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Achieving Excellence in School Counseling through Motivation, Self-Direction, Self-Knowledge and Relationships

Achieving Excellence in School Counseling through Motivation, Self-Direction, Self-Knowledge and Relationships

  • Karl L. Squier - Lady of the Lake Learning Systems
  • Patricia Nailor - Providence College, Providence, RI
  • John C. Carey - Ronald H. Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research & Evaluation, UMASS Amherst

Foreword by Clarence and Sharon Johnson

July 2014 | 208 pages | Corwin

A new research-based approach to the design, delivery and evaluation of K–12 school counseling programs

Learn about a Construct-Based Approach (CBA) to school counseling that uses four research-based constructs to focus school counseling programs on areas that can significantly increase the impact on student achievement and school improvement. Discover essential school counseling processes in which all students participate: student planning, academic support, college and career readiness, and personal growth and social interaction.

 The authors, leading educational experts, use research to refocus attention on student results, a challenging results-based school counseling curriculum, and meaningful student assessments. See examples of how a CBA looks in practice with the following: 

  • In-depth analysis of student standards and competencies
  • Developmentally-appropriate scope and sequence
  • Documented curriculum activities
  • Sample student assessments  

An online toolkit consisting of electronic files with structured processes, clearly-defined protocols and easy-to-use tools to help implement a CBA is also available. 

This groundbreaking approach can help transform your counseling program. You will love it. Your students will love it. Get started today! Visit for more information, including online and onsite consulting services that are available. 


Table of Contents
About the Authors
1. Introduction
Purpose of Book  
How Book Chapters are Organized  
Book Chapter Descriptions  
From Concept to Practice  
CBA Toolkit Components  
Construction Site Components  
Chapter 1 Construction Zone  
2. A Simple Language Set
Importance of the Language We Use  
Student Assessment  
Program Implementation and Evaluation  
How the Terms in the Language Set Relate  
Standards and Competencies are the Foundation of the Curriculum  
Chapter 2 Construction Zone  
3. Research-Based Constructs
Definition of Research-Based  
New Focus on Personal, Social and Life Skills  
Self-Knowledge and Self-Direction  
Chapter 3 Construction Zone  
4. Relevant Contexts for K-12 School Counseling Programs
From Constructs to Contexts  
Competency Statements Emerge from Contexts  
Contexts Consist of Essential Processes  
Academic Support  
Chapter 4 Construction Zone  
5. Student Results (Standards and Competencies)
Achieving Excellence  
Counseling-Learning Environment (CLE)  
Two Types of Student Results  
Construct-Based Student Standards  
A Vision to Live By  
Competencies as Proficiency Builders  
Writing Meaningful Competency Statements  
A Focus on Cognitive Skill Development  
A Focus on Metacognitive Skill Development  
Role of School Counselors  
Chapter 5 Construction Zone  
6. Role of Curriculum in a CBA
Where We Are in the CBA Building Process  
Essential Characteristics of a CBA Curriculum  
Principles for Learner Centered School Communities  
Results-Based CBA Curriculum in a Nutshell  
Chapter 6 Construction Zone  
7. Assessing Student Progress toward CBA Counseling Standards
CBA Student Proficiency Assessments  
Assessing Current Levels of Competency  
Assessing Gains after Interventions  
Assessing Progress towards Standards at Key Transition Points  
Assessing Curriculum-Related Proficiencies  
Importance of Linking CBA to Research-Based Constructs  
Chapter 7 Construction Zone  
8. CBA Program Implementation: Focus on Planning  
Shift in Focus from Building to Implementing a CBA  
How to Begin  
Why All the Fuss About Planning?  
Three Perspectives on the Planning Process  
Four Types of Plans  
Chapter 8 Construction Zone  
9. CBA Program Implementation: Focus on Program Delivery
Delivering a CBA Program with Fidelity  
Data Management  
School Counseling Data Management System  
Chapter 9 Construction Zone  
10. BA Program Implementation: Focus on Evaluation
Program Evaluation is an Improvement Process  
What Needs to be Evaluated  
Chapter 10 Construction Zone  
11. CBA’s Contribution to School Improvement Initiatives
Contribution to Current Practice  
Contribution to Knowledge and Skill Requirements Initiatives  
ACT’s Five Principles  
CBA Contribution to School-Based Intervention Initiatives  
Toward a More Holistic View of Student Learning  
Chapter 11 Construction Zone  
12. Power and Potential
What is Power and Potential?  
A Vision to Live By  
Summary of Key Points  
School Counselor Accountability  

"This book takes a vital next step for the school counseling profession by defining what results we expect students to achieve based on research. Not only do the authors propose standards for student excellence, but also demonstrate the importance of delivering meaningful learning opportunities and assessing student proficiency and achievement." 

From the Foreword by Clarence Johnson and Sharon Johnson

"The authors present a systematic roadmap for implementing the innovative and promising Construct-Based Approach to school counseling.  This research-based approach will assist counselors and schools in targeting student skills and competencies that are vital for student achievement and success, specifically motivation, self-direction, self-knowledge, and relationships." 

Jon M. Shepard, School Psychologist
Denton Independent School District, Denton, Texas

"The authors provide a new model for school counseling interventions, ensuring that every K-12 student has specific competencies in four key school counseling standards from educational success research."

Stuart Chen-Hayes, Associate Professor & Program Coordinator, Counselor Education/School Counseling
Lehman College of the City University of New York

"This pioneering book takes the ASCA National Model to a new level. With over 50 years of research in how the brain functions and how students learn school counselors will find this book extremely helpful in their implementation of the ASCA National Model as it defines roles for administrators, parents, teachers, and the community."

Judy Bowers, School Counselor Consultant

“For the first time, we have a comprehensive school counseling curriculum built on more than fifty years of research designed around four main constructs supporting students’ success: (a) motivation, (b) self-direction, (c) self-knowledge, and (d) relationships.  Any person passionate about designing a proactive, research-based approach to school counseling will love this book.  The Construct-Based Approach (CBA) detailed by Squier, Nailor, and Carey is grounded in data-based decision making, strategic program implementation and ongoing evaluation. CBA is focused on enhancing students’ “self-direction or self-determination skills”.  These factors have been shown to be more closely associated with future success than academic skills or performance on achievement tests.  The constructs and strategies in this book are designed to ensure that all students are successful in school and, more importantly, throughout their life.  This book shows school counselors how to make a measurable difference in students’ lives.  School counselors will appreciate how the authors connect the strong research base to a curriculum laid out clearly in scope and sequence, with activities, interventions, and assessment strategies included.  In fact, as school counselors examine the curriculum, they will find many issues they encounter daily through responsive services.  Through this approach, however, school counselors have an intentional, planned sequence for equipping all students with the knowledge, behaviors, and skills they need to be successful, while targeting sub-populations that need additional support.  Crisis requiring responsive services will be reduced tremendously as a result. I highly recommend this book for any school counselor in-training, beginning school counselor, school counselor who wishes to evolve current practices, or any school looking to make a measurable impact in students’ lives!”

Brett Zyromski Associate Professor
Northern Kentucky University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

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ISBN: 9781483306728

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