The Center for School Counseling Outcome Research (CSCOR CSCOR Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research ) was founded in January January: see month. 2003 to provide leadership in promoting quality school counseling research and to give practicing school counselors A school counselor is a counselor and educator who works in schools, and have historically been referred to as "guidance counselors" or "educational counselors," although "Professional School Counselor" is now the preferred term. ready access to relevant research in order for them to make effective program decisions. CSCOR currently is the foremost national research facility supporting the school counseling profession. It sponsors the activities of the National Panel for School Counseling Evidence-Based Practice, conducts major outcome research studies, develops and disseminates outcome measures, reviews the research literature, and conducts yearly leadership academies about issues in evidence-based practice. CSCOR disseminates its work broadly through its Web site and listserv.
School counselors are well aware that the current educational context requires working from an intentional in·ten·tion·al
1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary.
2. Having to do with intention. and planned comprehensive school counseling program that utilizes what is known about effective interventions and practice. The Center for School Counseling Outcome Research (CSCOR) was founded in January 2003 to give practicing school counselors ready access to the relevant research in order for them to make effective program decisions. This article details the work of CSCOR, our efforts to date, and plans for the future.
WHY A CENTER FOR SCHOOL COUNSELING OUTCOME RESEARCH?
In the past 10 years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time movement to standards-based education and related school reform efforts have generated increased accountability demands, greater awareness of achievement gaps and educational inequities, high-stakes testing A high-stakes test is an assessment which has important consequences for the test taker. If the examinee passes the test, then the examinee may receive significant benefits, such as a high school diploma or a license to practice law. , and many changes in educational practice. The premise of school reform is that all students can achieve if they are held to high standards, have access to quality teachers and curricula, are adequately supported, and are assessed on a regular basis to ensure academic progress (House & Hayes Hayes, river, c.300 mi (480 km) long, rising in a lake NE of Lake Winnipeg, central Manitoba, Canada, and flowing NE to Hudson Bay. It was the chief route used by Hudson's Bay Company traders from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg and the interior; York Factory, an , 2002). Whether or not one agrees with all of the reasons for or outcomes of this change, it is clear that standards-based education is here to stay.
Initially school reform had less impact on school counselors than on other school professionals, and all too often counselors were not very involved in the changes that were occurring. As the Education Trust Transforming School Counseling Initiative (Education Trust, 2005) has pointed out, school counselors are mostly absent from the school reform literature, and thus the tremendous positive potential of school counselors has been underutilized in reform efforts (House & Martin, 1998). Increasingly, school counselors are realizing that they are ideally situated to serve as advocates for student achievement and to be leaders in the efforts to close achievement gaps (American School Counselor Association [ASCA ASCA American School Counselor Association
ASCA Australian Shepherd Club of America
ASCA Arab Society of Certified Accountants
ASCA American Swimming Coaches Association
ASCA American Society of Consulting Arborists
ASCA Association of State Correctional Administrators ], 2005).
The recent advent of the No Child Left Behind Act The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110), commonly known as NCLB (IPA: /ˈnɪkəlbiː/), is a United States federal law that was passed in the House of Representatives on May 23, 2001 (NCLB NCLB No Child Left Behind (US education initiative) , 2001) has required all school personnel, school counselors included, to demonstrate that the work they are doing is helping their school and district to meet the mandates established by this legislation. Some of the key aspects in NCLB include an increased emphasis on quantitative evaluation of academic achievement, attendance rates, graduation Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the associated ceremony. The date of event is often called degree day. The event itself is also called commencement, convocation or invocation. rates, and school safety. There are requirements to disaggregate See disaggregated. outcome data in all of these areas, to show where the gaps exist, and to demonstrate adequate yearly progress Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, is a measurement defined by the United States federal No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically. in enhancing achievement and closing the gaps. There is also an increased focus on accountability, which includes sanctions Sanctions is the plural of sanction. Depending on context, a sanction can be either a punishment or a permission. The word is a contronym.
Sanctions involving countries:
In order for school counselors to demonstrate to administrators and community stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. that they are essential to creating the kinds of learning environments that support success for all students academically, socially/emotionally, and in the workplace, they need the following:
* Research demonstrating that the services they provide impact student outcomes such as achievement, safety, attendance, discipline, and postsecondary choices
* Training in the use of data and data-based program decision making
* Information about which interventions (curricular, small group, individual, systemic systemic /sys·tem·ic/ (sis-tem´ik) pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole.
1. Of or relating to a system.
2. , etc.) have been found to impact key student outcomes
* Knowledge about evaluating programs and interventions to meet accountability requirements.
The Center for School Counseling Outcome Research was designed to meet these needs, and it has as its mission "improving the practice of school counseling by developing the research base that is necessary for responsible and effective practice" (CSCOR, 2004, [paragraph] 1). CSCOR aims to provide school counseling practitioners with the tools to do the work that needs to be done and to make available supporting information about how school counseling interventions are making a difference for students.
MEASURING INTERVENTION A procedure used in a lawsuit by which the court allows a third person who was not originally a party to the suit to become a party, by joining with either the plaintiff or the defendant. OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION Program evaluation is a formalized approach to studying and assessing projects, policies and program and determining if they 'work'. Program evaluation is used in government and the private sector and it's taught in numerous universities. AND RESEARCH
There are several important distinctions between research about school counseling and evaluation of school counseling programs. The primary purpose of research is to add knowledge to a field of study and to contribute to the growth of theory. The primary purpose of evaluation is to help stakeholders make judgments or decisions. Simply stated, research is intended for knowledge and program evaluation is intended for use (Fitzpatrick, Sanders San´ders
n. 1. An old name of sandalwood, now applied only to the red sandalwood. See under Sandalwood. , & Worthen, 2004).
Program evaluation allows practitioners to assess programs and interventions in their specific contexts. Practices can change immediately and in an ongoing manner as data are collected and analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. . The differing purposes of evaluation and research also impact the questions that are answered. Researchers often choose the hypotheses they are interested in investigating, while those conducting evaluation often are answering questions posed by stakeholders.
Another important distinction between evaluation and research is related to the generalizability of the results, which is the extent to which the findings are relevant in other settings. Due to the purpose of evaluation, which often involves the description of a specific program or intervention in a certain context, the results are less generalizable gen·er·al·ize
v. gen·er·al·ized, gen·er·al·iz·ing, gen·er·al·iz·es
a. To reduce to a general form, class, or law.
b. To render indefinite or unspecific.
2. than research findings. Because the purpose of research is to add to existing theory or knowledge, the methods employed often are designed to maximize the generalizability of the findings to many different settings. The generalizability of results also is impacted by the criteria or standards that are used. Research methodology is typically far more stringent than evaluation methodology. Research often will utilize empirical research Noun 1. empirical research - an empirical search for knowledge
inquiry, research, enquiry - a search for knowledge; "their pottery deserves more research than it has received" designs (experimental or quasi-experimental, multiple controls, qualitative and quantitative) including standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. interventions and multiple sites, thereby allowing for generalizability of information for evidence-based practice. The research designs in evaluation are often less stringent and may include case studies, documentation of an intervention at a single site, quantitative or qualitative data, and local confirmation of program or intervention impact for planning and accountability.
Education reform mandates include frequent references to "scientifically based research Scientifically based research or SBR is the required standard in professional development and the foundation of academic instruction under the guidelines of No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
1. " and randomized ran·dom·ize
tr.v. ran·dom·ized, ran·dom·iz·ing, ran·dom·iz·es
To make random in arrangement, especially in order to control the variables in an experiment. field trials. The U.S. Department of Education recently formed the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. IES, educational practice needs to be grounded in scientifically based research, which is research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures in order to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to educational activities and programs. This type of research involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test hypotheses and justify the general conclusions that are drawn. It also relies on measurement instruments and methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators. It further requires research that uses experimental or quasi-experimental designs in which individuals, groups, programs, or activities are assigned as·sign
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.
2. to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest. There is a preference for random-assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls. Scientifically based research also ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication In database management, the ability to keep distributed databases synchronized by routinely copying the entire database or subsets of the database to other servers in the network.
There are various replication methods. as well as the opportunity to build systematically on the findings.
Given the emphasis on evidence-based practice in education, it seems crucial that the school counseling profession promote high-quality research demonstrating the impact of school counseling programs on student achievement, the achievement gap, attendance and graduation rates, and issues of school safety. It seems very realistic to expect that the school counseling profession will benefit enormously by encouraging research that establishes the effects of "standardized" programs and interventions on key student outcomes. Scientifically based school counseling outcome research can help to answer questions about which school counseling practices are validated val·i·date
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. by strong empirical evidence that demonstrates gains in academic achievement, career knowledge, and/or social-emotional development. Realistically, however, it is seldom possible for counselors to conduct such studies. Many times evaluation is an adequate way to answer the questions that need answering and is the best use of time and resources.
Whiston and Sexton sex·ton
An employee or officer of a church who is responsible for the care and upkeep of church property and sometimes for ringing bells and digging graves. (1998) published a thorough review of school counseling outcome research and concluded that although there are many promising findings, the current state of research in school counseling is that there are too few well-controlled studies of outcomes. There are few sources of funding for school counseling research, but to the extent possible, CSCOR is dedicated to conducting research that adds to the literature in the field.
One of the initial projects undertaken by CSCOR was a Delphi study about school counseling research. The study used an expert panel to determine the critical research questions and proposed a research agenda for the school counseling field. The results of the study were published in the journal Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (Dimmitt, Carey, McGannon, & Henningson, 2005). The CSCORWeb site has information about the Delphi study process and some of the recommendations.
Currently, CSCOR is conducting studies of two widely used career education interventions, the "Real Game Series" (2005) and "Bridges" (Bridges Transitions Inc., 2005). We hope to be able to begin publishing the results of these studies, with preliminary results made known through the Web site.
PROVIDING INFORMATION ABOUT RESEARCH
There are several ways that CSCOR provides school counseling practitioners and educators with information about relevant research. Five or more times a year, members of the CSCOR research listserv receive through e-mail a research brief that summarizes an important research article that pertains to school counseling practice. Recent research briefs have been about curriculum interventions, group interventions, and comprehensive school counseling programs, for example. Research that helps school counselors choose which program components and interventions most effectively and efficiently improve student outcomes has become more crucial to the field. It is our hope that the research briefs will help school counselors make informed choices about which program components and interventions most effectively and efficiently improve student outcomes, and that the briefs will help counselors become knowledgeable consumers of research.
In addition to research briefs, CSCOR publishes or reprints longer research papers called monographs on its Web site. CSCOR monographs are studies or research summaries that provide more in-depth analysis or information than can be contained in a brief or journal article. Current monographs on the CSCOR Web site are a summary of school counseling outcome research (McGannon, Carey, & Dimmitt, 2005), a longitudinal study longitudinal study
a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study. about course-taking patterns and how they relate to student achievement in college (Trusty, 2004), the impact of comprehensive school counseling programs on student achievement (Sink & Stroh, 2004), and a statewide evaluation of school counseling programs conducted in California California (kăl'ĭfôr`nyə), most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and, across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S), and the Pacific Ocean (W). (California Department of Education The California Department of Education is a California agency that oversees public education. The Department oversees funding, testing, and holds local educational agencies accountable for student achievement. , 2004).
THE NATIONAL PANEL FOR SCHOOL COUNSELING EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
CSCOR has organized and is supporting the National Panel for School Counseling Evidence-Based Practice (the National Panel). The National Panel is establishing the rules of evidence for determining whether a practice can be considered as evidence-based, prioritizing school counseling outcomes and measures, reviewing the outcome research literature, identifying evidence-based practices, making recommendations for needed research, and making recommendations for research training. The establishment of a professional body that is making determinations about evidence-based practice provides the school counseling field with greater internal consistency In statistics and research, internal consistency is a measure based on the correlations between different items on the same test (or the same subscale on a larger test). It measures whether several items that propose to measure the same general construct produce similar scores. and improved external legitimacy LEGITIMACY. The state of being born in wedlock; that is, in a lawful manner.
2. Marriage is considered by all civilized nations as the only source of legitimacy; the qualities of husband and wife must be possessed by the parents in order to make the offspring . The National Panel is committed to evaluating our current state of knowledge through comprehensive, interdisciplinary in·ter·dis·ci·pli·nar·y
Of, relating to, or involving two or more academic disciplines that are usually considered distinct.
Adjective reviews and to encouraging the development of well-designed outcome studies within professional school counseling.
The National Panel (a) provides school counselors, school leaders, policymakers, and the public with independent, unbiased information on the extent to which school counseling practices are supported by scientific information; (b) provides information to practitioners on promising practices; (c) provides school counseling researchers with suggestions about critically needed areas of inquiry; and (d) provides practitioners and researchers guidance about measurement and research methodology. The National Panel continuously reviews research literature in school counseling and related journals with the intention of locating relevant research findings wherever they exist and connecting school counseling research to the broader interdisciplinary, social science research context. The panel has or will disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. its work through books and monographs, yearly reports at ASCA's annual national conference, yearly research review articles, and occasional comprehensive research review articles submitted to Professional School Counseling. Panel documents and reports are also available on the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research Web site (www.cscor.org).
The National Panel is an independent body that strives to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews and analyses, and which applies rigorous, systematic, and transparent research review methods in order to evaluate the scientific evidence for causal causal /cau·sal/ (kaw´z'l) pertaining to, involving, or indicating a cause.
relating to or emanating from cause. relationships between interventions and outcomes. Increasingly, school counseling models have emphasized the importance of systemic interventions (e.g., interventions that affect a whole school's ability to educate children). Well-controlled research that leads to causal inferences about systemic interventions is very difficult to accomplish. Nonetheless, such research is vitally important. With regard to systemic interventions, the National Panel will work both to evaluate the current state of knowledge by identifying promising practices and to facilitate the development of strong, controlled outcome research of systemic interventions.
Many forms of research and evaluation are needed in school counseling. The National Panel is primarily interested in studies that attempt to evaluate the extent to which interventions or approaches have an impact on student outcomes. Experimental and certain quasi-experimental research designs are among the most appropriate methodologies for this purpose (Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002) and are the "gold standard" for determining confidence on causal relationships. At the same time, experimental and quasi-experimental studies are very difficult to implement in educational settings. There is much to be learned through "less rigorous" designs in terms of which interventions or approaches are promising. Promising practices have some empirical support to suggest the likelihood of a causal relationship to student outcomes and are excellent candidates for subsequent studies using more rigorous, controlled, experimental procedures. When possible, the National Panel will identify promising practices as well as evidence-based practices in school counseling.
PROVIDING INFORMATION ABOUT PROGRAM EVALUATION
CSCOR also is committed to providing school counseling practitioners, administrators, and educators with useful information about program evaluation. To this end, the CSCOR Web site contains well-developed surveys such as the School Counseling Activity Rating Scale, or SCARS Scars Definition
Scars are marks created during the healing of damage to the skin or tissues.
A scar is a manifestation of the skin's healing process. , which can help school counselors and programs determine what they are doing effectively and what they would like to be doing differently. The ASCA Implementation Readiness Instrument, which was developed by CSCOR faculty, is another survey on the Web site and can be completed electronically so that a score report can be generated by answers to the survey. The Readiness Instrument determines the extent to which a district is ready to implement the ASCA National Model[R] (2005) as determined by questions about administrator support, community understanding, counselor skills, and the like.
Additionally, CSCOR has developed a series of stakeholder stakeholder n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) money or property in which he/she has no interest, right or title, awaiting the outcome of a dispute between two or more claimants to the money or property. perception surveys about school counselor programs, including surveys for school counselors, parents, and teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. There are also perception surveys for high school students, and stakeholder surveys translated into Spanish Spanish, river, c.150 mi (240 km) long, issuing from Spanish Lake, S Ont., Canada, NW of Sudbury, and flowing generally S through Biskotasi and Agnew lakes to Lake Huron opposite Manitoulin island. There are several hydroelectric stations on the river. . These surveys are available on the CSCOR Web site.
CSCOR has developed models for district-wide school counseling program evaluations, and it has supported districts in this process. Moving toward the ASCA National Model is more easily accomplished when the strengths and needs of the existing program have been identified and addressed.
A future goal for CSCOR is to provide practitioners with more evaluation instruments, and with lists of instruments that have been determined to have reliability and validity for measuring school counseling-related outcomes.
PROVIDING SUPPORT IN DATA ANALYSIS
In order for school counselors to more easily analyze their program or school data, CSCOR has supported the development and dissemination dissemination Medtalk The spread of a pernicious process–eg, CA, acute infection Oncology Metastasis, see there of EZAnalyze, a free software program that can be added into Microsoft Excel (tool) Microsoft Excel - A spreadsheet program from Microsoft, part of their Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. Excel is probably the most widely used spreadsheet in the world.
Latest version: Excel 97, as of 1997-01-14. . It is available through the CSCOR Web site (http://www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/ links.htm) or at www.EZAnalyze.com.
DEVELOPING SCHOOL COUNSELORS' EXPERTISE
A fundamental goal of CSCOR is to help all school counselors develop the needed skills in order to develop and evaluate high-quality school counseling programs. To this end, we have held School Counseling Leadership Institutes (SCLIs) for 75-100 school counselors and educators every summer since 2003. SCLI SCLI Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry (British Army)
SCLI Snmp Command Line topics have been "School Counselors Using Data," "Implementing the National Model," and "Evidence-Based Practice in School Counseling." In 2006 the topic is "Leadership Models in School Counseling." All of the training materials from the SCLI are available on the CSCOR Web site.
Web-based education is an efficient and accessible method for disseminating dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. information about effective practice. CSCOR currently has an online course about college counseling and is planning to develop several 1- to 3-credit Web-based graduate courses on topics such as using data to guide program planning, evaluating programs and interventions, and evidence-based curriculum interventions.
The CSCOR Web site also contains links to related Web sites and reference materials. It is our aim to continue to add materials, links, research, and relevant information that are useful in our goal of developing the school counseling profession.
In order for the crucial role that school counselors can play in supporting student achievement and closing the achievement gap to be recognized and acknowledged, the field needs strong research and evaluation that demonstrate this fact to stakeholders. The Center for School Counseling Outcome Research is dedicated to improving the practice of school counseling by disseminating relevant research findings; supporting the National Panel for School Counseling Evidence-Based Practice; providing resources and training to develop counselor expertise in research, program evaluation, and data use; and conducting research.
American School Counselor Association. (2005). The ASCA national model: A framework for school counseling programs (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.
Bridges Transitions Inc. (2005). Bridges. Retrieved December 14, 2005, from http://www.bridges.com/us/home.html
California Department of Education. (2004). Assembly Bill 722 study of pupil personnel ratios, services, and programs. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from http://www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/Research_Monographs.htm
Center for School Counseling Outcome Research. (2004). Mission statement. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from http://www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/mission.htm
Dimmitt, C., Carey, J., McGannon, W., & Henningson, I. (2005). Identifying a school counseling research agenda: A Delphi study. Counselor Education and Supervision, 44, 214-228.
Education Trust. (2005). National Center for Transforming School Counseling at the Education Trust. Retrieved December 15, 2005, from http://www2.edtrust.org/EdTrust/Transforming+School+Counseling/main
Fitzpatrick, J. L., Sanders, J. R., & Worthen, R. R. (2004). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education Pearson Education is an international publisher of textbooks and other educational material, such as multimedia learning tools. Pearson Education is part of Pearson PLC. It is headquartered in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. .
House, R. M., & Hayes, R. L. (2002). School counselors: Becoming key players in school reform. Professional School Counseling, 5, 249-256.
House, R. M., & Martin, P. J. (1998). Advocating for better futures for all students: A new vision for school counselors. Education, 119, 284-291.
McGannon, W., Carey, J., & Dimmitt, C. (2005). The current status of school counseling outcome research. Retrieved December 15, 2005, from http://www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/Research_Monographs.htm
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-110 (2001). Real game series. (2005). Retrieved December 15, 2005, from http://www.realgame.com/
Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D.T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized gen·er·al·ized
1. Involving an entire organ, as when an epileptic seizure involves all parts of the brain.
2. Not specifically adapted to a particular environment or function; not specialized.
3. causal inference (logic) inference - The logical process by which new facts are derived from known facts by the application of inference rules.
See also symbolic inference, type inference. . Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
Sink, C. A., & Stroh, H. R. (2004). Improving academic achievement in primary students through a systematic approach to guidance and counseling guidance and counseling, concept that institutions, especially schools, should promote the efficient and happy lives of individuals by helping them adjust to social realities. . Retrieved October 10, 2005, from http://www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/Research_Monographs.htm
Trusty, J. (2004). Effects of students' middle-school and high-school experiences on completion of the bachelor's degree. Retrieved December 15, 2005, from http://www.umass. edu/schoolcounseling/Research_Monographs.htm
Whiston, S. C., & Sexton, T. L. (1998). A review of school counseling outcome research: Implications for practice. Journal of Counseling & Development, 76, 412-426.
John C. Carey, Ph.D., is director of the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and an associate professor of school counselor education at the University of Massachusetts The system includes UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth (affiliated with Cape Cod Community College), UMass Lowell, and the UMass Medical School. It also has an online school called UMassOnline. , Amherst. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carey Dimmitt, Ph.D., is associate director of CSCOR and an assistant professor of school counselor education at UMass--Amherst.