The School Counselor and Annual Performance Appraisal
(Adopted 1978; reaffirmed 1984; revised 1986, 1993, 2003, 2009, 2015; reviewed 1999, 2021)
ASCA PositionThe annual performance appraisal of school counselors should accurately reflect the unique professional training and practices of school counselors working within a pre-K–12 school counseling program. These written appraisals should use forms and tools specifically designed forschool counselors, based on documents such as the ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies and the School CounselorPerformance Appraisal from the ASCA National Model.
The RationaleThe primary purposes of the annual performance appraisal are not only to ensure the school counselor’s effectiveness, impact, high-level performance and continued professional growth (Dimmitt, 2009) but also to demonstrate school counselors’ effectiveness and impact on student success as a part of the mission of their respective schools (ASCA, 2019a). School counselor appraisal should be based on professional standards of practice defined by school, district or state guidelines (ASCA, 2019a). The appraisal should include the components of self-evaluation, administrative evaluation and assessment of goal attainment (Gysbers & Henderson, 2012). In addition, those who evaluate school counselors’ performance should be trained to understand school counselor evaluation (Gysbers & Henderson, 2012).
Because many administrators have not received training on how to evaluate school counselor performance, school counselors educate administrators about the appropriate role of the school counselor, ultimately to improve the school counseling program (Hatch et al., 2019). Annual agreements between administrators and school counselors can be mutually beneficial for understanding the school counselor role (Duslak & Geier, 2016). The ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies (2019b) and School Counselor Performance Appraisal template are designed to be used as planningtools when developing a sound school counselor assessment tool (ASCA, 2019a).
The School Counselor's RoleThe key purpose of the school counselor performance appraisal is to enhance the positive effect the school counselor and the school counseling program have on students and school stakeholders (Studer, 2016). The school counselor:
- initiates and documents the annual administrative conference with administrators, to be referenced during the annual performance appraisal
- consults with administrators regarding approved standards and competencies for school counselors and school counseling programs
- advocates for the integration of the ASCA National Model School Counselor Performance Appraisal and ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies as tools in the appraisal process
- presents outcome data to demonstrate effectiveness and accountability as a part of program evaluation
- educates stakeholders about the importance of appropriate school counselor appraisal tools and advocates for their use if such tools are not being used (ASCA, 2019a)
- collaborates with personnel across the school district (e.g., other school counselors, district-level student support services personnel, administrators, union representatives) to align actual school counseling roles with the evaluation tool (Young & Kaffenberger, 2018)
- collaborates with administrators and departments of education to develop appropriate tools to use in the evaluation of the school counselor and the school counseling program (Dollarhide & Saginak, 2017) (See examples at www.schoolcounselor.org/templates.
SummaryThe annual performance appraisal of the school counselor should use criteria reflecting the current standards, competencies and performance appraisals of the school counseling profession. Annual performance forms and tools should also reflect these criteria.
ReferencesAmerican School Counselor Association. (2019a). ASCA National Model: A framework for school counseling programs (4th ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.
American School Counselor Association. (2019b). ASCA school counselor professional standards & competencies. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Dollarhide, C.T. & Saginak, K.A. (2017). Comprehensive School Counseling Programs: K-12 Delivery Systems in Action, Ed 3. Pearson.
Dimmitt, C. (2009). Why evaluation matters: Determining effective school counseling practices. Professional School Counseling, 12(6), 395-399.
Duslak, M., & Geier, B. (2016). Communication factors as predictors of relationship quality: A national study of principals and school counselors. Professional School Counseling. https://doi.org/10.5330/1096-2409-20.1.115
Gysbers, N. C., & Henderson, P. (2012). Developing and managing your school guidance and counseling program (5th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Hatch, T., Triplett, W., Duarte, D., & Gomez, V. (2019). Hatching Results for Secondary School Counseling. Corwin: USA.
Studer, J.R. (2016). Practicum and Internship for School Counselors-in-training, Ed. 2. Routledge: NY, NY.
Young, A., & Kaffenberger, C. (2018). School Counseling Professional Development: Assessing the use of Data to Inform School Counseling Services. Professional School Counseling. 19(1).