School Counseling Programs

Overview

Utah school counselors demonstrate accountability, social justice, and systemic change. Taking a comprehensive, systemic approach offers school counselors, teachers, administrators, other school personnel, and policymakers a range of strategies and practical tips on how to work more effectively in their schools and communities. The data-driven process helps school counselors and other stakeholders select and implement appropriate supports and interventions that close equity gaps, demonstrate program effectiveness, and improve college and career readiness for each student.

Calendar

School counselors are involved regularly in updating and sharing their professional knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development.  The purpose of the school counseling program calendar is to help school counselors and other educators with forward planning of USBE-sponsored training opportunities and events.  Dates outlined include professional development opportunities, as well as important school counseling reporting deadlines. 

Secondary School Counseling Program Updates and Essentials

School Counseling Updates and Essentials Training is for all counselors and administrators. This training is required every five years as outline in the Assurances of the Program Performance Review. During this professional development, school counselors and administration will work together to analyze data, establish school counseling program goals aligned with school improvement plans, and improve program implementation. Dates are released each August for the upcoming school year.

September 26, 2017
Tuesday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Utah State Board of Education (USBE)
Basement West Conference Room

September 28, 2017
Thursday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Nebo School District, Summit Center

October 3, 2017
Tuesday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Granite School District, Rooms D102-106 

October 6, 2017
Friday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Davis School District, Kendall Building, Professional Development Center 

October 18, 2017
Wednesday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Canyons School District, Professional Development Center

October 26, 2017
Thursday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Washington School District, Boardroom

November 1, 2017
Wednesday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Canyons School District, Professional Development Center

November 7, 2017
Tuesday: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
USBE Basement West Conference Room

Elementary School Counseling Program Updates and Essentials

December 13, 2017
Wednesday, 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
USBE Basement West Conference Room

School Counseling LEA Leadership Meetings

For LEA Leadership only, school counselors do not attend.

September 5, 2017
Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
USBE Basement West Conference Room 

December 12, 2017
Tuesday: 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
USBE Basement West Conference Room

February 13, 2018
Tuesday: 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
USBE Basement West Conference Room

May 8, 2018
Tuesday: 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
USBE Basement West Conference Room

School Counseling Advisory Meetings

October 17, 2017
Tuesday: 8 a.m. to Noon
USBE Basement West Conference Room

April 17, 2018
Tuesday: 8 a.m. to Noon
USBE Basement West Conference Room

Elementary School Counseling Advisory Meetings

October 27, 2017
Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
USBE, Room 241

April 27, 2018
Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
USBE, Room 241

School Counseling Program Annual Due Dates

April 1 - May 1
Program Online Self-Evaluation (required for all schools except those with a formal review of the current school year.)

May
Program Reviews (Formal and Interim) Completed

June 1
Program Data Projects Based on SOAR and Systemic Assessment Data
Completed by school counselors and submitted via LEA leadership

Program Ratio Plans (For LEAs not meeting 1:350 ratio)
Completed by LEA leadership

Program Request for Funding (RFF) with RFF Signature Page
Completed by LEA leadership

College Readiness

In today's global, knowledge-based economy, preparing each student for college and career readiness is the gateway to social mobility and better lifetime opportunities. Through the Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model, school counselors use a comprehensive, systemic approach to inspire all students to, and prepare them for, post-secondary educational opportunities through individual student planning, career pathways, and career literacy.

School Counseling Program Model

Beginning with school counseling programs in the 1980’s, Utah school counselors have strived to develop and continuously improve a school counseling model that understands and meets students’ needs. Vast changes in technology, college expectations, school accountability, the needs of the employers, essential workforce skills, personal challenges for students, and expectations of parents, have impacted the services provided to students through Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Programs.

In 2016, the revised edition Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model was implemented. This edition strongly emphasizes college and career readiness for each student and the counselor’s role in helping students realize positive postsecondary outcomes. The framework is student-centered, data-driven, counselor-implemented, and systemic in nature so that students complete high school with the social capital necessary to participate fully in a global society. Furthermore, the redefined approach moves the school counseling profession beyond traditional, process-oriented practices frequently detached from the curriculum to transformational, outcome-oriented practices characterized by embedded student activities and evidence-based accountability.

Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program

Utah Model for Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance: K-12 Programs, 2005 (If you would like a copy of this document, please contact the department directly!)

Resources for College Readiness and Affordability

Utah Futures features college and career planning tools, labor market information, job search success skills, education and training.

Utah Systems of Higher Education (USHE) is comprised of Utah colleges and universities and their programs of study.

StepUp Utah is a resource which encourages all Utah students to dream big about their futures and then act on those dreams by preparing for and completing college.

  • Grade by Grade Checklist
  • College and Career Readiness Recommendations (PDF)
  • Utah Scholars Program
  • Utah College Application Week (UCAW)
  • Resources for School Counselors
  • Concurrent Enrollment Math Placement Guide
  • Concurrent Enrollment Exploratory Pathways
  • Understanding the Options for Paying for College
  • Paying for college resources
  • FAFSA Supports from StepUP Utah
  • Scholarship tool-kit
  • Regents Scholarship

Out-of-State Post-Secondary Options: Choosing a college is a big and exciting decision. Students need to explore their interests and take time to find the college that will put them on the correct path for a bright future.

  • Big Futures
  • Finding Colleges That Fits

The College Bound Athlete: When considering to be a college athlete, specific planning and course requirements are essential.

  • NCAA Eligibility Center
  • NCAA Eligibility Center Scholarships
  • High School Administration
  • Working with student athletes

Prep Exams: One of the most stressful requirements for the entire college application process is preparing and taking the entrance exams. There are many useful tools to helping students prepare.

UtahFutures Test Preparation Tools

College Prep 101

College Board – SAT Practice Tests

Khan Academy Practice Test

Kaplan Test Prep

Learning Express Library

ACT Academy

SAT Website

Shmoop

CLEP exams test mastery of college-level material acquired in a variety of ways. There are 33 CLEP exams available to test takers. CLEP exam-takers include adults just entering or returning to school, military service members and traditional college students.

Getting Started with CLEP

Exams offered

US News and World Report “4 Questions to Ask Before Pursuing CLEP Credit”

1st Generation And/Or Undocumented Students: Many times, the process of applying and attending college is daunting, especially for the first-time student. First-Generation students need extra support in navigating the complexities of preparing and applying for post-secondary training opportunities.

The Advantage of Rigorous Course Work

Opening doors and exploring options

Why might community college be a good option?

Information for First Generation Students of Color (PDF)

Working with 1st Generation Students

Understand the laws regarding undocumented students

First in My Family: Supporting First-Generation College Students Video

Transition Programs: “Families, educators, policy makers and advocates all want to see more youth with disabilities go on to postsecondary education, to find meaningful employment, and achieve success in the adult world. There is shared concern over high drop-out rates and low employment rates among young adults with disabilities.” --Author Unknown

Utah Higher Ed Transition Programs

Utah Department of Workforce Services Rehabilitation Student Transition

USBE Transition Resources

College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities

College Board: Cost Calculator 
Based on the Systemic Needs Assessment for statewide data, cost is the number one barrier for Utah students attending college. The following cost calculators and information can help students and parents determine if they are planning accurately for the actual cost of attending and finishing college.

The real cost of attending college

Living expense estimates

Net Price Calculator

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the main form that the federal government, states and colleges use to award funding for college attendance through grants, scholarships, work study and student loans.

Funding your Post-Secondary Choice

FAFSA4caster

FAFSA Deadlines

Types of Financial Aid

Paying for College: After completing the FAFSA, where else can individuals find scholarships to assist with the cost of going to college? Through the following links learn more about applying for scholarships as well as searching for scholarships specific to your needs and interests.

Utah Educational Savings Plan (my529)

Fastweb.com - Scholarships

Fastweb.com - Scholarship Application Tips

Fastweb.com - Featured Scholarships

Cappex.com - Scholarships

Scholarships.com

Petersons.com

AffordableColleges.com

Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Scholarships for LGBTQ students

Fool Proof Me: Student Loans

Financial Aid Videos

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Connections

School Counseling Programs are a branch of the CTE. School Counselors and the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) CTE collaborate to provide student the best opportunity to prepare for their future. The focus of career pathways changes the paradigm of career planning for students from career development to career literacy. Career literacy is the basic knowledge and skills that students need to navigate the world of work. It involves a holistic approach that helps students to understand a range of career fields, multiple entry and exit points for various occupations, and strategies for career development and advancement. The career literacy process transforms the student mindset to enable them to make more informed decisions regarding their career pathway. School counselors help to ensure that each student is college and career ready.

USBE Resources:

College and Career Awareness

Career Development Apps (CDAs)
College and Career Awareness is for seventh grade students. Through College and Career Awareness, students participate in activity-centered lessons to utilize technology, develop foundational skills, and explore careers by expanding awareness. College and Career Awareness provides information regarding future classes and training related to each student’s career field of interest.

The Career Development Apps include 17 days of lesson plans designed to support self-discovery (aspects of self-relevant to college and career planning), exploration of postsecondary education and career options, and the development of an individual College and Career Ready Plan that is informed by the individual's self-discovery and exploration. The broad goal is to help students begin to "figure out who they are while they decide what they want to become." (Source: U.S. Department of Labor - Finding One’s Way: Career Guidance for Disadvantaged Youth).

USBE Resources:

Program Implementation and Management

Through the Utah 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 collections, analysis, and use of data ensure school counselors are accountable for personal performance and program implementation.  Program performance and accountability measures are foundational in the work of school counselors and systemic change.

Data Projects

Outcome data is a requirement of systemic practice in the areas of access, attainment, and achievement for student success. School counselors work on many data projects within one school year; however, only one project is reported annually to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) using the data project template. Data projects submitted to the 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 Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program funds are required to submit a data project to the USBE. School counselors track the data elements regularly and report results at the end of the school year using the  Accountability and Data Project Report.  The  Data Project Framework and  Adding a Graph to the Data Project Reporting Template are resources to help support school counselors in completing this report.

Student Outcome Accountability Report (SOAR)

The Student Outcome Accountability Report (SOAR) was created to provide counselors with data on the students in their school in order to assist them in the decision making processes. This report takes data submitted through the Utah Transcript Record Exchange (UTRex) system and organizes it in categories that may be helpful in developing school counseling program goals. The SOAR is designed as one resource for school counselors, but additional data sources should be used.

The SOAR Business Rules is designed to help SOAR users analyze the data and understand how it is organized. Individual schools can access their SOAR through the USBE Data Gateway. You will need to work with your IT department and LEA leadership to obtain access. Once access is granted through your district, you will find the report under “My Tools”.

Systemic Assessment

All schools receiving Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program funds are required to complete a formal Systemic Assessment every three years. This electronic survey must be completed by the important school stakeholders: administrators, counselors, faculty, parents/guardians (representative percentage) and students (random sample). The Systemic Assessment addresses student outcomes in the four areas of Academic/Learning, Life/Career, Multicultural/Global Citizen, and Social/Emotional Development which are consistent with the Utah Model and appropriate school, district, state and national standards and goals. The purpose of conducting a Systemic Assessment is to use the data to drive the school counseling program and implement data-driven interventions.

The Systemic Assessment and Curriculum Delivery Surveys can be found at the Utah Education Network (UEN). School counseling programs can access their unique school account information from their LEA leadership.

Program Performance Review

The Utah School Counseling Program model emphasizes a continual process of designing, planning, implementing, evaluating and enhancing the school counseling program.

  1. The design of the program is the model the school has developed.
  2. 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.
  3. All new programs are fully implemented when they meet the original 12 standards for program approval.
  4. Program evaluation occurs during your annual self-review (required for funding) and passing the interim (3 year) and formal (6 year) performance reviews.
  5. Program enhancement occurs as counselors align their school counseling program with student needs and school improvement plans.

The standards and indicators on the Performance Review document are the criteria for evaluation of the school counseling program.

Performance Review Standards

School Counseling New Programs | School Counseling Existing Programs Revised for 2017

Electronic Evidence Box Guide

Three-Year Interim Review

The Utah School Counseling Program Three-Year Interim Review will be structured at the discretion of the LEA. These reviews should focus on identifying program strengths and weaknesses and using data to effect program change and improvement 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 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 and out of district teams. Interim review reports are due to the USBE by May 1. The online school counseling program annual self-evaluation will still be completed by schools participating in the interim review.

Interim Report (3 Year Review)

Annual Self-Evaluation

This online Utah School Counseling Program Annual Self-Evaluation will be available April 1 of each year. Follow USBE’s guidelines, as well as special requirements from your district, and respond to the form before May 1. An annual self-evaluation, using the performance review document and reported online through the USBE school counseling program self-evaluation form link, is required annually for all schools as part of the school counseling program funding process. Remember, schools that have undergone a formal onsite review of their program and have submitted the Formal Utah School Counseling Performance Evaluation to USBE by May 1 will have completed this requirement.

Online self-evaluation access is open from April 1-May 1. The access link will be provided at that time.

Program at a Glance

The program at a glance template is designed to provide school counseling programs a quick and accessible format that highlights their strengths and improvements, recommendations from last review, new program goals, measurable goals, and how the program standards align with the overall school improvement plan. School counselors are asked to complete this template annually and provide longitudinal evidence of completion in their program performance review.

Program at a Glance

Plan for College and Career Readiness

The Plan for College and Career Readiness process is a systemic approach to individual student planning in which school counselors coordinate ongoing activities to help students establish personal goals and develop future plans. School counselors help students make successful transitions from grade level to grade level, set future goals (including selecting college and career pathways), and establish career literacy. School counselors who establish a systemic approach for the school counseling program build an environment where each student has equitable access to all school programs, and can achieve and attain their goals.

School Counseling Licensing

Professional school counselors serve a crucial role in increasing student success.  Through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change, school counselors promote equity and access to rigorous educational experiences for each student.  School Counselors must have a minimum of a master's degree in school counseling and meet the state guidelines as defined below.

Professional School Counseling Licensing

Standards for Utah School Counselor Education

Getting Started

  1. Professional school counselors in Utah must meet the following requirements:
    1. Earn a master’s degree or higher in school counseling from an institution accredited in accordance with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) rule and which meets the Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs adopted by the USBE in January 2003, and revised in 2008, and
    2. Receive a recommendation for license from the school counselor education program at the above described institution, and
    3. Have a professional Educator license from the USBE with a School Counselor Area of
      Concentration.
    4. Candidates who completed their master’s degree or higher in a school counseling education program more than five years ago who now want to obtain a school counselor license must complete current course work in 1. Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance, 2. School Counseling Program Evaluation, 3. Special Education Law, and 4) Career Development. Recent significant changes in these areas of study require current knowledge and skills.
    5. Currently, all candidates for a Utah Counselor (K-12) License Area of Concentration must pass the PRAXIS 5421 test with a score of 164 or higher prior to receiving approval for the license area.
    6. Individuals with a master’s degree from an online program must have completed their school counselor education program with an on-line program that is accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Program (CACREP) and that meets the USBE Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs adopted in January 2003, which may require additional coursework. Candidates with a master’s degree from an online program must first be licensed in the state in which the online program is located.
  2. Applicants for Utah School Counseling License who have attended an institution out-of-state and who are not licensed in school counseling must have:
    1. A master’s degree or higher from a CACREP accredited institution or program, that meets equivalent standards and meets the USBE Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs adopted in January 2003, which may require additional coursework, and
    2. A Professional Educator license from the USBE. Additional coursework for candidates applying for out of state licensing shall be determined by the Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Specialist and/or Coordinator at USBE.
    3. All candidates for a Utah Counselor (K-12) License Area of Concentration must pass the PRAXIS 5421 test with a score of 164 or higher prior to receiving the license area.
    4. Individuals with a master’s degree from an online program must have completed their school counselor education program with an on-line program that is accredited by CACREP and that meets the USBE Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs adopted in January 2003, which may require additional coursework. Candidates with a master’s degree from an online program must first be licensed in the state in which the online program is located.
  3. Professional school counselors initially licensed in another state must have:
    1. A current license from another state, and
    2. A master’s degree or higher from a CACREP accredited institution or a program, that meets the equivalent to those standards and meets the USBE Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs adopted in January 2003, which may require additional coursework, and
      1. Individuals with a master’s degree from an online program must have completed their school counselor education program with an on-line program that is accredited by CACREP and that meets the USBE Standards for Utah School Counselor Education Programs adopted in January 2003, which may require additional coursework. Candidates with a master’s degree from an online program must first be licensed in the state in which the online program is located, and
    3. A professional Educator license from USBE.
    4. Additional coursework for candidates may be required in order for the candidate to be fully prepared to work in the Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Programs in Utah schools.
    5. All candidates for a Utah Counselor (K-12) License Area of Concentration must pass the PRAXIS 5421 test with a score of 164 or higher prior to receiving the license area.

Renewal

School counselors looking to renew an active license, will follow the same procedures outlined by USBE Educator Licensing depart for Renewal License Candidates.

Individuals with an expired license will need to work with an educational institution's school counseling program to determine required coursework in order to obtain recommendation for license renewal.

Change of Level

School counselors looking to upgrade to a level 2 or level 3 will follow the same procedures as other Candidates for a Change of Level. The Entry Years Enhancement (E.Y.E.) brochure explains the requirements for educators with only a school counselor license.

College and Career Certificate

The Strengthening College and Career Readiness Program is designed to improve students' college and career readiness through enhancing the skill level of school counselors in the areas of college and career readiness. It directs the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) to:

  1. develop a certificate for school counselors that certifies that a school counselor is highly skilled at providing college and career counseling;
  2. award grants for payment of course fees associated with earning the certificate.

Program Development

The Utah State Board of Education in collaboration with Utah Board of Regents, educational entities, and business/industry partners have created a certificate program for working school counselors to increase their competencies in college and career readiness counseling. This certificate program is comprised of three components.

  • Component One: Online coursework through USU or U of U
    Through the University of Utah and Utah State University a customized curriculum, based on the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB) College and Career Initiative modules, has been developed. These four customized modules are Component One of the College and Career Readiness Certificate.
  • Component Two: USBE professional development
    Through on-site USBE specialist lead professional development call School Counseling Program Updates and Essentials. Counselors and administrators align school counseling program goals with school improvement plans and student needs.
  • Component Three: Online course through SUU
    Through online coursework developed by USBE with an advisory group of individuals from business and industry. Component Three focuses on helping students become career ready to meet the demands of Utah's economy.

Legislative funding provides implementation of the College and Career Readiness Certificate program. Qualifying LEAs will apply to cover the cost of counselors’ coursework. If participants do not successfully complete components one and three of the certificate program, the participants themselves or the LEA will need to reimburse for the cost of the coursework.

Application for Certificate Program Coursework

School counselors will apply through their LEAs.  Priority will be given to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • The school where the school counselor is housed has an approved College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program.
  • The school meets the school counselor-to-student ratio of 1:350, according to Board Rule R277-462.
  • The school counselor is licensed as a school counselor according to Board Rule R277-506.

Application for the certificate program due October 1:

For questions regarding the application, please contact Patti Godfrey.

Completion of Coursework

Completing all three components of the certificate program will enhance school counselors’ work toward helping students achieve their college and career readiness goals. To help facilitate the effort, participants will be required to submit an action plan for implementation in schools after completion of certificate coursework. 

Application for Adding to Licensing

After completing all three components, school counselors will complete the application for adding the certificate to their license. School counselors will receive the application via email upon completion of the program coursework.

Resources

The School Counseling Performance Evaluation Tracking guide is available for School Counseling Leadership and School Counselors to help monitor compliance for annual accountability, including: 1) Self, Interim, and Formal Performance Reviews, 2) Request for Funding (RFF), 3) Ratio plans (if needed), 4) Data Projects.  This guide is update annually.

School Counseling Performance Evaluation Tracking

Toolkits

Utah Education Network (UEN):

Suicide Prevention Resource Center:

Rules and Regulations

Title 53A-13-302: Utah Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Utah FERPA)Utah State Legislature
Except as outlined by state statute 53A-11a-203 and 53A-15-1301 prior written parental consent must be obtained for any school activity, which concerns a student’s or family’s:

  1. political affiliations or philosophies;
  2. mental or psychological problems;
  3. sexual behavior, orientation, or attitudes;
  4. illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  5. critical appraisals of family member has close family relationships;
  6. religious affiliations or beliefs;
  7. legally recognized privileged relationships (lawyers, medical personnel, or ministers)
  8. income, except as required by law.

In 2014, the Legislature passed H.B. 23 (§53A- 13-302(7)) which allows a school employee to intervene and ask a student questions if the employee believes the student is at risk of attempting suicide, physically self-harming behavior or harming others.

Title 53A-1a-106: Plan for College and Career Readiness
Utah State Legislature 
Outlines the details of College and Career Readiness planning meetings and provides guidelines and expectations for LEA policies regarding these meetings.

Rule R277-462-3: Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program Approval and Qualifying Criteria
Utah Office of Administrative Rules
Outlines program implementation requirements for secondary schools to be eligible for CTE Add-On Funding for school counseling programs.

Rule R277-462-4: Plan for College and Career Readiness
Utah Office of Administrative Rules
Provides LEAs the guidelines and expectations to develop their Plan for College and Career Readiness schedule based on the following conferences:

  1. 7th and 8th grades: minimally one individual and one group conference during the two years;
  2. 9th and 10th grades: minimally one individual conference and one group conference during the two years;
  3. 11th and 12th grades: minimally one individual conference and one group conference during the two years; and
  4. other meetings, as necessary.

Rule R277-921: Strengthening College and Career Readiness Program
Utah Office of Administrative Rules
Outlines program implementation requirements for College and Career Readiness Certificate.

Contacts

Kim Herrera
Education Specialist
School Counseling Program Management; Systemic Assessment; UtahFutures
Phone: (801) 538-7647 | E-mail

Holly Todd
Education Specialist
School Counseling Program Management; School Counseling Licensing Questions; Career and Technical Education (CTE) College and Career Awareness School Counselor Curriculum
Phone: (801) 538-7643 | E-mail

Tina Morandy
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7526 | E-mail