High school counselor caseload assignment models: Counselors

Report
High School Counselor Caseload
Assignment Models:
Counselors Voices about What Works and Why
Dr. Nelda L. Mackey
Significance of the Study
 The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) states that
counselors should choose a caseload assignment model that aligns
with the goals and mission of the site; however, no explanation is
given on how to make this determination.
 Gysbers & Henderson (2006) offered limited explanations.
 Prior to this study, Akos, Schuldt & Walendin (2009) provided the
only exploratory research on caseload assignment models.
 Without research showing how caseload assignment models may
impact the organization of the counseling program, or impact how
counselors meet the needs of students, it’s been difficult to
determine which model would be most appropriate for a site to
utilize.
 Practitioners have relied on anecdotal evidence and historical
practices to make decisions.
Types of Caseload Assignment Models
 Alphabetical (Surname) Assignment Counselor
 Grade Level Assignment Counselor
 Looping -- counselor starts with students in 9th grade and stays
with them through graduation
 Static -- counselor assigned the same grade level each year
 Program Specialist Counselor
 Small Learning Community (Career Academy) Counselor
 Other Configurations
Major Themes for Caseload Assignment Models:
(A)=Advantages; (D)=Disadvantages
Category
Alphabet (Surname)
Grade Level/Program Specialist
Equity Issues
Fairness to Counselor Workload
(A) Equal ratios, evenly spreads
workload; (D) Some students
placed on backburner, students
may need to be more proactive to
be seen
Family Connection
(A) Build trusting relationships
with families over time, increased
information about family
environment; (D) No
disadvantages stated
With Counseling Team
A) Capitalize on counselors
strengths, collaboration improves
work product, divvy up classroom
presentations equally; (D)
Presentations made irrespective of
counselor caseload, collaboration
is time consuming
Equity in Meeting Student Needs
(A) Equitable services for all
students for all grade levels; (D)
Counselor ratios and workload not
evenly distributed
Relationships
Collaboration
Counselor Role
Enhanced Student Connection (A)
Often participates with students in
activities outside of counseling
domain, i.e. field trips; (D) Lack of
family connection
With Teachers
(A) Know small group of teachers
and curriculum well, create own
classroom presentations, and
present to respective caseload, work
more autonomously which creates
efficiency; (D) Little counseling
team collaboration, autonomy can
be isolating
Generalists
Specialists
(A) Global view of site, broad
(A) Specialized and focused
knowledge base, keep current on knowledge base at grade level or for
developmental needs at each
a specific program, focus and
grade level; (D) Surface level of
autonomy creates efficiency; (D)
knowledge, spread thin over many Must relearn new knowledge each
year for grade level counselor, or
developmental areas
lack of global view of site for
program specialist
Career Academy/ Small Learning
Community
Fairness to Counselor Workload
(A) Equal ratios, evenly spreads workload;
(D) Some students placed on backburner,
students may need to be more proactive to
be seen
Enhanced Student Connection
(A) Often participates with students in
activities outside of counseling domain, i.e.
field trips; (D) Lack of family connection
With Teachers
(A) Know small group of teachers and
curriculum well, create own classroom
presentations, and present to respective
caseload, work more autonomously which
creates efficiency (D) Little counseling
team collaboration, autonomy can be
isolating
Team Member
(A) Create family environment and focus
on relationship building, teachers
responsible for scheduling so counselors
can focus more on counseling; (D)
Blurring of counselor/teacher role,
students can change career academies,
thus changing counselors
Practical Applications
 Counselors and administrators should have conversations about goals
and what should be emphasized in the counseling program.
 Advantages/disadvantages of differing models
 Delivery of guidance curriculum, individualized planning services and
responsive services to students
 Based on these conversations, look at the available research to determine
the best model to utilize for your site.
 Akos, P., Schuldt, H. & Walendin, M. (2009). School counselor assignment
in secondary schools. Professional School Counseling, 13, 23-29.
 Gysbers, N. C. & Henderson, P. (2006). Developing & managing your school
guidance and counseling program (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American
Counseling Association.
 Mackey, N.L. (2013). High school counselor caseload assignment models:
Counselors voices about what works and why. Doctoral Dissertation, University
of California, Davis.
Interested in Learning More about
Caseload Assignment Models?
Dr. Nelda L. Mackey
[email protected]
Copy of dissertation will be e-mailed to you
as it is not yet available on ProQuest

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