Benefits Associated with Implementing a Comprehensive Guidance Program


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School Counseling Research Brief 1.1, January 15, 2003 National Center for School Counseling Outcome Research What Are the Expected Benefits Associated with Implementing a Comprehensive Guidance Program? Lapan, R.T., Gysbers, N.C. and Sun, Y. (1997). The impact of more fully implemented guidance programs on the school experiences of High School students: A statewide evaluation study. Journal of Counseling and Development, 75, 292-302. The Comprehensive Guidance Program model was originally developed in the 1970s by Norm Gysbers. This model sees guidance as an organized developmental education program rather than as an ancillary set of student services. Many State Departments of Educations have adopted this model and many school districts have implemented this model. Relatively few studies of how implementing a comprehensive guidance program affects student outcomes have been undertaken. Establishing the benefits to students that can be expected to result from a district’s implementation of a comprehensive guidance program is an important question. Why should a school district invest time and expense without knowledge of the benefits to students? The Lapan, Gysbers, and Sun (1997) article is an evaluation of impact of comprehensive developmental guidance implementation on student outcomes. The evaluation included data from a statewide group of 236 high schools is the state of Missouri. Methods. For the past twenty years, the State of Missouri has run a school accreditation program. Every school in the state is reviewed on a five year cycle. The self-study process associated with accreditation review includes the collection of survey data from students, parents and school personnel. School Counselors rate the extent to which elements associated with a comprehensive guidance program are evident in their schools. Lapan, Gysbers and Sun (1997) use the high school accreditation data base to develop several measures. These include: 1) Student Self-Rating of Grades (single item). 2) Student Ratings of the Availability of Career and College Information (single Likert item) 3) Student Ratings of the Extent to which their Education was Preparing them for the Future (single Likert scale item). 4) Student Liking for School (single Likert scale item). 5) Student ratings of Positive School Climate (five Likert scale items) 6) Counselor report of Level of Implementation of the Comprehensive Guidance Program (32 item survey) In addition, data on students’ demographics (e.g. gender, racial/ethnic status, and parents education) and school characteristics (e.g. school size, minority enrollment) were collected to use in the analyses as statistical controls. The researchers used Hierarchical Linear modeling to study the relationships between student outcomes and the level of implementation of the comprehensive guidance model controlling for differences between schools. Findings: In schools with more fully implemented comprehensive guidance programs: 1) Students reported higher grades. 2) Students were more likely to indicate that their school was preparing them well for later life. 3) Students were more likely to report that career and college information was readily available to them 4) Students were more likely to report a positive school climate (defined primarily in terms of perceptions of safety, orderliness and belonging). Implications: This research study is ...

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