As a result of the Response to Intervention (RTI) mandate in schools across many states, school counselors are well-positioned to take a leadership role. The present research study examines how school counselors across the nation perceived their training and knowledge of RTI, as well as their confidence in its implementation. Results indicate that while the majority of school counselors reported positive beliefs about RTI, they had limited confidence in their preparedness to perform certain RTI-related responsibilities, including collecting and analyzing data to determine intervention effectiveness and collaboration through teamwork. These perceived areas of deficiency point to a significant discrepancy with the American School Counselor Association National Model’s components and themes. Through building skills and capacity for leadership, school counselors can spearhead schoolwide teams to create and evaluate the effectiveness of culturally relevant and evidence-based interventions. School counselors and school counselor educators must use a multi-tiered system of supports as an opportunity to advance the field.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model and a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) both provide frameworks for systematically solving problems in schools, including student behavior concerns. The authors outline a model that integrates overlapping elements of the National Model and MTSS as a support for marginalized students of color exhibiting problem behaviors. Individually, the frameworks employ data-driven decision making as well as prevention services for all students and intervention services for at-risk students. Thus, the integrated model allows schools to provide objective alternatives to exclusionary disciplinary actions (e.g., suspensions and expulsions) that are being assigned to students of color at a disproportionate rate. The manuscript outlines the steps within the integrated model and provides implications for school counselors and counselor educators.
Successful implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs should include culturally responsive practices to reduce disproportionality in school discipline referrals and create effective learning environments for all students. Sustaining culturally responsive PBIS programs requires attention to student demographics and the cultural context of a particular school. Recent PBIS research has lacked focus on sustainability and cultural responsiveness within implementation. This case study examines how one school team (principal, school counselors, school psychologist and teachers) infused culturally responsive practices within the PBIS program to meet student social, behavioral and emotional needs in a diverse elementary school. The examination of sustaining the PBIS program over a 5-year period focuses on data sources and interventions that build socially just practices and supports, as well as the role the school counselor plays in the process. Suggestions for school counseling practice also are provided.
This article provides an overview of a grant project designed to create a district-wide elementary school counseling program with a strong data-based decision-making process. Project goals included building data literacy skills among school counselors and developing the infrastructure to efficiently collect important social-emotional indicators through a revised system for recording disciplinary infractions and a new research-based behavioral component for the district’s standards-based report cards. This enhanced system for accessing and analyzing social-emotional indicators resulted in broad systemic changes in the district, including extending a number of grant initiatives to the middle and high school levels, restructuring data teams to adopt a multi-tiered system of supports, and establishing school counselors as leaders in data-driven discussions about student success.
This study surveyed male counselor educators regarding the impact of being male upon their professional relationships. Participants (N=163) were surveyed about their attitudes concerning the influence of gender on their relational behavior, as well as their relationship practices with students and colleagues. Mixed-methods analyses revealed a majority of respondents believed being male influenced their relationship behavior and reported experiencing relationship challenges unique to male counselor educators. Male counselor educators shared strategies to avoid the perception of impropriety when engaging in teacher–student relationships. Consultation, engagement in group activities and avoidance of being alone with students were cited as common strategies to ensure appropriate teacher–student boundaries.
This study examined the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory-3’s (SASSI-3) ability to predict Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., DSM-5) substance use disorder criteria. Various data sets were collected from college students, patients at a residential substance use disorder treatment center, and clients of a private, non-profit forensic and mental health treatment center (N = 241). Agreement between the SASSI-3 and DSM-5 diagnosis was fair.
A total of 370 counselor educators in CACREP-accredited programs were surveyed to determine their knowledge of master’s students’ problems of professional competence (PPC) and their perception of roadblocks that affect gatekeeping practices. Findings suggest that educators are aware of students’ PPC and that problematic students are impacting the overall learning environment, other students and counselor educators’ personal stress. Participants reported roadblocks related to struggling emotionally to balance being empathetic with their gatekeeping duties and fears they would appear culturally insensitive.
Research studies indicate that the number of African Americans diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is disproportionately higher than other demographic groups. A consensual qualitative research (CQR) design was used to understand the contextual factors, diagnostic processes and implications associated with ODD in African American males. Six mental health professionals were interviewed and four domains identified: insurance influence, ODD diagnostic criteria, ODD stigmatization, and assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Findings indicated that factors beyond the health needs of the client, including counselor bias, might play a critical role in diagnostic assessment. Implications are provided for counselors and counselor educators. Recommendations for further research are suggested on the diagnosis–billing model and the long-term implications of ODD diagnoses for African American males.
Counseling graduate students may begin practicum with low self-efficacy regarding their counseling abilities and skills. In the current study, we implemented a small-series (N = 11) single-case research design to assess the effectiveness of the practicum experience to increase counseling students’ self-efficacy. Analysis of participants’ scores on the Counselor Activity Self-Efficacy Scale yielded treatment effects indicating that the practicum experience encompassing direct services, group supervision, and triadic supervision may be effective for increasing counselor self-efficacy. Given that the practicum experience with triadic supervision was a promising approach for improving counseling graduate students’ self-efficacy, we provide implications for counselor educators to integrate triadic supervision and self-efficacy to the forefront of discussions.
Advocacy with and on behalf of clients is a major way in which counselors fulfill their core professional value of promoting social justice. Career counselors have a unique vantage point regarding social justice due to the economic and social nature of work and can offer useful insights. Q methodology is a mixed methodology that was used to capture the perspectives of 19 career counselors regarding the relative importance of advocacy interventions. A two-factor solution was reached that accounted for 60% of the variance in perspectives on advocacy behaviors. One factor, labeled focus on clients, emphasized the importance of empowering individual clients and teaching self-advocacy. Another factor, labeled focus on multiple roles, highlighted the variety of skills and interventions career counselors use in their work. Interview data revealed that participants desired additional conversations and counselor training concerning advocacy.