Pre-Service Candidate Preparation
In order to receive a Provisional Educator License in a pupil services category (i.e., school counselor) under s. PI 34.31, an applicant must successfully complete a graduate program at an approved preparation program and receive institutional endorsement. This is based on demonstration of proficient performance of knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to the seven pupil services standards. See the resources below for additional information about required Pupil Service Standards and ASCA Standards for School Counselor Preparation Programs. For additional licensing information on the pupil services pathway, please refer to the licensing information on the School Counseling Services page, or on the DPI Pupil Services License page.
Wisconsin Graduate Programs in School Counseling
There are ten institutions of higher education (IHEs) which provide graduate-level training for individuals interested in becoming a licensed school counselor in Wisconsin, with some providing Post-Master’s certificates in school counseling.
For more information, contact the DPI Approved School Counseling Programs and refer to their website below to learn about the coursework, costs, and distinctive program elements of each school counseling graduate program.
Professional Standards and Competencies
School Counselor Standards and Competencies align with the ASCA National Model. They include the necessary mindsets (the beliefs school counselors have about student achievement and success) and behaviors (such as professional foundation, direct and indirect student services, planning and assessment demonstrated through a school counseling program) for new and experienced school counselors to perform at the highest level of professionalism. The seven mindsets and 24 behaviors set up school counselors to develop, maintain, and improve school counseling programs that meet the needs of all students’ academic, career, and social/emotional development. The competencies and standards serve school counselors, administrators, and school counseling graduate programs with a variety of uses including self-reflection, professional development planning, performance evaluation, recruitment of highly qualified applicants, and pre-service preparation of candidates.
Performance measures often parallel the school counselor’s roles and responsibilities, and due to their evaluative nature, influences or dictates how school counselors spend their time. Therefore, to support and maintain an effective, data-driven comprehensive school counseling program, the roles and responsibilities of professional school counselors demand an evaluation tool designed specifically to the unique role of school counselors within the educational setting.
The following evaluation tools can be used by administrators to examine school counselor performance based on specific aspects of their work supporting, advocating, and providing services for students in collaboration with key stakeholders in the school setting and in the student’s life. The tools can be used as they are or modified to better fit the context and needs unique to the school/district.
See the Wisconsin Pupil Services Evaluation System page for more information and resources for consideration.
ASCA School Counselor Performance Appraisal
School counselor performance standards align with the ASCA National Model and contain basic standards of practice expected from counselors. Personnel delivering the school counseling program are evaluated in the areas of program implementation, program evaluation and professionalism. All too often, school counselors are evaluated using an instrument designed for teachers or resource professionals. These school counselor standards accurately reflect the unique training of school counselors and their responsibilities within the school system. Although used for performance evaluation, the standards are also an important tool in the school counselor’s own self-evaluation and advocacy, and will help focus personal and professional development plans. It is suggested that school counselors and administrators work within their individual systems to design appropriate evaluation and appraisal tools that meet their district governing board and bargaining unit policies. It is recommended that administrators evaluate school counselors every year. An evaluation should include individual comments as well as a rating system for how well the school counselor is meeting required performance standards.