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Nebraska School Counseling State Evaluation Study (Spring 2010)

A statewide evaluation of Nebraska school counseling programs was recently conducted to address the following questions:

  1. Do school counseling programs in Nebraska high schools contribute significantly to students' educational outcomes?

  2. What aspects of school practice contribute the most to students' educational outcomes?

  3. Based upon these results, how might school counseling practice in Nebraska be improved?

This study found evidence that school counseling programs in Nebraska high schools contribute significantly to students' educational outcomes, including:

  • Suspension Rate
  • Discipline Incidence Rate
  • Attendance Rate
  • Dropout Rate
  • Graduation Rate
  • Nontraditional Program of Study Participation Rate
  • Average ACT Score
  • Math Proficiency
  • Reading Proficiency
  • Technical Career Skills
  • Program of Study Completion
  • Nontraditional Program of Study Completion Rate

School counseling programs are effective in helping to achieve important student educational outcomes when they: engage in systematic planning and evaluation, focus school counselor efforts on the professional work of school counseling, enable counselors to spend most of their time in work that directly benefits students, intentionally address educational attainment for all students, possess resources to support professional development, are integrated into the academic work of the school and coordinate with parents. While the findings cannot assure that given practices are causally related to improvements in student outcomes, this evaluation model identifies practices that are likely to result in improvements in student outcomes.

This study assesses the contribution school counseling programs have on student educational outcomes after controlling for demographic differences among schools. Actual school-level outcome data and demographic data were obtained from the Nebraska Department of Education. School counseling practices and programs were collected through an internet-based survey of high school counselors and principals. The survey response rate was 48.9% (115) for counselors and 26.0% (68) for principals. Due to low participation of principal responses, results are based on counselor surveys only.

To access the full report click here.

For additional resources visit the Nebraska School Counseling Research site.