Utah Effective School Counselor Standards and Performance Expectations


Standard 1: Collaboration, Leadership and Advocacy

The professional school counselor is a leader who engages collaboratively with learners, families, colleagues, and community members to build a shared vision and supportive professional culture focused on student growth and success.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

1.1 Collaborates to promote a positive school climate.

1.2 Collaborates to promote academic success for all students to become college and career ready.

1.3 Assumes leadership role(s) in advocating for equity and access for all students to curriculum, programs, services, and resources.


Standard 2: School Guidance Curriculum and Instructional Skills

The professional school counselor delivers a developmental and sequential guidance curriculum prioritized according to the results of the school needs assessment.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

2.1 Plans guidance curriculum based on the Comprehensive Guidance Needs Assessments results, Student Outcomes Standards, and school improvement plan.

2.2 Manages the classroom effectively when implementing guidance curriculum.

2.3 Uses appropriate selection of communication, and teaching techniques, including formative and summative assessment in order to engage all students.

2.4 Conducts informational seminars for parents, guardians, and students to address the needs of the school community.


Standard 3: The Plan for College and Career Readiness Process

The professional school counselor implements the individual planning component by guiding individuals and groups of students and their parents or guardians through the development of educational and career plans.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

3.1 Facilitates a process of career exploration that may include planning, monitoring, and managing individual education and career plans.

3.2 Assists in development of each student’s academic achievement and career planning/exploration by providing Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways resources and training to assist students in post-secondary and workforce options.

3.3 Assists students and parents/guardians in understanding and utilizing assessment data and supports student to create a plan to meet goals, course planning, and student needs, as outlined in district or state guidelines.


Standard 4: Responsive Services and Dropout Prevention

The professional school counselor provides responsive services through the effective use of individual and small-group counseling, consultation and referral skills and implements programs for student support in dropout prevention.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

4.1 Effectively counsels individual students and small groups of students with identified needs and concerns.

4.2 Appropriately consults with parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, community resources, and other relevant stakeholders regarding student needs.

4.3 Collaborates a system of support for students, maintain a crisis prevention/youth protection response plan, and follows the response plan as needed.

4.4 Assists students in developing a plan for credit recovery or appropriate grade-level interventions for student supports.


Standard 5: Data-Driven Accountability and Program Evaluation

The professional school counselor collects and analyzes data to guide program direction and emphasis.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

5.1 Uses data to make decisions regarding Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program improvement and close student achievement gaps.

5.2 Uses data to show the impact of the school counseling program on student achievement, attendance and behavior, and analyzes school counseling program assessments to guide future action and improve future results for all students.

5.3 Analyzes school and school counseling program data to provide equity in student supports throughout the school.


Standard 6: Program Management and System Support

The counselor is involved in management activities that establish, maintain and enhance the total school counseling program.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

6.1 Implements and evaluates a comprehensive school counseling program.

6.2 Promotes the guidance program’s philosophy, priorities and practices to staff, parents, and community.

6.3 Serves on both building-level and district-level committees as appropriate.


Standard 7: Professional and Ethical Behavior

The counselor demonstrates the highest standard of legal, moral and ethical conduct, as delineated in Utah State Board Rule R277-515.

Indicators of Performance Expectations:

The professional school counselor…

7.1 Knows and adheres to federal and state law, district policies, and professional standards.

7.2 Maintains confidentiality as appropriate (including technology) in behalf of student needs and in accordance with FERPA and PRRA.

7.3 Promotes cultural diversity and inclusiveness in both school policy and interpersonal relationships.

7.4 Systematically manages times to be available to students and parents in a professional manner.

7.5 Participates in USOS supported school counseling educational professional development.

Professional school counselors, unlike other certified staff, are bound by the rules of confidentiality due to the nature of their work. School counselors practice under the American School Counseling Association’s Ethical Standards for School Counselors. Therefore, some situations are considered inappropriate venues for observation, such as individual counseling sessions, small groups, phone calls, and meetings with parents or agencies where confidential student issues are being discussed.