The Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model
The Wisconsin model combines elements of the earlier Wisconsin Developmental Guidance Model [WDGM], ASCA's National Model for School Counseling Programs, the National Framework for State Programs of Guidance and Counseling (developed by the National Consortium for State Guidance Leadership), the Education Trust School Counseling Initiative, and Wisconsin's Quality Educator Initiative (PI 34).
The intention of The Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model: A Resource and Planning Guide [WCSCM] for school-community teams is to elaborate on the relevance of comprehensive, sequential developmental curriculum, programming and service in schools. The components that make for a comprehensive school counseling program are: school counseling curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system support services.
The foundation for the WCSCM are nine Model Academic Standards which, when delivered in a collaborative relationship among school, parents, and community, provide students with the skills necessary for them to become successful lifelong learners, good citizens, and productive workers. These nine Model Academic Standards identify areas in which individuals work to increase their proficiency. The content standards are:
Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to successful learning in school and across the life span.
Standard B: Students will develop the academic skills and attitudes necessary to make effective transitions from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school to a wide range of postsecondary options.
Standard C: Students will understand how their academic experiences prepare them to be successful in the world of work, in their interpersonal relationships, and in the community.
Standard D: Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and interpersonal skills to understand themselves and appreciate the diverse backgrounds and experiences of others.
Standard E: Students will demonstrate effective decision-making, problem-solving, and goal-setting skills.
Standard F: Students will understand and use safety and wellness skills.
Standard G: Students will acquire the self-knowledge necessary to make informed career decisions.
Standard H: Students will understand the relationship between educational achievement and career development.
Standard I: Students will employ career management strategies to achieve future career success and satisfaction.
To develop the whole student, it is important to consider the skills students need to improve themselves and the environment where these skills are to be used. Students need to integrate information with self-knowledge and develop skills to help them plan, make decisions, and adjust to the complex world in which they live. As students achieve developmental benchmarks, their perceptions of themselves and their opportunities should become more positive. Students who successfully acquire skills and information early in their lives will have more resources to help them continue to develop and, consequently, they are more likely to acquire favorable attitudes about themselves and their life options.
Comprehensive school counseling has been described as the process of leading, directing, and advising students through a program of experiences, which provides information, support, instruction, and encouragement to assist in developing academic, personal/social, and career development skills. Academic, personal/social, and career development skills represent the domains that comprehensive school counseling programs address.
While the WCSCM is designed to enrich the whole student, there are many positive effects that successful programs can have within the school or district and outside of the school. One impact is that students will be motivated and have purpose while in school and better prepared for postsecondary options upon graduation. Another result of successfully implementing a comprehensive school counseling program is the creation of a community where individuals have the capacity to interpret and apply relevant experiences and information in ways that are both personally enhancing and socially responsible.
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