The ASCA model sums up accountability for counselors with one simple question:
How are students different as a result of the school counseling program?
In answering this question after every session, small group meeting, classroom guidance lesson, and large group presentation counselors continually hold themselves accountable to both the ASCA model and the needs of their students. There are three elements to the accountability system:
When counselors put together an intervention, be it a small group session or a classroom lesson, they incorporate data collection into their plans. Counselors are looking to compare students before and after the intervention to look for differences. The information gathered through this data is summarized in results reports.
In creating results reports, counselors examine perception and results data. This data is then mined for implications - did the lesson work? Did the students learn the skill we wanted them to learn? Did the lesson cover material the students already knew? How can we improve the lesson next time?
School Counselor Performance Standards
The ASCA model clearly spells out standards for school counselors. These standards give counselors a tool for self-evaluation of performance. Administrators and teachers may also use these standards, as separate from those that might be used to evaluate a teacher, to evaluate the effectiveness of the department.
There are 13 School Counselor Performance Standards:
The Program Audit
The program audit is an extensive, yearly accounting of the current state of the guidance program. Through seventeen different subsections, each containing multiple items, each element of the guidance program (Foundation, Delivery System, Management System, and Accountability) is compared against the ASCA national model.
School counselors evaluate their progress on a simple scale: None (not in place), In Progress (perhaps begun, but not completed), Completed (but perhaps not as yet implemented), to Implemented (fully).
The complete program audit can be found in The ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (2nd Edition), produced by the American School Counselor Association.