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1 of 30 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright is retained by the first or sole author, who grants right of first publication to the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Volume 12 Number 3January 16, 2004ISSN 1068-2341Below the accountability radar screen: What does state policy say about school counseling? Angela M. Eilers Stanford UniversityCitation: Eilers, A. (2004, January 16). Below the accountability radar screen: What does state policy say about school counseling?, Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12 (3). Retrieved [Date] from examine the state policy context of implementing an initiative that transforms the training and role of today’s sc hool counselors. This is essentially a story of political process. L ike the implementation of many initiatives, the Transformin g School Counselor Initiative (TSCI) is a process of gaining support and then institutionalizing a newly-formed vision for t he role and function of a profession that has been a part of th e school organization for the better part of a century. I ex amine the educational reform contexts of California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio as it relates to implementing the Initiative. As such, the framework for analysis on state policy co ntext draws from macropolitical processes as a way of examining practices and actions of key state stakeholders, such as the state departments of education, the counseling profession ’s state-level association and state legislation and statutory lan guage. The final


2 of 30 analysis ranks the 5 states with regard to their in stitutional capacity to fully implement and stabilize reform in itiatives related to school counseling.IntroductionOver the past few decades, there has been a signifi cant shift in education governance from local to state control. Traditional ly in American public education, curriculum matters and school functions have been t he prerogative of the local school district. However, as overall student perfor mance continues to be a central concern to policymakers, a trend toward cen tralized state governance has emerged.Increasingly, state policymakers are taking on the roll of educational architects in designing a coherent and systematized educational p rogram—one that includes high content standards and accompanying accountabil ity measures. Policies of “curriculum upgrading,” as some call it (Porter, Sm ithson, & Osthoff, 1994), have been the states’ response to calls for reform. Poli cies of curriculum upgrading include increasing course requirements in academic subjects, developing curriculum frameworks and standards, initiating var ious types of student assessment, and providing staff development. The ef fectiveness of these policies at the state level is increased, research suggests, when there is coherence among them (O’Day & Smith, 1993; Elmore & Fuhrman, 1994). Yet, in the flurry of activity to systematize educa tion, little attention has been given to upgrading the skills of non-teaching schoo l professionals, such as school counselors. The leadership and advocacy role that school counselors could play, some argue, in a standards-based system has been overlooked. The Education Trust, with support from the Wallace-Read er’s Digest Fund (WRDF), has been examining just such a role for school coun selors. The Education Trust has been working with leaders to identify what scho ol counselors need to know to be able to help all students succeed academically—e specially students living in low-income communities and students of color. The r esult of The Education Trust’s investigation is now a national effort call ed the Transforming School Counseling Initiative (TSCI) and is being implement ed at six universities in five states (California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and O hio). In the interest of upgrading school counselors’ eff ect on student achievement, the professional associations of school counselors at the state and national levels, along with some state departments of educat ion, have developed curriculum standards and frameworks as a response t o calls for a new focus, clarity in role and function, and a demonstration o f effectiveness of school counseling programs. The desired result is a moveme nt toward a more comprehensive and developmental program that measur es program effectiveness that links with current educational r eform initiatives (Dahir, Sheldon & Valiga1998; Paisley & Borders, 1995).Here I examine the state policy context of these fi ve states and asks two related questions: 1) Does the transformation of school cou nseling preparation programs align with the agenda of states’ educational polici es? 2) What degree of transformation is feasible in the policy context of these five participating states?


3 of 30 This analysis intends to get at whether systemic re form of non-teaching functions, like counseling, link up with the larger reform objectives of student achievement and school accountability, and to inves tigate whether the professional class of people outside of teaching an d administration are flying beneath the policy radar screen?A Theoretical Framework for the State Policy Contex t: An Institutional PerspectiveThe state policy context of the TSCI is essentially a story of political process; it is a process of gaining support and then institutional izing a newly-formed vision for the role and function of a profession within the in stitution of education. As such, the framework for analysis draws from macropolitica l processes as a way of examining practices and actions of key state stakeh olders. In simple terms, policy context refers to the antec edents and pressures leading to a specific policy. These antecedents and pressures include the many social, political and economic factors that lead to an issu e being placed on the policy agenda. These factors are influenced by pressure g roups and broader social movements that force governments to respond through the articulation of a policy statement. Most recently, state and national press ure groups are calling for high performance and accountability to fuel these antece dents and pressures. School counselors, according to counselor reform advocates have a role to play on the “achievement team” in helping to meet the demands f or improved student achievement and school accountability.According to Rowan and Miskel (1999), the goal of i nstitutional theory is to explain how socially organized environments arise a nd how they influence social action. All institutions are frameworks of programs and rules establishing identities and activity schemes for such identities The institutional environment, therefore, is characterized by the elaboration of r ules and requirements to which individual organizations must conform if they are t o receive support and legitimacy (Hoy & Miskel, 2001).Institutional environments, observed Rowan (1982), consist of numerous social control agencies such as state-level professional o rganizations, state education agencies, professional schools, legislators, and th eir constituents. These groups or agencies play a major role in adopting, institut ionalizing, and stabilizing new educational services. The role of control agents is to legislate (authorize and mandate new programs), professionalize (train, lice nse, credential through state education agencies), and administer (monitor, regul ate) programs. Advocacy-oriented social networks or agencies, Rowa n argues further, drive action through lobbying for their special interests In the case of the TSCI, the five states and their legislatures (and the occasio nal governor’s office) represent the institutional environment, while the advocacy-o riented network includes The Education Trust, the counseling departments at the six universities, and the state-level school-counseling associations. I will describe the role of each of these institutions and each network or agent and th e extent of their success in institutionalizing, adopting, and stabilizing TSCI.


4 of 30 Policy InstitutionalismIt is instructive to place an analysis of policy de velopment, like the transformation of school counseling, into historical context. This helps explain previous developments and initiatives upon which a policy li ke the TSCI is built. In American public schools, at least a century of deba te has centered on the purpose of schooling as chiefly either an equalizin g process or a process of fostering educative excellence. Critics on either s ide of the equity vs. excellence argument fuel the debate. Critics of social reforms of the Progressive Era and the Great Society have argued that schools were not des igned to be repositories of child welfare services, but rather to be vehicles f or training young minds to be thinking and productive citizens (Sedlak & Schlossm an, 1985; Tyack, 1992). Indeed over the century, supplemental services for students have been considered by such critics a diversion that “sap[s] schools of limited economic resources] (cited in Sedlak & Schlossman, 1985, p. 371). On the other hand, socially-minded reformers, who saw the enterprise o f schooling as more than just a pursuit of excellence, have been able to articula te the importance of considering non-educative services for children. S lowly and steadily, more functions and professional roles were institutional ized: kindergarten, “visiting teachers” (now known as school social workers), the Lunch Act of 1946, vocational guidance counseling, hygiene classes, an d physical education, to name a few. Whether as a result of social debate or social resistance, some reform features did not “stick” or were otherwise eliminated, such as dental offices in schools and school-based juvenile courts (Tyack, 1992). As an artifact of the “space race” of the 1950s, th e National Defense Education Act of 1958 poured millions of dollars into the sch ools of education to train a new generation of school counselors. The emphasis of th is era was for counselors to sift and sort, and to identify promising young Amer ican students to enter the sciences and pursue higher education (Hayes, Dagley & Horne, 1996). In the era from the 1960s until recently, the social conce rns within the schools have been about teenage pregnancy, drug use, assault, an d high dropout rates. Rowan concludes that school functions, such as coun seling, endure in public schools because agencies or political constituencie s institutionalize various functions and roles.. Therefore, to understand the place of school counseling in public schools today, it is important to place the TSCI in the current educational reform context of promoting high achievement becaus e the reform era of standards and accountability is now well-establishe d, organized, and systematized in nearly every state.Current Policy Thesis: Systemic ReformAmid the bevy of calls for educational excellence h as been a consistent cry for achieving policy coherence and coordination around a set of clearly articulated outcomes. Particular political cachet is given to m eeting high standards through accountability measures. The policy coherence effor t is widely known as “systemic reform” (Furhman, 1993; O’Day & Smith, 19 93) and represents the third in a series of reform waves over the past 20 years (Murphy, 1990).


5 of 30 Proponents of systemic reform argue that once the c onditions for change (such as the proactive role of the key institutions) have been set, and once coherence exists among policies (such as aligning curriculum with standards and assessment), then systemic reform should produce hi gher levels of student achievement (O’Day & Smith, 1993). The thinking beh ind the TSCI is consistent with the theory of systemic reform in that the Init iative calls for, in part, an alignment or partnership between the policy-issuing organization (the state) and the counseling preparation institution (the univers ity). The effectiveness of the TSCI is increased, research suggests, when there is coherence between the key institutions.Two state-level questions related to the TSCI are considered and answered here: (1) Does the transformation of school-counsel ing programs align with the agenda of states’ educational policies? and (2) How are state policies shaping or otherwise accommodating the efforts of university-b ased programs to transform school counseling? These are important questions to consider because the very success of the TSCI may hinge on the support of the state institutional environment and the use of social networks or agen cies to institutionalize changes and, therefore, to transform the field of s chool counseling.Method of Data CollectionThe analysis is derived from a two-stage method of data collection. In the first stage, site visits were conducted in each of the fi ve states in late fall and winter of 1999-2000, which included interviews with TSCI proj ect directors, counselor supervisors, practicing counselors, and school admi nistratorsand the gathering of relevant documents. In a second stage of data colle ction and analysis, focusing specifically on the state policy context, documents from each of the participating states were collected from the state departments of education, the state school counseling associations, and from the six universit y counseling education programs. These documents included key legislative language regarding the role and function of school counselors in the state, edu cational reform policy papers and legislation, corresponding state department of education papers or statements related to school counseling, university site progress reports to the Education Trust, other relevant documentation from The Education Trust (including applications from the grantees), and rel evant web-based data from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Final ly, one-hour follow-up interviews were conducted by telephone or e-mail th e project director from each university and/or with state education department r epresentatives. The two stages of data collection generated a clear picture of the state context in which the TSCI was being implemented at the six uni versities. To verify this picture, a state profile was developed for each of the five states and presented to evaluation team leaders and then to state or site r epresentatives for verification or amendment.. All feedback was incorporated into t he final analysis.FindingsEach state’s administrative or statutory rule was r eviewed to consider the extent to which the states define the role and function of school counselors. The


6 of 30 corresponding office of school counseling within ea ch state department of education is then descriptively analyzed here. Next each state’s school-counseling professional organization is desc ribed because, as a special interest group, professional associations often act as a lobby to the legislature and a liaison between the state department of educ ation and the legislature. The analysis then turns to the larger education policy in each of the five states related to academic performance and accountability. These e ducational policies of reform are integrally related to the objectives of the TSCI. Thus, to consider the institutionalization of a reform, this analysis con siders four features of each state: the statute, the state office, the professional ass ociation, and the state educational reform policy.The data that follows shows that the five states ca n be clustered into three categories along a continuum of institutionalizatio n: high, moderate, and minimal. Institutionalization of the TSCI is minimal in Flor ida. This state has few key features in place to support institutionalization. Florida has neither statutory language to legitimize the role and function of sch ool counseling nor a state department office to monitor and support it. Califo rnia and Georgia have institutionalized the TSCI to a moderate degree. In California, the Initiative is a vehicle for reform rather than an end in itself. I n Georgia, the state has both the language and the office but does not have a partner ship between the state department and the two universities to build on the components of the TSCI. Indiana and Ohio represent the highest form of inst itutionalization in that the states have co-opted the TSCI as part of a larger i nstitution-building effort, integrating the TSCI objectives with already-establ ished efforts of the university and state. (See Table 1 below for a summary of inst itutional features along a continuum.). Finally, I describe and discuss the ad option, diffusion, and stabilization of the TSCI in each state, suggesting the likely endurance of school counseling, given each state’s policy context.Institution Building: Definition and Rationalizatio nDefinition Reforms begin with a period of institution-buildi ng in which services or functions are defined and rationalized. In the case of the TSCI, the role and function of the counselors in each state need to be understood. Nearly all of the five states in which the TSCI is being implemented have a defining rule, administrative code, or statute that defines the role and function of school counselors in public schools. The state of F lorida does not have language requiring school counselors to serve in public scho ols, but it does have statutory language for the certification requirements of scho ol counselors. Table 1. Five-State Policy Context Summary: A Conti nuum of Institutionalization TSCI university site State statute (code, rule or article) State-level educational reform policy State department of education State professional association Degree ofstabilization/institutionalization


7 of 30 Indiana Indiana State University (ISU) Student Services Rule (IAC 511 4-1.5) Public Law 221 Career Counseling and Guidance ISCAHigh degree through cooptation Ohio Ohio State University (OSU) Rule 3304-2-64 Senate Bill 55 Guidance, Counseling and Development OSCAHigh degree through institution building California California State University, Northridge(CSUN) Code Section 49600 Senate Bill 1X Counseling and Student Support Services CASC CSCAModerate degree, though in process Georgia University of GeorgiaState (UGA)And University ofWest Georgia (SWUG) Rule 160-4-8.01 QBE ActSchool Guidance and Counseling Services GSCAModerate degree, no link between site and statedepartment Florida University of North Florida (UNF) ----A+ PlanStudent Support Services Project at University ofSouth Florida FSCAMinimal degree, no institutional supportCalifornia’s State Board of Education has a policy that all students are entitled to the benefits of school counseling, but counseling i s not required. In the other three states, Indiana, Ohio, and Georgia, the respe ctive rules or codes makes explicit the licensing and certification requiremen ts, the role and function of the professional.In Indiana, Title 515, Code 1-1-74 (2001) clearly d efines counselor licensing. The newly-adopted administrative code, Article 4-1.5 of Title 511 (2000), now known as the “student services rule,” advances the profes sion of school counseling, in particular, by requiring that Student Assistance Se rvices (SAS) and Educational and Career Services (ECS) be provided to students. SAS are required at both elementary and secondary schools. ECS are required for secondary schools and recommended for elementary schools. According to th e state’s professional school-counselor organization, these definitions ar e important because many counselors have successfully used the language to advocate for school counselors’ filling student services positions (rat her than social workers or school psychologists). They have done this by helping thei r administrators and school boards understand that school counselors are the on ly student services professionals permitted to coordinate both SAS and ECS (Indiana School Counselor Association bulletin, 2000). In addition, the new rule contains recommended ratios for providers of these services. Representatives of the Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA) say tha t this is a first step in their attempt to mandate student to counselor ratios.In recent years, the ISCA worked closely with the I ndiana Department of Education (IDoE) to enact this code. Indeed, from t he early 1990s to 2000, the department and the ISCA were in discussions about c hanging the language in administrative code 511,4-1.5. In 1995, the ISCA Go verning Board successfully


8 of 30 blocked language which would have separated guidanc e and counseling into two separate professions. But, in collaboration with th e IDoE, tthe ISCA wrote the newly adopted language which is viewed as a “win-wi n situation for all involved” (Indiana School Counselor Association memo, 1998).In Ohio, the definitions of school counseling and i ts licensing requirements are stated in separate codes. Administrative Code 33042-64 (1983) outlines the responsibilities that counselors have in the provi sion of services to students. More specifically, Administrative Code 3301-23-05 ( 2001) spells out licensing requirements and prerequisites. The adoption of thi s newly revised licensing code (3301-23-05), is the result of concerted effo rts by the institutions of higher education in Ohio, led by Ohio State University (OS U) with the support of the Ohio Department of Education. According to the OSU project director, the current licensing rule (Rule 3304-2-64) did not allow for anyone without teaching experience to become a school counselor: This is what led to the decrease in minorities in s chool counseling in Ohio, I believe. I have spent the last three years working to change the rules with a coalition of counselor educators a cross the state. We succeeded in getting the new rules passed as of las t November [2001]. The effort was monumental, but will probabl y be the most important outcome of my DeWitt Wallace grant. (Sear s, S. personal communication, January 24, 2002) The institutionalization of a new counselor educati on program, in the mind of the project director, was defined by changing the requi rements for obtaining a counseling license in Ohio. By waiving the requirem ent to have two years of teaching to qualify for the counseling license, the director hypothesized that counseling education would not only recruit new and more students to the program, but would also recruit and attract minorit y students. Because teacher licensing can sometimes operate as a sorting mechan ism (based on teacher education admission requirements) and because teach ing as a profession attracts different populations than counseling, the project director at Ohio State listed the waiver as the major goal (and accomplish ment) for the WRDF grant. As a result, OSU built a coalition with counselor educ ators from around the state and with the Ohio Department of Education.In California, State Board of Education policy dec rees that all public school students are entitled to the benefits of school cou nseling, but that they are not required. Education Code Section 49600 (1987) state s that any school district may provide a comprehensive educational counseling pro gram for all pupils enrolled in the schools of the district." Education Code 49600 is permissive, leaving the hiring of school counselors to the dist rict’s discretion. Indeed, fully 29 percent of the state’s school districts do not empl oy counselors of any kind (California Association of School Counselors memo, 2001). Nonetheless, should a district employ counselors, the Code defines an e ffective counseling and guidance program as one that provides a planned seq uence of activities that result in specific student outcomes in terms of dem onstrable knowledge, skills, and attitudes. A new vision for school counseling, according to state department representatives, would reinforce the requirements o f the California Education Code. If a district does provide a program, however it must include academic


9 of 30 counseling, career and vocational counseling, and p ersonal and social counseling.In Georgia, the State Board of Education provides R ule 160-4-8.01(2000) under Student Support Services. The Rule defines counseli ng as “a process where some students receive assistance from professionals who assist them to overcome emotional and social problems or concerns which may interfere with learning.” While this definition does not currently resonate with the profession’s national standards in which counseling emphasizes t he social/emotional, career, and academic development of students, other documen ts suggest a sea change in educational policy has occurred in the state of Georgia that does resonate with new vision counseling. The Georgia Department of E ducation’s Office on School Guidance and Counseling Services emphasizes that, i n the context of educational reform: [G]uidance counselors will assume more of a respons ibility for student growth and thus become more accountable in the proc ess. The activities that guidance counselors conduct should have a link to defined student standards (Georgia Department of Ed ucation, Program Overview, 2000). In Florida, there is no statutory rule or education al code that provides a directive or mandate for school counselors, except for Florid a State Board Rule, Chapter 6A-4.0181 (1990), which spells out the specializati on requirements for certification in guidance and counseling. Beyond th at rule, nothing exists in terms of monitoring or advocating for the field. Accordin g to University of North Florida TSCI project director, state policy has changed so that now every school counselor must have 12 hours of in-service, career, and academic advising in order to renew his or her certificate.California and Florida share a similar state policy history in that in the early 1990s, the offices of counseling in the respective state departments of education were disbanded. In both states, the political clima te at the time was quite conservative in educational policy, reserving educa tional finances for “the basics.” In the case of Florida, of the state depar tment of education was downsized. In the case of California, the disbandin g of office was more personal, involving an unpleasant encounter between a counse lor and one of relatives of the Education Commissioner.Today, the state context in Florida remains interes ting in that the usual state-level elements that constitute a strong political constit uency for school counseling are absent. First, there is no state requirement for sc hool counseling. Second, there is no office for student services in the state depa rtment of education. Instead, a Student Support Services Project is funded through federal grant money and is housed at the University of South Florida. Third, a ccording to documents and interviews, the state’s professional counseling ass ociation is perceived as weak. Coinciding with the demise of the office for studen t services in 1990, the membership of the state’s professional association, the Florida School Counseling Association, diminished dramatically. Wi thout a statute or rule to provide guidance in the state, and without an admin istrative body to administer and monitor legislation, there is a limited role fo r the professional association to


10 of 30 play.Despite a history similar to Florida’s in the early 1990s, California’s outcome is entirely different at this point in time. Not only is California’s a story of institution building, it is a story of rebuilding. In 1991, the state superintendent disbanded the office of counseling at the state department of education, and the state professional association was considered outmoded an d out of touch. Statistics on student to counselor ratios from the mid-1990s r eflect this apathy. The student to counselor ratio in 1995-96 and 1996-97 a veraged 1,074:1, over four times the recommended ratio and nearly twice the na tional average (California Association of School Counselors, 2001). However, b y 1999 a combination of opportunities in California began to breathe new li fe into the field of school counseling. The office was reinstituted, a new prof essional organization was getting mobilized, and by 2000-01, the student to c ounselor ratio dropped to 945:1. What changed in California and the lessons to be learned there are not only a story of new vision, but also an important s tory about alignment with key political constituencies and the field’s leaders. R enewed vision is also important for the other participating institutions in the oth er states. Rationalization A rationale for changing and advancing the role a nd function of the school counselor has been developed in several studies and reports on the topic. A needs assessment by the Education Trust fo und, among other things, that counselors do not focus enough on promoting hi gh academic achievement, that there is little connection between the way cou nselors are being trained in universities and the services they need to provide to students, that preparation classes are “generic,” and that the classes place a disproportionate emphasis on a mental health model (Guerra, 1998). The counselin g field has been described as a “set of loosely related services” (Commission on Precollege Guidance and Counseling, 1986) and “disconnected” from what coun selors are trained to do and what they are expected to do (The Education Tru st, 1998, p. 6). Thus, the TSCI was designed to overhaul and update school cou nselor preparation programs at the university and college level.As a result of the near extinction of a school coun seling presence at the California Department of Education, a set of new fo rces propelled the office out of obscurity and into the forefront. The forces at work in California run the gamut from local, to state, to national. At the local lev el, practitioners were recognizing that their field was falling further behind as the needs and demands for services mounted. Calls from local districts gained attentio n at the state. At the state level, institutions of higher education and professionals within the California Department of Education began to draw on research, best practices, and model programs to set a new vision for the state’s counse ling office. And, at the national level, organizations such as The Education Trust pl ayed a critical role in providing focus, support, and a vision for the offi ce of school counseling. In 1999, a policy paper on the direction of school counselin g laid out the future of school counseling in California. In answer to the rhetoric al question, “Where should we be?,” the policy paper said: [The California Department of Education] should emb race a new vision of pupil services that moves the traditional program to a more comprehensive and developmental program for the 21st century. The


11 of 30 vision proposed is one of schools where every stude nt is challenged and supported to achieve at the highest possible le vel. This new vision requires active involvement in integrating a nd implementing the best concepts, practices, elements, direction, outc omes, and models. This vision should be based on such documents and r esources as The National Standards for School Counseling Progra ms, Guidelines for Developing Comprehensive Guidance Programs, the State Board Policy Statement on Guidance and Counseling, and th e California Education Code. (California’s Comprehensive Guidanc e Program: Providing Support for Academic Success, 1999, p. 1) In Indiana, a study commissioned by the Indiana You th Institute, “High Hopes, Long Odds,” called for a similar refocusing and tra nsformation of the counseling profession. Indiana’s state context was ripe for ch ange. The objectives of the TSCI were closely aligned with the objectives of the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana School Counselor Associat ion. As a recipient of the WRDF grant monies, Indiana State University (ISU) w as well-situated to emerge as a state-level player in this transformation effo rt. Between 1995 and 1997, the ISU Counseling Departmen t reviewed the gap between the content of counselor preparation progra ms and the skill set needed for school counselors in the current context of hig h standards and accountability. As a result, the department hired a director to spe arhead a systemic change process needed to create a program focused on stude nt achievement. The director brought together numerous stakeholder grou ps and developed curriculum based on student competencies. The new s chool-counselor program fit well within the context of the Professional Dev elopment Schools (PDS) Program of the School of Education. The program em phasizes increased achievement for all students in PDS sites, commitme nt to continuous professional development for school and university faculty, and school-university collaboration. The PDS program is considered fertil e soil for the activities of the TSCI.In addition, the ISU TSCI project director and a st aff member from the Indiana Department of Education, teamed up to resurrect the Indiana School Guidance Leadership Project (now known as the Indiana Studen t Achievement Institute). The Institute teaches school-community teams a visi on-based, data-driven, whole school reform process. School counselors play a central role in this process. The Institute has been recognized and appr oved by the Indiana State Board of Education as a model that schools can use to develop their school improvement plan.In Ohio, Ohio State University’s (OSU) vision for t ransformation departed from state legislation requiring counselors to hold a te aching license and to have two years of teaching experience. As such, the initial rationalization for the TSCI grant was to change the counselor training program, change the role and function of the school counselor within the school district, and to change state regulations that define these two areas (DWRD appli cation, 1998). Subsequently, the involvement of the Ohio Department of Education ’s (ODE) senior-level official in counseling was specifically requested. The direc t and early involvement of ODE proved to be not only critical but also politic ally expedient and


12 of 30 forward-thinking. From the start, ODE’s counseling office has been a part of the Core Executive Team -a body designed in the OSU a pplication to WRDFand formed early in the planning grant stage. The Team was established to build a solid collaborative relationship for change. The me mbership of the Core Executive Team includes key stakeholders representi ng the partnering school district in Columbus, the teachers union, the stat e, and community (represented through the mayor’s office).The ODE representative agreed with Ohio State’s rat ionalization for waiving the teaching license requirement, even though 83 percen t of those surveyed by the Ohio School Counselor Association disagreed and 71 percent of school administrators disagreed (E. Whitfield, personal co mmunication, May 15, 2001). ODE’s representative recognized the low number of m inority counselors in the state and attributed this situation to the onerous requirement of the teaching license. He also wished to align the counselor educ ation requirements with Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) standards which require an internship duri ng training. However, he suspected that the requirements of a teaching degr ee, teaching experience, and the internship would make seeking a counseling degr ee seem too long and arduous to attract many students. The ODE represent ative also recognized the imperative in the state of Ohio to close the achiev ement gap between whites and minorities. He stated, “In Ohio, about 21 districts enroll 72 percent of the minority student population. These districts employ very few minority counselors.” The state’s urban initiatives, OSU’s College of Edu cation Urban Initiative, and the partnership with Columbus Public Schools to transfo rm school counseling, and the ODE support for change all added to the momentu m to reform the licensing requirement. Furthermore, the College of Education at OSU and the Columbus Public Schools have a longstanding collaborative re lationship that focuses on institutional change. One agreed-upon outcome of th e DWRD grant is concurrent deep-rooted institutional change at the university level (including significant changes in graduate training) and significant chang e in the role and function of the school counselors at the district level.In all five of the participating states, the larger statewide reforms in education give school counselors plenty of rationalization to transform school counseling. In Georgia, for example, updating school counseling is clearly aligned with the state’s larger educational reform initiatives. The state expects results, and to that end, standards and accountability are the watchword s. The student standards, to which counselors are expected to link their work, a re spelled out in the state’s sweeping Georgia Quality Basic Education Act of 198 6 (known as QBE). Among other features, such as quality professional develo pment and sufficient funding, the QBE Act requires the Board of Education to deve lop a statewide basic curriculum (and accompanying standards), including the competencies that all students must master in order to graduate. The sequ enced curriculum is known as the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC), which forms a framework for accomplishing the competenciesand is revised and up dated every four years. The Guidance and Counseling Curriculum has standard s and objectives that are aligned with the QCC. Last updated in 1999, the Gui dance and Counseling Curriculum, known as Georgia’s Comprehensive Guidan ce and Counseling


13 of 30 Curriculum, emphasizes “promotion of student succes s and high achievement for all students by altering the philosophical thrust o f guidance programs” (Georgia Department of Education, 1999). The state of Georgi a is quite prescriptive in defining the role of school counselors and their us e of time. Through House Bill 1187 (2000), counselors are required to collect dat a that reflect the new role and function of counselors, including monthly reports t hat record the percentage of time spent in counseling (five of six hours of work are prescribed to be counseling).Georgia’s Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Cur riculum characterizes the new program development in guidance and counsel ing as results driven, stating that “guidance counselors…assume more of a responsibility…and become more accountable in that process” {Georgia D epartment of Education, 1999, p. 2). Using a collaborative process that inv olved guidance counselors, guidance supervisors, and teachers, the state devel oped “A Framework for Developing and Implementing Asset Building Standard s.” The framework has evolved over the past few years and has involved “e veryone committed to the idea of changing the way things are done to how the y should be done” (Georgia Department of Education, 1999, p. 1). The framewor k is designed to assist counselors in developing standards and competencies to use in maximizing students’ assets and abilities.”In Florida, the governor has marshaled significant educational policy through the legislature that has shaped the educational reform context for the state. The governor refers to the educational reform initiativ e as the A+ Plan. Before Governor Bush’s initiative, Florida already had in place the “Sunshine State Standards,” student accountability through criteri on-referenced tests (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), and school accounta bility through a five-tiered grading system. As part of his new plan Bush called for further legislation adding parental choice, rewards for imp rovement, and sanctions for low performers. Additionally, Governor Bush initiat ed One Florida, an initiative designed primarily to assist underrepresented group s of students to become better prepared for college. One Florida has been d escribed as the governor’s alternative affirmative action program in higher ed ucation. According to Florida site interviewees, the governor replaced affirmativ e action with a policy that allowed all students in the top 20% of their gradua ting class to attend any state university in Florida tuition-free. He called these students “the 20 percent talent.” However, the governor failed to realize that bein g in the top 20 percent of a graduating class did not necessarily mean that thes e students had met all enrollment requirements to the state university sys tem. One Florida changed its mission from one of access to one of preparation. A mong other things, One Florida emphasizes higher academic achievement as a precursor to access and enrollment to higher education. As the TSCI project director at the University of North Florida (UNF) sees it: One Florida has certainly impacted [the point of vi ew] that we [counselors] are critical and central to widening t he options for students and that we need to be the advocate. …we a re the people who need to make sure that students are given the i nformation they need to access advanced classes and to go beyond mi nimum requirements for secondary education.


14 of 30 One feature of One Florida is to engage school coun selors as “advocates, not gatekeepers” to postsecondary education. This not a policy directive to school counselors, but rather a policy guideline. Accordin g to the UNF project director, “Florida is beginning to focus more on how [school counselors] are an integral part of the nature and function of schools.” She ad ded that low student performance and their lack of preparation for highe r education were “being laid at the feet of school counselors, that we were adverse ly stratifying kids’ opportunities to get into higher levels of academic s.” Blame for low performance in Florida has been place d on all education system personnel, including school counselors. The elimina tion of the state department’s office of school counseling in 1990 and the lack of reinstatement by the new education commissioner have not helped efforts to p rovide counselors with a role in supporting students and academic achievement. In order for counselors to play a role on the “achievement team,” and in order for counselors to gain legitimacy, institution building statewide still ne eds to happen.Adoption: Gaining Legitimacy and Spurring DiffusionEvolution of a support network is considered critic al to adoption and diffusion of reform. As institution building proceeds, services or functions gain legitimacy which, in turn, spurs adoption through diffusion (R owan, 1982). The period in which the TSCI gained legitimacy in each state coin cided with a larger movement toward accountability through standards and assessm ent.Gaining Legitimacy through Policy AlignmentThe larger policy context within which any reform e xists is critical to its gaining legitimacy. Counseling reforms must justify their r aison d’tre more than most other educational reforms because school counseling suffers from a precarious position in educational institutions. Being perceiv ed as a non-educative role has long plagued the profession. Subsequently, justific ation not only for its continued existence but also for its newly revised function m ust take hold within the current policy context of accountability and high student p erformance. As part of the adoption process required for reform, a solid suppo rt network must champion the cause. The process of gaining legitimacy and the co nstellation of political constituencies involved as champions vary from stat e to state. In Indiana, adoption of the TSCI coincided with the adoption of a few central pieces of legislation and the administrative code. The new Student Services Rule (IAC 511 4-1.5) defines the student services that s chools must provide students, and Public Law 221 (2001) calls for systemic reform and accountability. The support network in Indiana at the state level has b een gaining momentum since the 1990s. The key state-level stakeholders in Indi ana, apart from the university system, are embodied in a single individualwho serv es both as the Executive Director of ISCA as well as the Guidance Consultant for the Indiana Department of Education. While it is an unusual arrangement th at the department of education consultant also directs the state’s prof essional counselor organization, the alignment lends considerable state-level author ity to reform efforts. The ISU project director has also been instrumental in cha iring the Indiana Professional


15 of 30 Standards Board (IPSB) External Committee for Schoo l Counseling and advising the IPSB concerning the development of certificatio n of student services personnel and assessment patterns.These two state-level leaders based at ISU and ISCA /IdoE created a network of dominating force by pairing their lobbying efforts to great effect. Their influence on policies and programs includes the passage of th e updated Student Services Rule (IAC 511 4-1.5), and the development of the In diana Student Achievement Institute, a whole school reform process in which s chool counselors are major players.While Public Law 221 does not directly speak to the field of school counseling, the progress that ISCA/IdoE, and ISU have made thro ugh the TSCI has situated them well within the state’s new reform context. Pu blic Law 221 calls for reform in accreditation, annual performance reports, accounta bility, strategic and continuous school improvement, and professional dev elopment. Through collaboration among key state-level stakeholders, t he efforts of the TSCI are well on their way to aligning with the provisions of Pub lic Law 221. In the case of Ohio’s TSCI effort, the support netw ork at the state level includes the director of guidance at the state department, t he institutions of higher education across the state of Ohio, and to a lesser extent, the professional association. The implementation of the TSCI coincid ed with the passage of Senate Bill 55 (1997), Ohio’s accountability measur e for school performance passed in 1997 by the Ohio General Assembly and mo dified in 2001. Its provisions represent a package of school improvemen t and academic accountability initiatives. Combined with the fisca l accountability provisions of House Bill 412 (1997), Senate Bill 55 represents a comprehensive approach to improving schools and increasing the level of achie vement of all Ohio students. The support for the TSCI in Ohio began to evolve wi th the inception of the TSCI grant in 1999. The alignment of the Initiative with the provisions of Senate Bill 55 on continuous improvement and the state’s operating standards for high performance adds to the momentum. The central role of the guidance director at the state department of education proved to be a c onsiderable asset, as this collaborative partner provided entre for the licen sing waiver. He began to see how counselors needed to be a part of the “learning team,” that counseling was moving away from a mental health role because of t he significant pressure on schools to produce high achievers, and that ultimat ely counselors could prove to be a valuable partner in the effort for high perfor mance: “I feel the primary purpose for counselors is promoting learning; couns elors must consider mental health issues, but The Ed[ucation] Trust has clarif ied a need for more of an emphasis on student achievement.” Similarly, the TS CI project director at OSU shared her conception of a transformed school couns elor as a “learning expert.” She continued We are trying to see if we can develop a prototypic school counseling program based on the continuous improvement plans ( Senate Bill 55). School districts have to develop an improvemen t plan if they don’t meet all of the state standards. This is a ve ry different approach to developing school counseling programs, but we ar e making


16 of 30 headway. Right now, in Ohio, academic performance i s everything. That can lead to the exclusion of the counselor alt ogether, unless the counselor is willing to understand how they can sho w they are important to the achievement of the continuous impr ovement goals and strategies. Ohio School Counseling Association (OSCA) represent atives serve as part of the larger coalition that the Ohio TSCI project directo r has put together. The project director serves as treasurer and newsletter editor of OSCA and maintains a close relationship with the association’s president and president-elect. And while OSCA’s involvement has been somewhat limited in the planning and implementation of the TSCI, the association provide s support through dissemination of information and papers on the topi c. In California, the accountability measure is Senate Bill 1X (Chapter 3 of 1999) which calls for school improvement through greater accountability. The support network required in the adoption process of a refor m came from a disparate group of organizations from the field of school cou nseling. This group of mobilized advocates working for change at the state level includes: the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC); faculty at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with the assistance a nd vision of the TSCI; officials of the California Department of Education (CDE), including the state superintendent; a newly assembled state professiona l association, the California Association of School Counselors (CASC); and leader s in the Los Angeles County and Moreno Valley School Districts. This gr oup mobilized to reinstitute and reinvigorate school counseling in California, t hereby gaining legitimacy and credibility. The new vision for counseling in Calif ornia recognized a need to align specifically with the state’s need for adequate pro visions for standards, assessment, and accountability. Because California does not require school counselors by statute, professional school counselo rs needed to align with the larger reform forces in California, as exemplified by the provisions of Senate Bill 1X. Thus, the new mission and objectives for school counseling focuses on standards—including a change in the credentialing s tandards—and accountability in all programs designed to support learning and to promote student success. According to the state’s policy pa per on guidance and counseling: No student should be left behind in California’s mo vement toward standards, assessment, and accountability. Every sc hool should provide a well-coordinated and supported guidance p rogram led by a credentialed pupil services professional who can he lp reduce the barriers to learning, assist with the educational p lan for each student that provides appropriate options, intervene with a ppropriate services for students and families, and make referrals as ne eded to outside agencies (Comprehensive Guidance Program: Providing Support for Academic Success, 1999, p 2). The CTC provided early impetus for an overall chang e to counseling preparation programs. The CTC sets standards, requirements, and guidelines for college and university preparation programs in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credentials, including school counseling. The TSCI project direc tor from CSUN served on an


17 of 30 advisory panel of the CTC, along with a CTC-PPS coo rdinator, a representative from CDE, a representative of the school counselin g association, as well as a number of other practitioners and counseling educat ors from around the state. The panel recommended and made changes to current s tandards, requirements, and guidelines for PPS. The new standards are calle d the Pupil Services Standards of Program Quality and Effectiveness and meet the spirit and intent of state accountability measures, Senate Bill 1X.The CTC School Counseling Advisory Panel—drawing on the vision and concerns of the TSCI, the National School Counselin g Standards, CACREP standards, and other key documents—provided critica l guidance in several important ways: in rewriting the credentialing stan dards, in reinventing the strategic plan for a comprehensive guidance and cou nseling model and system in the state, and, finally, in developing an office in the CDE for the delivery of a professional development model. As a result of WRDF ’s support and project directors’ championing of the vision for the transf ormation of school counseling, 33 preparation programs in California will be chang ing their program to align with standards that are an outcome of these efforts.As part of the PPS credential, the school counselor is expected to develop a comprehensive and age-appropriate program that incl udes academic, career, personal, and social development—in keeping with th e nationally recognized mission of school counseling. Additionally, the cre dential sees counselors as advocates for high achievement and providers of pre vention/intervention counseling, among other duties. In a recent stateme nt issued by the state superintendent during National School Counseling we ek, the state’s emphasis on academic achievement was emphasized: I urge Californians to take time during this week t o acknowledge school counselors for the tremendous impact they ca n have in helping students achieve academic success and plan for a ca reer. School counselors work as an integral part of the school t eam of teachers, parents, and administrators in enabling all student s to achieve success in school, and to become responsible and pr oductive members of society (Department of Education, News R elease, January, 2002). A schism emerged between “old guard” school counsel ors and “new vision” school counselors during this period of transformat ion in California. The old guard association was the larger California School Counselor Association (CSCA) that had presided over school counseling for decades. Because of CSCA’s ties to the California Association of Counse ling and Development (the state equivalent of the American Counseling Associa tion) and the associated membership fees, school counselors were reticent t o join. As a consequence, a group of key leaders, including practitioners and c ounseling educators, who had been very active in pushing for new legislation for school counseling broke from CSCA. Their newly-founded state association is the California Association for School Counselors (CASC), which has successfully pu shed for new legislation and is proving to be more active and knowledgeable about the legislative process than CSCA. (C. Hanson, personal communication, Janu ary 16, 2002). CASC’s leaders have played an important role in influencin g and shaping the new


18 of 30 direction for school counseling in the state.In Georgia, implementation of the TSCI coincided wi th the passage of the standards and accountability act, known as the Qual ity Basic Education Act (QBE) (1986). The objectives of the TSCI were close ly aligned with the objectives of QBE and, thus, the Georgia Department of Educati on. State University of West Georgia (SUWG) developed a competency notebook that included the ASCA and CACREP standards. The University of Georgi a (UGA) consulted with the department of education, as well as with other state-level stakeholders, in considering revisions to its program. In the form o f a statewide summit, UGA consulted with the Board of Regents, the Georgia Sc hool Counselors Association, deans from eight higher education inst itutions, and the department of education (State University of West Georgia, 199 9). In this way, the transformation of school counseling has been well s ituated within the context of Georgia’s state-level reforms.Critical members of Georgia’s support network at th e state level are the state professional associations. Both SUWG and UGA worked closely with Georgia School Counselors Association (GSCA), the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCA), and the Georgia Asso ciation of Counselor Educators and Supervisors (GACES). Indeed, GCSA, co nsidered to be one of the strongest, most mobilized school counselor prof essional organizations in the country, proved to be a pivotal player in strengthe ning the relationship between the state department and counselor educators. Inter action between the state department of education and the counseling educatio n programs seems to be limited to meetings and conferences, such as inform ational exchange meetings. The representative from the state office of guidanc e and counseling serves on SUWG's advisory board in order facilitate the excha nge of information and involvement. The project director at SUWG explaine d that policy change generally begins at a personal level. Project direc tors at SUWG and UGA describe the relationship between the state departm ent and the two universities as limited. The UGA project director commented, “W e don’t shift with every demand from the state. We have a model about prepar ation of school counseling and we focus on that.” The project director continu ed, "We [universities and state department] work in parallel, not together. It is n ot an antagonistic relationship, but rather a parallel one.” Faculty at SUWG concurr ed with this characterization of the relationship with the state department. Appa rently, the state department likes what is happening with the TSCI because it li nes up well with education reform efforts. The fact that two universities in t he state are deeply involved in transforming school counseling adds to the impact.GSCA, according to the project directors, is credit ed for bringing the universities to the state department’s table and vice versa. In this way, the state professional association played a key role in mediating serving as a liaison between the state department and the universities. According to one p roject director, counselors enjoy considerable respect in the districts. Counse lors have made great gains in the pay scale by getting advanced degrees in their field, and thus the GSCA has swelled in numbers and influence. Its presence in the Georgia policy context has added considerable value.What is not clear, however, is the extent to which the state accommodates the


19 of 30 efforts of the university programs. Independently, the state department and the universities seem to be doing the same kind of work They seem to operate, as the UGA project director characterized them, as par allel systems— not inconsistent in their shared objectives, but pursui ng them separately. To date, this seems to have worked for Georgia. As long as t he university programs are aligned with the larger educational reform context, and as long as the universities in Georgia find support in their endeavors—either t hrough granting institutions like the WRDF or through social networks like the G eorgia professional associations—the TSCI program has legitimacy.In the case of Florida, the support comes not from the state, but rather from local leaders, university leaders, and the federal govern ment. Despite the lack of supportive mechanisms at the state level, the Unive rsity of North Florida (UNF) has successfully developed a comprehensive school c ounseling preparation program, Supporters of Academic Rigor (SOAR), in pa rtnership with the Duval County Public Schools. Increasingly, this local eff ort is gaining state and even national attention and respect for its successful c ollaboration between an urban university and an urban school district. SOAR’s sta ted mission is to “change the preparation process and utilization of school couns elors to enable counselors to provide the conditions necessary for academic achie vement for all children with emphasis on those strategies needed to eliminate th e achievement gap between minority and low-income students and their more adv antaged peers” (University of North Florida grant proposal, 1998). SOAR is rec ognized as a welcomed collaborator in its partnering district because of shared goals and objectives. An area superintendent summarized the effectiveness of the partnership this way: SOAR aligns well with the district and the state, e specially in its theme that “all children can learn”. No state policies ar e affecting SOAR significantly. We do not have strong political adve rsaries. The [school] board is very supportive. SOAR aligns with the supe rintendent’s [academic improvement] initiatives. Other aspects o f SOAR aligned with the district are the notions that data drives programs and that all programs are accountable. SOAR ideas were moving in place before much of the district’s current initiatives began, b ut it moves in tandem with the district now (August, 1999) In addition to receiving grant monies from the TSCI UNF and its partner district, Duval County, have survived and thrived on four sou rces of federal grant dollars: GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), ESCADA (Elementary School Counselors De monstration Act), Title VI, and the National Science Foundation’s Urban Sys temic Initiative. Beyond federal support, support UNF is also signif icant. First, the counseling preparation program is in the College of Education and Human Services, a college that is recognized as committed to urban ed ucational reform. The dean of the college is considered “tremendously supportive, ” according to project director continued: [Our program] is embedded in a college …that is tal king the same talk, and that helps. [Our program] came along afte r they [the college] were well down the road….Their [members of the coll ege] eyes don’t


20 of 30 glaze over when we start talking about what we want to do in our preparation program. They know what we’re talking a bout, and these are some really exciting, powerful relationships wh en we feel like we are in line with where the whole profession is goin g (January, 2002, personal communication). The second area of support from UNF comes from an initiative referred to as the Florida Institute for Education (FIE), funded by th e state legislature. According to one interviewee from the Florida site, one aspect o f FIE is to promote the use of counselors as advocates, “a person that promotes ac ademic achievement and high expectations for students.” FIE acts as a liai son organization between the Florida legislature and both the state university and K-12 education systems. FIE is currently housed at UNF, although it moves f rom one Florida institution of higher education to another. Among other things, th e executive director of FIE has worked directly with the UNF counselor educatio n program to support counselor programs statewide. The executive directo r assembled counselors and counselor educators from around the state to identi fy changes that need to be made in school counseling. Furthermore, FIE co-wrot e a grant with the TSCI project director and others to develop a profession al development model for training counselors using SOAR’s philosophy. FIE ad ds legitimacy to SOAR and gives it greater statewide visibility.Diffusion: Deliberate Intervention of ReformAs stated earlier, diffusion of a reform is a precu rsor to stabilization. In several important ways, the work and efforts of the TSCI a re being diffused throughout each of the states.The work and efforts of the TSCI are being dissemi nated in Indiana in at least three important ways. First, the TSCI project dire ctor at ISU and her collaborator at the state department and professional associatio n have published or presented papers since 1999 that have been widely d istributed to school-counseling professionals and academics. Seco nd, the project director’s work on the External Committee of the Iowa Professi onal Standards Board has brought school counselor standards to a level which all counselor preparation programs have to meet. This state-level work has si gnificant bearing on preparation programs statewide. And third, as of 20 02, the project director, in collaboration with the state department collaborato r, are beginning to established what will be known as the Four-Star Guidance Standa rds – a set of standards for counseling programs. The program will be administer ed through the state department.In the state of Ohio, the TSCI project director has presented papers at state and national conferences including the American Counsel ing Association; the Columbus, Ohio, and national affiliates of the Asso ciation for Counselor Education and Supervision; and at the High Schools that Work national meeting. In 1999, she hosted a conference for several counse lor-education programs across the state to describe and inform colleagues about the program revision at OSU. In 2000, she assembled representatives from t he partner school district (Columbus), including counselors, the director of g uidance, and a union


21 of 30 representative, to present the TSCI partnership to 11 counselor preparation programs from around the state. In 2001, the projec t director helped host the Ohio Association of Counselor Educators and Supervi sors meeting and presented on the restructured school internship as a result of the TSCI. Finally, in 2001, the Ohio School Counselors Association (OSCA) newsletter featured an article on the TSCI in its fall issue, reaching ove r 2,000 counselors in Ohio. To the extent that OSCA is an avenue for disseminating information on the TSCI, the association plays an important role.To an even greater extent, the diffusion of a trans formed model of school counseling is reflected in nascent efforts by the O SU project director and others to develop a statewide framework of school counseli ng standards. This framework, when adopted by the state, would reflect an emphasis on helping school counselors to become advocates for students, to improve student achievement, to collaborate with other educators a nd with the community, to consult with teachers and parents, to coordinate me ntal health services rather than delivering them, and to use data to effect sys tems change (Ohio State University, Progress Report, 2001). The nascent com mittee on a state framework for school counseling currently includes the TSCI project director; the OSCA president and president-elect; faculty represe ntatives from Bowling Green, John Carroll, and Ohio Universities; a doctoral stu dent from OSU and the director of guidance from the state department of education. The coalition is currently operating as the State Framework Committee; the gro up hopes to form an advisory committee to be hosted by the office of gu idance at ODE, at which point the group’s work could have statewide impact.Information about the project in California has bee n disseminated through direct presentations to and discussions with key school-co unseling educators in the state and with the Standards Committee of the Calif ornia Commission on Teacher Credentialing (California State University, Northridge, Progress Report, 2000). In turn, 33 credentialing programs in Califo rnia are now aware of the new standards, and these standards closely mirror the w ork of the TSCI. Additional dissemination efforts include presentations at loca l, state, and national meetings including the California Counselor Leadership Acade my of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, California Association for Counseling and Development, Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors, and the American School Counselor Association.Project directors in Georgia have presented their w ork on the TSCI at major state and national conferences, conventions, and seminars SSUWG faculty have presented papers at local, state, regional, and nat ional conferences including the American Counseling Association; the American Schoo l Counselors’ Association; the Rocky Mountain, Georgia, Southern, and nationa l affiliates of the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors; the Alabama Counselors’ Association; and with counselors in Utah. In additi on, the project directors have provided 20 hours of in-service workshops to profes sional school counselors in their partner school district, Clayton County publi c schools. UGA sponsored a Counselor Academy for its partner district—a week-l ong professional development program. However, the lack of collabor ation with the state department described above keeps dissemination of a new vision for school counseling potentially limited to academic circles.


22 of 30 The work and efforts of Florida’s SOAR/TSCI are bei ng diffused locally, statewide, and nationally. At the local level, info rmation about the project has been disseminated to key school counseling educator s in the state. The venues have included a key stakeholders meeting (including counselor educators from Florida state universities, the Florida School Coun selors Association, Florida Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors, and the Florida Counseling Association); meetings of school adminis trators, instructional supervisors, and human resource services; and Tri-C ounty Counselors’ meetings. At the state level, papers and presentati ons have been delivered at meetings of the Florida School Counselors Associat ion, Florida Counseling Association, Florida School Counselor Supervisors a nd Education (8 of the 10 state universities in attendance), and the American School Counselor Association; at the national convention of the Amer ican Association for Counselor Education and Supervision; and at the Int ernational Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Other creative disse mination vehicles include a SOAR Web site, professional videos, press releases, and, importantly, a Summer Institute for training school teams statewid e. The considerable support and visibility that the Florida Institute for Educa tion has provided SOAR/TSCI has also been an important part of dissemination.StabilizationStatewide adoption of newly revised standards that reflect the transformation of the role of school counselors moves states to a per iod of stabilization of reform. After adoption, as the transformation of school cou nselor preparation becomes aligned with state-level reform legislation, the ne w vision of school counseling becomes an enduring or stabilized fixture on the ed ucation landscape. The extent of stabilization across the five states vari es The extent of stabilization is predictable, depending on the stage of institution building and reform adoption in each state. In Indiana, Ohio, and California, in stitution building and adoption are well along, whereas in Georgia there is room st ill for institution building with the state department of education. In Florida, the limited state presence in the field of school counseling has hindered the extent of stabilization. The credit for the swift move from institution buil ding to adoption to stabilization in Indiana is due in great part to the collaboration o f leaders at the state level, the TSCI project director and the key leader at the sta te department and state counselors’ association. The smooth alignment of th e TSCI with Indiana’s statewide school reform context of high standards a nd accountability also solidified adoption. These state-level players work ed to align their vision of reformed school counseling with the state’s vision of school reform. Like Indiana, the move from institution building to adoption to stabilization in Ohio is due in great part to the project director at OSU the state director of counseling at ODE, the professional association, and the distr ict. The move toward aligning Ohio’s statewide school reform with the efforts of the counselor-education programs promises to affix the new vision school co unselor as an enduring feature in educational institutions. The key politi cal constituencies at the state level, among the institutions of higher education, and at the district level are aligning their vision of reformed school counseling with the state’s vision of


23 of 30 school reform.Beyond adoption, as the transformation of school co unselor preparation becomes aligned with state-level reform, the new vi sion of school counselors in California promise to become an enduring or stabili zed fixture on the education landscape. The TSCI project director at California State University, Northridge, sees that, as a result of the TSCI, the counseling program is working to integrate teacher education as a part of the curriculum by bu ilding instructional components with university faculty in teacher educa tion. Further evidence of stabilization is reflected in the fact that the pro ject has added a new faculty position in school counseling—a position written de signed expressly for the school-counselor preparation program as planned and outlined in the TSCI grant proposal. As well, the newly formed Office of Couns eling and Student Support Services in the California Department of Education and the new statewide professional association (California Association of School Counselors) are two more indications of state-level stabilization that will contribute to the endurance of a transformed schoolcounseling program.The new vision of school counselors in Georgia has legitimacy as a new reform, but the likelihood of institutionalizing this new v ision across the state is limited. The objectives of the TSCI are closely aligned with Georgia’s educational reform plan; however, the lack of collaboration with the s tate department of education will potentially hinder Georgia’s efforts at statew ide diffusion and stabilization of a transformed school counseling program. The lack of collaboration between the state department and the universities is the single factor that keeps this innovative program from moving toward a stage of st abilization. As research has repeatedly shown (Easton, 1965; Elmore & Fuhrman, 1 994; Rowan, 1982), political support for reform is promoted by influen tial constituencies that consistently make their way into institutional prac tice. Statewide adoption of an initiative like the TSCI d epends greatly, according to the model proposed by Rowan (1982), on the state contro l agencies such as the department of education and the professional associ ation. Without either of these agencies firmly in place in Florida to act as a support network, statewide adoption is hampered, which in turn, limits the cha nce for stabilization of the Initiative. The considerable financial support from federal grants and the WRDF has significantly bolstered Florida’s SOAR/TSCI ef forts, but these sources cannot be depended upon for stabilization. To some extent, the state’s educational reform efforts (including mechanisms su ch as One Florida and the Florida Institute for Education) have provided impl icit support, a kind of doorway through which SOAR/TSCI has gained legitimacy. Fund ing from the state, however, is not there.The yeoman’s work, without a doubt, has fallen on t he backs of UNF and its partner district. Despite the limited institutional support from the state of Florida, UNF and Duval County have managed to pull off an im pressive Initiative that is institutionalized or stabilized at the local level. The alignment of TSCI objectives with those of the district, the college, and the st ate’s educational reforms of high standards and accountability provides the needed mo mentum and implicit support that stabilizes SOAR/TSCI for Duval County and UNF students. Stabilization at a statewide level would require de velopment, support, and


24 of 30 dissemination by the state department education an d the professional associationthat is not in place. For the TSCI proje ct director and colleagues to take on the statewide dissemination and stabilizati on of the Initiative on their own is certainly beyond the call of duty.Summary and ImplicationsChange in school counseling, like any reform, is a political process. The political process requires getting support and legitimacy and then diffusing and institutionalizing change. When the change is alig ned with other overriding reform efforts in a systemic way, the change proces s is made easier. Political support for reform—that is promotion by influential constituenciesconsistently allows reforms to make their way into institutional practice, according to Rowan (1982). Thus, the stage of institution building and adoption is critical to the overall institutionalization or stabilization of any reform As was demonstrated here, the state contexts of Indiana, Ohio, California, Georgi a and Florida vary in some important ways.In Indiana, the state policies and the constellatio n of political constituencies combined fortuitously for the TSCI. With the newly implemented educational policy, Public Law 221, and the particularly powerf ul combination of state department representative and professional associat ion director rolled into one person, the state provided a perfect environment fo r implementation of this student-achievement-oriented counseling initiative.Similarly in Ohio, with the policy context of Senat e Bill 55 focusing on continuous improvement, OSU’s project director quickly and str ategically aligned the efforts of the TSCI with the interests of the key official in the state department of education and with the state’s larger policy object ives. OSU also showed foresight and political savvy in combining forces w ith the state’s professional counseling association and fellow counselor educato rs from around the state; OSU is well on its way to making great gains with t his Initiative. Critical to California’s success was the reinstatem ent of the office of school counseling at the state department of education, an d CSUN’s presence on the powerful California Teaching Credential Advisory Bo ard. A combination of forces (CSUN, the state department, and other counseling l eaders) helped to build the new professional association that is proving to be powerful in pressing for new legislation favorable to counselors.It is unclear what impact Georgia’s state departmen t of education might have should the two TSCI sites in Georgia combine forces with the office of counseling. To be sure, the state department could play an important role in merging the ideas in the “Framework for Asset Build ing Standards in a Guidance and Counseling Curriculum” with the larger objectiv es of the TSCI. The statewide presence of the department would also be instrument al in diffusing the reform across the state.In Florida, it is unfortunate that there are no sta te institutional mechanisms to administer, guide, or otherwise support the good wo rk of UNF’s SOAR/TSCI efforts. Institution building, adoption, and stabil ization have occurred mostly at


25 of 30 the local level with sporadic statewide institution building happening on a catch-as-catch-can basis. These institution-buildin g efforts are in large part due to the singular focus and passion of the project di rector and her colleagues at the district level. Without an institutional environmen t at the state department to provide guidance, without any legislative directive to provide legitimacy, and without a strong professional association to provid e advocacy, the TSCI at UNF is built on the backs of a few. Despite the lack of state support, UNF has built an impressive program; however, the prospect for diffu sion and stabilization within the state context is limited to the amount of stami na that UNF’s team can muster. In the final analysis, the TSCI strives to reform c ounselor education as a system. Its premise is working for coherence across compon ent policies, such as the university’s preparation program, the state’s educa tional policy objectives, and practices in the local education agencies. The the ory of systemic reform in education suggests that when a component policy is designed to promote reform in one area, the existing policies in other areas m ust be aligned with and support this new policy. In the case presented here, if the universities are to implement and promote the TSCI, then they must align the effo rt with state standards and assessment policies, state certification requiremen ts, and the state institutional environment—or they must change them, as it happene d in Ohio and California. Educational reform plans, such as Georgia’s QBE Act or Florida’s A+ Plan, may set the achievement bar towards which educators imp lementing the TSCI are striving, but the other component policies must be in place to realize true transformation. Transformation or systemic reform d oes not occur in a policy vacuum; it happens through coherence and alignment. On this score, the state contexts of the participating TSCI sites vary. Wher e there is coherence, as there is in Indiana, Ohio, and California, transformation looks promising. Where there is not total coherence, as in Florida and Georgia, transformation is less likely, but not impossible. It may be merely a matter of changi ng some of the components. This looks more feasible in Georgia where it is a m atter of building stronger linkages between the universities and the state de partment. It appears more challenging in Florida where writing statutory lang uage on school counseling and subsequently reinstituting the office of counseling would take an act of the state legislature. But if California can serve as a guide it is not beyond the realm of the possible. Florida might begin with building a stron g professional association whose role is advocacy and lobbying the legislature A final word: A lack of state mechanisms or compone nt pieces does not necessarily hinder the work of the TSCI. Georgia an d Florida, by many measures, have and are developing strong counselor preparation programs through the TSCI. Rather, a supportive state contex t can be accommodating and add resources to aid the effort toward institutiona lization, as is evidenced in California; and a strong state context can also pro vide avenues for greater statewide dissemination and stabilization as shown in Ohio and Indiana.AcknowledgmentThis research was commissioned and funded by the Wa llace-Reader’s Digest Fund as part of the evaluation of its National Prog ram for Transforming School Counseling. The author gratefully acknowledges the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement at the Univers ity of Minnesota, as well


26 of 30 as the work of the six sites in which the Transform ing School Counseling Initiative is being implemented. The author benefited from rev iew and critique by Cynthia Coburn, University of Pittsburgh, Karen Seashore, U niversity of Minnesota, and Patricia First, University of Arizona, as well as t hree blind reviewers.ReferencesAnderson, L. (August, 1999). Personal communication Jacksonville, FL California Association of School Counselors, 2001 Sacramento, CA California Department of Education (1999). “Califor nia’s Comprehensive Guidance Program: Providing Support for Academic Success” Sacramento, CA. California Department of Education (January, 2002). News release: Superintendent Eastin Supports National School Counseling Week in California California Education Code Section 49600 (1987).California Senate Bill 1X (1999).California State University – Northridge (2000). Pr ogress Report to DWRD Fund: Teaching leaders in counseling for students success. Commission on Precollege Guidance and Counseling. ( 1986). Keeping the options open: Recommendations. New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Dahir, C. A., Sheldon, C. B., & Valiga, M. J. (1998 ). Vision into action: Implementing the National Standards for School Counseling Programs Alexandria, VA: American School Counselor Association. DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fun (1998). “The Nat ional Initiative for transforming school counseling: Three-year implementation grant proposa l.” Washington, DC. Easton, D. (1965). A systems analysis of political life New York: Wiley. Elmore, R. F. & Fuhrman, S. H. (1994). Governing th e curriculum: Changing patterns in policy, politics and practice. In S. Fuhrman & R. F. Elmore (Eds.), The governance of curriculum (pp. 1-10). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Cur riculum Development. Florida State Board Rule, Chapter 6A-4.0181 (1990).Fuhrman, S. H. (1993). Designing coherent educational policy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Georgia Department of Education (2001), School guid ance and counseling program overview, pp 1-2, Atlanta, GA. Georgia Department of Education (1999). Georgia’s C omprehensive Guidance and Counseling Curriculum: A Framework for Developing and Implemen ting Asset Building Standards, pp 1-8. Atlanta, GA. Georgia House Bill 1187 (2000).Georgia State Board of Education Rule 160-4-8.01 (2 000). Georgia Quality Basic Education Act of 1986.Guerra, P. (1998, February). Revamping school couns elor education: The DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. Counseling Today, 19 19-20. Hanson, C. (January 16, 2002). Personal communicati on. Hayes, R. L., Dagley, J. C., & Horne, A. M. (1996, March/April). Restructuring school counselor education: Work in progress. Journal of Counseling and Development, 74 378-384.


27 of 30 Hoy, W. K. & Miskel, C. G. (2001). Educational Administration: Theory, research and pr actice (6th ed., pp 270-278). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Indiana Administrative Code, Title 511, section 4-1 (2000). Indiana Administrative Code, Title 515, Code 1-1-74 (2001). Indiana Public Law 221 (2001).Indiana School Counselor Association bulletin (2000 ). Indianapolis, IN: ISCA. Indiana School Counselor Association memo. (1998). Indianapolis, IN: ISCA Indiana Youth Institute. (undated manuscript). High Hope, Long Odds: Counselors: System Tender, gatekeepers or youth advocates? Indianapolis, IN. Murphy, J. (1990). The educational reform movement of the 1980s. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan. Paisley, P. O., & Borders, L.D. (1995). School coun seling: An evolving specialty. Journal of Counseling and Development, 74, 150-153. Porter, A. C., Smithson, J., & Osthoff, E. (1994). Standard setting as a strategy for upgrading high school mathematics and science. In S. Fuhrman & R. F. Elmore (Eds.), The governance of curriculum (pp. 138-166). Alexandria, VA: Association for Sup ervision and Curriculum Development. O’Day, J. A., & Smith, M. S. (1993). Systemic refor m and educational opportunity. In S. H. Fuhrman (Ed.), Designing coherent educational policy (pp. 250-312). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Ohio House Bill 412 (1997).Ohio Rule 3301-23-05 (2001).Ohio Rule 3304-2-64 (1983).Ohio Senate Bill 55 (1997).Ohio State University DWRD grant application, 1998.Ohio State University (2001). Progress report to DW RD Fund: Transforming School Counseling. Rowan, B. (1982). Organizational structures and the institutional environment: The case of public schools. Administrative Science Quarterly 27 259-279. Rowan, B., Miskel, C. (1999). Institutional theory and the study of educational organizations. In J. Murphy and K. S. Louis (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Administration (2nd ed., pp. 359-383). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Sedlak, M. W., & Schlossman, S. (1985). The public school and social services: Reassessing the progressive legacy. Educational Theory, 35 (4), 371-383. Sears, S. (January 24, 2002). Personal communicatio n State University of West Georgia (1999). Transformi ng School Counseling Progress Report submitted to DWRD Fund. Carrollton, GA. Stone, C (2002). Personal communication. Jacksonvil le, FL. Tyack, D. (1992). Health and social services in pub lic schools: Historical perspectives. In The future of children: School-linked services (Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 19-31). Los Altos, CA: Center for the Future of Children, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation. University of North Florida (1998). Grant proposal to DWRD Fund, Transformation of School Counseling Initiative. Jacksonville, FL.


28 of 30 About the AuthorDr. Angela Eilers is a Senior Researcher at Stanford University's Ce nter for Research on the Context of Teaching (CRC). She is c urrently conducting research with CRC on the Minneapolis School Distric t as part of a MacArthur funded initiative, The Learning Partnership. Previo usly, Dr. Eilers conducted research at the University of Minnesota's Center fo r Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), under whose auspic es this paper was written. She is a former assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her most recent publication was i n the journal Administration and Society (vol. 34, no. 3) entitle d "School-linked collaborative services and systems change: Linking public agencie s with public schools." Previously, Dr. Eilers conducted research at the Un iversity of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (C AREI), under whose auspices the present research was conducted.Email: The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is Editor: Gene V Glass, Arizona State UniversityProduction Assistant: Chris Murrell, Arizona State University General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State Un iversity, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on TeacherCredentialing Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State Univeristy Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology


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