outcome Accountability Report (SOAR) provides school counselors with student data to assist in the data-decision making process. This report takes data submitted through the Utah Transcript Record Exchange (UTRex) system and organizes it in categories that school counselors can use to help identify gaps in the areas of access, attainment, and achievement. From this analysis, school counselors set program goals to address identified gaps to improve student outcomes. The SOAR is designed as one resource for school counselors, but additional data sources should be used when making data-informed decisions.
Individual schools can access their SOAR through the Utah State Board of Education Data Gateway. School counselors will need to work with their Information Technology department or Local Education Agency (LEA) leadership to obtain access. Once access is granted through the district, school counselors can find the report on the Data Gateway homepage under My Tools. To help school counselors analyze and interpret the SOAR, the SOAR Business Rules have been established.
Outcome data is a requirement of systemic practice in the areas of access, attainment, and achievement for student success. Data projects submitted to USBE are only one example of a larger data-driven school counseling program and systemic practice within the educational setting. Each year, all schools receiving College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program funds are required to submit a data project to USBE. School counselors track the data elements regularly and report results at the end of the school year. Schools can use the Data Project Rubric to assess the level of evidence found in their Data Project. The data project is completed by the school counseling team and submitted to their Local Education Agency (LEA) leadership. The LEA leadership submits all data projects to a USBE School Counseling Program Specialist via e-mail by June 15.
To complete the Data Project Reporting Template, download the template from the below link. When you first open the file in Excel, click enable macros if prompted. Once in the document, refer to the instructions sheet and read the instructions page thoroughly before beginning to fill out the template.
On-Site Review for New Programs
Schools who are seeking to obtain an approved school counseling program status must submit a letter of intent by May 1 via e-mail to a Utah State Board of Education (USBE) School Counseling Program Specialist. The letter of intent is a formal letter stating the school’s intent to become an approved program. The letter should include anticipated student enrollment for the upcoming school year along with any other pertinent information regarding the student population and school counseling program. Once the letter of intent is received by a USBE School Counseling Program Specialist, a formal on-site school counseling performance review for new programs will be scheduled the following school year. Steps for new program development can be found in chapter 5 of the Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model. New programs will be reviewed under the full 12 standards of the On-Site Review Performance Self-Evaluation for New Programs. New programs must pass the on-site formal review in order to qualify to receive school counseling program funding.
The following On-Site Review Performance Self-Evaluation for New Programs is the tool used for these evaluations:
Note: Local Education Agencies (LEAs) who currently receive funding for approved school counseling programs, and are starting a new school counseling program, will need to submit a letter of intent by May 1, as well as contact a Utah State Board of Education School Counseling Program Specialist to request a copy of the performance self-evaluation document for new programs within an approved LEA.
Individual School Counselor Accountability
As defined in the Utah Office of Administrative Rules R277-530-7: Educational School Counselor Standards, the Utah Effective School Counselor Performance Standards articulate what effective school counselor practices look like in the Utah public education system. The standards align with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) school counselor standards, the National Office of Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA), the Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model, and current research on effective school counselor practices. The effective school counselor focuses on students’ long-term academic, college and career, citizenship, and social/emotional development.
The Utah Effective School Counselor Rubric is the tool used to evaluate the school counselor’s ability to demonstrate the skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote students’ autonomy, career literacy, responsibility to self and others, and lifelong learning.
School counselors are also expected to adhere to the school counseling ethical and professional standards set forth by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).
Request for Funding (RFF)
Funds disbursed to approved school counseling programs are for secondary schools 7-12 grades. Performance and adherence to standards cited in the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Administrative Rules R277-462: School Counseling Program, as well as completion of the RFF application, are required in order to receive funds. The RFF application and signature page are completed by the Local Education Agency (LEA) leadership and submitted via Utah Grants by June 1.
Note: The application for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 will be released in Spring 2024.
State Allocations Tables
Utah State Board of Education Career and Technical Education (CTE)