National Model supports the significance for accountability by including it as one of the crucial elements which offer structure and framework for the school counselor and counseling program (SACS, 2005). The element of accountability, under the SACS National Model, includes the program audit, school counselor performance evaluation, and results reports. Examining the data acquired through these forces remits counselors to assess the efficiency of the program.
Achievement data, attainment or access data, and school culture and climate data are the three types of data that is most widely used in a school counseling program. Achievement Data “Achievement data generally target learning outcomes, such as grades and performance and standardized test scores” (Adelaide & Saginaw, 2012, p. 110). The SACS National Model outlines a variety of methods that can be used in order to obtain this data. One method defined is the Results Report, which aligns with results data.
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The Results Report collects data is recorded and distributed to administrators, parents, and teachers in order to be disaggregated and reviewed in order to evaluate program effectiveness and areas that need improvement (Adelaide & Saginaw, 2012, p. 116). The Results Report includes components such as grade level, lesson content area, curriculum and materials used, process data, short-term perception data, intermediate and long-term results. One thing to realize is that achievement data comes in forms other than standardized test data.
Attainment or Access Data Attainment or access data take in students’ movement through the educational system, such as enrollment, retention, promotion, postsecondary and transitional patterns, and special programming for special education, gifted, and talented students” (Adelaide & Saginaw, 2012, p. 110). For counselors, attainment data measures rates of completion, specifically the rate at which a behavior, event, or marker point is reached or completed. By examining various data elements, professional school counselors can understand what influences access and attainment.
Attainment data helps counselors figure out if a student needs to advance to the next grade and graduate. School Culture and Climate Data Adelaide and Saginaw state that “school culture and climate data consist of data that reveal information about thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and attitudes such as attendance rates, suspensions and expulsions, staff relations, campus morale, embracing diversity, and campus safety’ (2012, p. 110). An enduring positive school climate and culture are essential conditions for fostering learning and positive youth velveteen that results in productive and fulfilling lives.
Academic achievement and a positive school climate go hand in hand. I believe that if a school wants to improve their academic success with their students, the school must improve their school climate. The culture of a school should be supportive and caring. Students should feel protected and safe and have trusting relationships counselors, principals, and teachers. Counselors can help with dropout prevention, bully prevention, safe and healthy schools, and guidance. Cornerstone of SACS Model
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