Help Graduate Students Become an ACSC
Individuals who earn the ASCA-Certified School Counselor (ACSC) certification have demonstrated their knowledge in designing, implementing and assessing a school counseling program. This national recognition provides further verification of your students’ graduate preparation, knowledge and skills. To earn the certification, candidates provide evidence of their knowledge of an ASCA National Model school counseling program through the Praxis exam and present a portfolio demonstrating their implementation of specific school counseling program components.
The ACSC provides additional proof to administrators, school boards and communities that school counselors are well-trained, knowledgeable and ready to hit the ground running.
Here’s how you can help ensure your students are prepared to become an ASCA-Certified School Counselor when they finish your program.
Pre-Internship: Help your graduate students get familiar with the ASCA National Model and ASCA National Model templates from the beginning of their graduate program experience.
- Determine what components of the ASCA National Model best connect with each course.
- Help your students become familiar with the corresponding templates using sample or actual school data.
- Help your students identify strategies and activities they can use in their internship based on research and best practice.
Internship Year: Your graduate students must complete the following ASCA National Model templates in the first two months of their internship:
- School Data Summary
- Annual Administrative Conference Template
- Annual Calendar
- Use-of-Time 5-Day Calculator
Applying for the ACSC
To apply for the ACSC, your graduate students also must complete the following ASCA National Model templates during their internship:
- Lesson plan for either a classroom lesson or a small-group session. Encourage your students to work with their site supervisor to complete the lesson plan template. Follow all components of the ACSC rubric.
- Closing-the-Gap Action Plan/Results Report. After delivering the closing-the-gap activities, encourage your students to submit the templates below following the details of the ACSC rubric:
ACSC Section 1: Annual Administrative Conference and Calendars (6 points)
STEP 1 – Encourage your graduate students to complete the school data summary with assistance from the site supervisor. The graduate students will need to review the school improvement plan, school data reports and other data resources and discuss with their site supervisor.
STEP 2 – Encourage your graduate students to work with their site supervisor to schedule the annual administrative conference within the first two months of school. The students should participate in the conference with their site supervisors and any other school counselors in the program.
STEP 3 – Complete the annual administrative conference template, as follows:
- Data Priorities: Have your graduate students work with their site supervisor to identify data priorities based on the school data summary.
- Annual Student Outcome Goals: Add the annual student outcome goals. If the school counseling program does not have written goals, help your students create their own annual student outcome goals based on achievement, attendance or discipline data.
- School Counselor Use of Time: Put “NA” in the section for the previous school year. Encourage your students to work with their site supervisor to develop an estimate of the percentage of time they plan to spend in each area.
- Ratio and Caseload: Ask your students to work with their site supervisor to complete this section.
- Program Implementation Plan to Address Priorities: Ask your students to work with their site supervisor to establish dates for first semester and second semester Advisory Council meetings and identify potential members.
- Professional Development: Ask your students to include any professional development beyond what is covered in the internship year of the graduate program.
- School and District Committees and Professional Work: Ask your students to work with their site supervisor to determine what committees the student will observe or participate in.
STEP 4 – Encourage your students to obtain the existing school counseling annual calendar from their site supervisor. Add potential classroom, group and closing-the-gap activities to the calendar based on the data priorities and annual goals identified in the annual administrative conference. If no calendar exists, encourage students to work with their site supervisor to create one using the ASCA template.
STEP 5 – Ask your students to complete the use-of-time 5-day calculator template during the first semester. The calculator can be completed again at any point during the school year.
STEP 6 – Encourage your students to participate in the annual administrative conference with their site supervisor and any other school counselors in the program.
ACSC Section 2: Lesson Plan (10 points)
ACSC Section 3: Results Report (17 points)
STEP 8 – After delivering closing-the gap-activities, encourage your students to submit the closing-the-gap action plan/results report.
Deadlines to apply: The ACSC portfolio is due by Jan. 15 or June 15 each year.