Core Values of School Counseling: Establishing Goals
Now that the mission, vision and values have been established, it is time to develop the goals of the school counseling program. We have all heard the term SMART Goals. SMART goals are defined as:
Right now, most school counselors are in panic reading this as it can be overwhelming to understand and create. Remember I stated previously that we are in the business of school counseling, therefore following a business model sets our profession apart. In order to simplify the idea of creating a SMART Goal, the entry today will provide you with examples!
Let's begin! The first thing you are going to do is work off of your already developed set of values. Ask your team, or yourself, to put a sticker next to the three values that are important. Each individual, if in a team, should have three stickers. Once everyone has had a chance to identify their preferred values, then discuss the top three with the most votes. Your top values become the department's leading concepts to create the SMART Goals!
To visualize the process, I am posting a table with three top value examples. From the value, a goal, objective and action plan will be written.
Next, pick one value and write a goal. Remember the timeline! In this case, we began with the simple statement of "by 2014". Notice the alignment to the ASCA Model domains.
Creating a SMART Goal
Now, for this SMART Goal, think of an objective. The objective is answering the question of what you want to accomplish? In this case, the team had previously discussed the lack of attendance from the community to the evening programs. The reasons behind it were varied based on qualitative data obtained. So the team decided to investigate different methods of providing the information to the community.
Writing a SMART Goal Objective
The final component is the action. Action is the specific nature of what is going to be done and the steps involved to achieve the objective. In this case, exploring different tools to provide the community with information on the evening programs was the action plan. The "how" was discussed as part of the department meeting. The team identified: technology tools such as webinars, twitter and weekly school newsletters. In addition, the team decided to ask the video class to tape the events and with the technology department's assistance, post the taped presentations on the school counseling's website.
Once all these components are in place, don't forget the measurable aspect of the SMART Goal. How did the team know that the new way of providing information to the community worked? Adding a counter to the videos showed the quantitative response of how many people visited the site. The qualitative response to the new idea was positively overwhelming from parents and students. Data is our friend!
For the 2015 year, take the developed values and goals and reassess them. Is there something else needed under that category? What other goals had been developed and fit the new year best? Review and redevelop! It becomes a great process to show how school counseling programs are essential, integral and collaborative!