PYCL 515 Assignment #3 – Interview of a School Counselor (FPEC 2.7, 4.8, 7, 7.1) (10 points) Given the vast needs of students, families, schools, and communities, the role of the school counselor is varied and extensive. The traditional activities of the school counselor include individual counseling, small group counseling, large group counseling, consultation, and collaboration. In addition to these traditional school counseling activities, school counselors regularly contribute to the development of school, agency, community, and/or public policies and procedures that advocate for effective programs and services to benefit all children, youth, and families. They promote mental health in schools and collaborate with professionals in providing safe and violence free schools and communities. School 13 counselors use their knowledge of professional and legal standards to advocate for the rights and welfare of children and families and promote practices that help children and families of all backgrounds feel welcome in the school community. School counselors provide leadership in schools and other agencies in understanding and using research and evaluation data and clearly present and disseminate information to diverse audiences to promote improvement in instruction and student achievement. It is important to hear first-hand from school counselors in the field regarding their job and daily experiences. In addition to conducting an interview of one school counselor, you will also have the opportunity to hear from your peers about their interviews with other school counselors. Therefore, you will hear about a wide array of school counselors and school counseling programs. In order to complete the written part of this assignment, candidates need to fully understand the ASCA National Model. Candidates will compare and contrast the school’s counseling program with the knowledge of the ASCA National Model. This paper is expected to be 6-8 pages in length (excluding title page) following APA style. 1. Interview a professional school counselor at the grade level that interests you (elementary, middle, or high school; public or private school) at his or her work site. Phone interviews are not allowed nor are interviews of the school counselor(s) at the school in which you already work. Candidates must use the interview questions below to guide the interview (make sure you ask the questions in this interview form plus any other questions you may want to ask the school counselor). 2. After completing the interview, write a report following this outline: I. Introduction- Include information about the school counselor and the school (address, environment, grade level, type of school setting, type of population, your observations, etc.) (1 page) II. Describe the school counselor’s answers to each question and your reaction. Make sure to use headers to separate each question. (3-4 pages) a. Provide a summary of the school counselor’s responses- this should not be what the counselor said verbatim, but instead should be a summary in your own words b. Describe your reaction to each of the school counselor’s responses. Your reaction should be based on what you have learned in this class and your own impressions as well. III. Conclusion- Answer the following questions (2-3 pages): a. What was your overall impression of the school counseling program at this school? b. What similarities in counseling style do you see between yourself and the school counselor you interviewed? c. What differences in counseling style do you see between yourself and the school counselor you interviewed? d. What can be done to enhance this school counseling program? 14 Candidates must be prepared to discuss their findings in class during the 2nd weekend. Your presentation should be organized and of professional quality. The use of PowerPoint or other presentation software is highly recommended. Interview questions: The interview questions should address at least the following topics (you can also create your own questions, but make sure that you at least touch on all the following topics): 1. What is your training/education experience? In what ways did your training prepare you well for this job? In what areas was your training lacking? 2. Do you have a structured school counseling program or plan that you follow for each year? (When discussing this question you may want to bring up the American School Counselor Association’s school counseling program framework)? If so, can you tell me about your counseling program’s structure/plan? 3. What does your typical day look like? Could you describe the major roles expected of you? (e.g., individual counseling, small groups, classroom guidance, testing, etc.) 4. To whom do you report? What is the attitude of your supervisor(s) about professional school counseling? 5. Do you find professional organizations to be helpful to you as a school counselor? If so, which ones? How are they helpful (or not helpful)? 6. Please tell me about your caseload and how students are assigned to you. What kinds of problems or concerns do the students frequently bring to you? 7. Do you refer students to services outside of school (or perhaps they have an in-school counseling center)? What type of problems/students do you typically refer out? 8. Who are your professional peers? Do you work with other school counselors and/or school staff, or do you work alone most of the time? 9. When making decisions about the school counseling program, with whom do you collaborate? Do you use data to enhance the school counseling program? 10. Please tell me about your counseling style and techniques you use. 11. What strategies do you use to make students aware of promotion requirements (i.e., promotion to the next grade level or graduation requirements)? 12. Please tell me how you help students transition to the school, or prepare them for transition to the next level (e.g., middle/high/college/career)? 13. Does your school have a crisis management or emergency/safety plan? If so, can you tell me about your role in this plan? 14. How does the school counseling department promote college and career readiness for all of your school’s students? 15. What do you like best about your job? What do you like least about your job? Thank the school counselor for his/her time, and please, write him/her a “thank you” note after you visited with him/her. See detailed rubric at end of syllabus for more information. Assignment
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