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School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap

School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap
A Social Justice Framework for Success

Edited by:
  • Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy - American University, Washington DC, USA, John Hopkins University, USA, University of Maryland, College Park, USA

Other Titles in:
School Counseling | Social Justice

June 2007 | 176 pages | Corwin
School counsellors can play a powerful role in closing the achievement gap by incorporating principles of social justice - that is, equity and advocacy for all students - into their practice. This new resource for pre-service and in-service counsellors addresses the reasons why some students are more likely to encounter academic failure (racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism), and challenges readers to play an active role in bringing about the conditions for student success. Offering a variety of vignettes, strategies, activities, and reflective individual and group study questions, the book provides the framework for how school counsellors can mitigate the impact of negative factors hampering academic performance and healthy development. The book details six functions of a school counsellors that move schools toward more just practices and, ultimately, to higher test scores and increased student achievement.
About the Author
1. The Achievement Gap: Our Ultimate Challenge
School Counseling and the Gap  
Where We Have Been and Where We Are Headed  
The Power of School Counselors  
Achievement Gap Defined  
A Closer Look at the Gap  
What Do We Know About Closing the Gap?  
Questions to Consider  
2. School Counseling Within the Context of Social Justice
Redefining School Counseling to Serve Diverse Groups  
Focusing on Social Justice  
Key Functions of School Counseling Based on a Social Justice Approach  
Questions to Consider  
3. Counseling and Intervention Planning
Critical Factors That Affect School Counseling and the Counseling Relationship  
Culturally Appropriate Counseling Interventions  
Assessing School Counselors' Multicultural Counseling Competence  
The Influence of Culture on Intervention Planning  
Questions to Consider  
4. Consultation
Defining Consultation  
Social Justice Considerations and the Consultation Process  
Consultation Strategies  
Questioning Domains  
Assessing School Culture  
Questions to Consider  
5. Connecting Schools, Families, and Communities
Avoid the Blame Game  
Five Principles of Effective SFC Partnership  
Barriers to School-Family Collaborations  
Questions to Consider  
6. Collecting and Using Data
What Is Accountability?  
Using Data to Uncover Inequities  
School Counseling Program Evaluation  
Developing Program Assessment Tools  
Questions to Consider  
7. Challenging Bias
Guidelines for Challenging Bias  
Social Justice Education in Schools  
Questions to Consider  
8. Coordinating Student Services and Support
Collaborating With Community Organizations and Social Service Agencies  
Implementing Scheduling Practices That Encourage Rigorous Course Taking  
Coordinating College Preparation Interventions  
Coordinating Tutoring Services  
Participating on Individualized Education Program Committees  
Participating on Gifted and Talented Committees  
Questions to Consider  
9. Doing the Right Thing: Developing a Social Justice–Focused School Counseling Program
Assessing Your Beliefs  
Assessing Your Skills  
Assessing Your Students' Needs  
My Vision for My School Counseling Program  
Concluding Remarks  
Resource A: Assessing School Equity  
Resource B: School Counselor Multicultural Competence Checklist  
Resource C: School Culture Assessment  
Resource D: Assessing Beliefs About School-Family-Community Partnership Involvement  
Resource E: SOARING Samples and Worksheets  
Suggested Readings by Topic

"The author is way ahead of the game on this one. This book is sorely needed in schools today. I would recommend purchasing it for counselor inservice programs, and I would use it in my graduate counselor education classes."

Sharon K. Johnson, Coeditor
Building Stronger School Counseling Programs

"A groundbreaking book for school counselors and school counselor educators. The author encourages the use of a social justice lens to help school counselors and school counseling programs close the achievement gap. Great examples, practical suggestions, and powerful theory."

Stuart F. Chen-Hayes, Associate Professor of Counselor Education
Lehman College

"This book will fulfill a major void in the school counseling literature."

James L. Moore III, Associate Professor of Counselor Education
Ohio State University

"I would recommend this publication to every education student, school counselor, and urban educator."

Jennifer White-Peters, School Counselor
Burlington City Junior School, NJ

"Tackles a major educational problem head on and takes a thematic perspective that is relevant to most school counselors' daily lives."

Christopher Sink , Editor
Counseling and Values

"An item of choice for both college-level education collections and practicing school counselors. From small-group activities for students to individual issues, this book provides a winning set of examples and strategies."

The Bookwatch, September 2007

"The book is grounded in the author's real-world experiences and frustration with schools that fail to help students achieve. Holcomb-McCoy's passion and her goal to help school counselors understand equity and social justice are to be applauded."

PsycCRITIQUES, June 2008, Vol. 53(26)
American Psychological Association

This book provides a strong background on social justice issues related to school counseling. It was an excellent text for school counselors in training.

Dr Jennifer Betters-Bubon
Counselor Education Dept, Univ Of Wisconsin-Whitewater
April 2, 2014

Practical application. Focus on data

Professor Cynthia Walley
educational foundations and counseling , Cuny Hunter College
July 17, 2012

Holcomb-McCoy's is best in the field.

Dr Lee Grimes
Leadership Technology Human Dev, Georgia Southern University
June 22, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Holcomb-McCoy Preface

Holcomb-McCoy Chapter 1

Preview this book

Cheryl C. Holcomb-McCoy

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy received her Ph.D. in counseling and educational development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her areas of research specialization include multicultural school counseling, school counselor multicultural self-efficacy, and urban school counselor preparation. She has written numerous book chapters and refereed articles on issues pertaining to diversity in school counselor education. Dr. Holcomb-McCoy is a former elementary school counselor and kindergarten teacher.... More About Author

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