The School Counselor and Annual Performance Appraisal
(Adopted 1978; reaffirmed 1984; revised 1986, 1993, 2003, 2009, 2015; reviewed 1999)
ASCA PositionThe annual performance appraisal of school counselors should accurately reflect the unique professional training and practices of school counselors working within a school counseling program. These written appraisals should use forms and tools specifically designed for school counselors, based on documents such as the School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies and the School Counselor Performance Appraisal from the ASCA National Model.
The RationaleThe primary purposes of the annual performance appraisal are to ensure the school counselor’s effectiveness, impact, high-level performance and continued professional growth (Dimmitt, 2009). School counselors should be evaluated based on professional standards of practice defined by school, district or state guidelines for school counselor appraisal (ASCA2019). It is recommended the appraisal include the components of self-evaluation, administrative evaluation and assessment of goal attainment (Gysbers & Henderson, 2012). In addition, the “evaluators of school counselors’performance should be trained to understand school support evaluation” (Gysbers & Henderson, 2012).ASCA provides the School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies and a sample School Counselor PerformanceAppraisal as planning tools when developing a sound school counselor assessment tool (ASCA 2019)
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 (VSCA, 2008). The school counselor:
- initiates and documents the annual administrative conference with administrators, to be referenced during annual performance appraisal
- consults with administrators regarding approved standards and competencies for school counselors and school counseling programs
- endorses the use of the ASCA National Model School Counselor Performance Appraisal and ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies
- educates stakeholders of the importance of appropriate school counselor appraisal tools and advocates for their use if such tools are not being used (VSCA, 2008)
- collaborates with administrators to develop appropriate tools to use in the evaluation of the school counselor and the school counseling program (see examples at www.schoolcounselor.org/resources)
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. (2019). ASCA National Model: A framework for school counseling programs (4th ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.
American School Counselor Association. (2019). ASCA school counselor professional standards & competencies. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Dimmitt, C. (2009). Why evaluation matters: Determining effective school counseling practices. Professional School Counseling, 12(6), 395-399.
Gysbers, N. C., & Henderson, P. (2012). Developing and managing your school guidance and counseling program (5th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Isaacs, M. L. (2003). Data-driven decision making: The engine of accountability. Professional School Counseling, 6(4), 288-295.
Virginia School Counselor Association. (2008). Virginia professional school counselor program manual. Yorktown, VA: Author.