Collaboration Between School Counselors and School Psychologists

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Collaboration Between School Counselors and School Psychologists: Discussion and A Model for Promoting Cultural Competency:

Collaboration Between School Counselors and School Psychologists: Discussion and A Model for Promoting Cultural Competency Amanda Feest Azusa Pacific University EdCo 593 March 14, 2012

School Counselors & School Psychologists – Why Collaborate?:

School Counselors & School Psychologists – Why Collaborate? Growing expectation for schools to create a climate that fosters physical and psychological safety for students and staff – without additional resources, this has to be accomplished through collaboration among members of the school community School Counselors (SC) and School Psychologists (SP) form a natural core around which to build and connect teams within schools, among schools, and with community agencies SC and SP are in a natural, but unique position to create the team approach needed to serve students at school and with extensions into the home and community

Similarities Between School Counselors & School Psychologists:

Similarities Between School Counselors & School Psychologists Both roles are viewed as central to assisting all students toward healthy development Overarching goal for both SCs and SPs is to promote the academic, social, and emotional development of children Receive comprehensive education and training in assessment, consultation, counseling, and how to facilitate the delivery of comprehensive services within a team concept SCs and SPs both emphasize knowledge of human development, multicultural issues, and curriculum development

Differences Between School Counselors & School Psychologists:

Differences Between School Counselors & School Psychologists School Counselors School Psychologists Engaged in preventive, developmental systemic approaches to counseling, education, family, and community Possess skills in small group counseling, large group development interventions, and vocational and career development Psychological specialists with extensive training in assessment, behavioral planning, and teacher/learning intervention strategies Possess knowledge in applied behavior analysis, personality assessment, and organizational consultation

How School Counselors & School Psychologists Can Collaborate:

How School Counselors & School Psychologists Can Collaborate Working relationship between SCs and SPs can include joint planning, implementation, evaluation of student programs/services, and evaluation of student outcomes Missouri Model of comprehensive counseling and guidance program discusses ways that SCs and SPs can collaborate on: A Guidance Curriculum Individual Planning Intervention Services System Support Can build from same knowledge base in cooperative learning, peacemaking, team building, and conflict management to shape the school culture and create a climate for effective collaboration among staff members SC and SP should model collaborative efforts for rest of school staff

Challenges to Collaboration Between School Counselors & School Psychologists:

Challenges to Collaboration Between School Counselors & School Psychologists Separate training programs Different federal, state, and local role expectations Organizational structure Generally don’t work in the same proximity – SCs tend to be located at a single school while SPs tend to move between schools within the district Attend different staff meetings Little day-to-day contact Administrators at school and district levels may not see the value of SCs and SPs increasing collaboration SCs tend to serve an entire school population and their role in special education has been minimized SPs traditionally focus on identification, programming, and provision of services for students with special needs

A Model for Promoting Culturally Competent Schools Through School Counselor and School Psychologist Collaboration:

A Model for Promoting Culturally Competent Schools Through School Counselor and School Psychologist Collaboration Model for promoting culturally competent schools through collaboration of SCs and SPs presented by Simcox, Nuijens, & Lee (2006) Greater demand/pressure for schools to ensure that all students, regardless of cultural background, achieve high academic standards has created a need for more culturally competent schools SCs and SPs are in a unique position to promote culturally competent, high-achieving schools by working together

4 Levels of School Counselor and School Psychologist Collaboration:

4 Levels of School Counselor and School Psychologist Collaboration SCs and SPs can work together to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions at 4 levels of service Level 1: Student-Center Interventions Level 2: Family Empowerment Level 3: Collegial Consultation Level 4: Brokering Community Resources Culturally Competent Schools

Level 1: Student-Centered Interventions:

Level 1: Student-Centered Interventions SCs and SPs collaborate to promote the educational empowerment of all students through student-centered interventions Individual Interventions: One-on-one counseling, skills training, and behavioral interventions SCs and SPs must implement individual interventions in a way that accounts for the student’s cultural realities and their stage of ethnic/racial identity development

Level 1: Student-Centered Interventions (continued):

Level 1: Student-Centered Interventions (continued) Group Interventions: Self-Awareness Groups: Composed of students from same cultural background – use culturally specific curriculum to cultivate self-pride and positive cultural identity Interpersonal Relations Groups: Composed of students from diverse cultural backgrounds – goal is to enhance understanding of cultural diversity and to promote mutual respect, awareness, and understanding within the school setting

Level 1: Student-Centered Interventions (continued):

Level 1: Student-Centered Interventions (continued) Consultation with Teachers: SCs and SPs work together to consult with teachers regarding students who are struggling academically or behaviorally Particularly important when a student’s difficulties are related to their cultural background Consultation with Parents/Guardians: SC can assist family members with helping students choose courses/programs of study while SP can increase family’s understanding of student’s strengths and struggles SC and SP consult with each other to link school and home initiatives for advancing student achievement

Level 2: Family Empowerment:

Level 2: Family Empowerment SC and SP work together to promote education within students’ home/family life and facilitate the development of family resources that encourage academic achievement Need to be sensitive to the realities of families, including their language proficiency and cultural customs Have translators available if necessary

Level 2: Family Empowerment (continued):

Level 2: Family Empowerment (continued) SC and SP can cosponsor forums/workshops for family members designed to promote awareness of key aspects of educational process SC and SP should decide who will facilitate the forum depending on expertise – whoever is not facilitating should act as support Forum ideas: Curriculum School Practices Assessment and Placement Parent-Teacher Relations Educational Administration

Level 3: Collegial Consultation:

Level 3: Collegial Consultation SC and SP work together to implement professional development experiences for teachers, administrators, and other school personnel Goal would be to increase sensitivity and understanding of the dynamics of cultural diversity and its relationship to academic achievement Could jointly organize/facilitate professional development workshops on topics such as: Dispelling Cultural Myths Educational Practices and Strategies Students with Limited English Proficiency

Level 3: Collegial Consultation (continued):

Level 3: Collegial Consultation (continued) SC and SP could also consult individually with members of school staff Help them identify potentially alienating or insensitive factors in school attitudes, behaviors, or policies Help them increase awareness of how their own culture shapes their worldview and possibly their interactions with students

Level 4: Brokering Community Resources:

Level 4: Brokering Community Resources SC and SP should collaborate to address the rift between communities and schools SC and SP can partner to form working alliances with key business, religious, civic, and political community members from diverse cultural backgrounds

Level 4: Brokering Community Resources (continued):

Level 4: Brokering Community Resources (continued) Work to channel community resources into a variety of school programs: Community awareness information sessions Direct involvement as tutors, classroom presenters, assembly speakers, or experts for professional development workshops Community-based educational initiatives (e.g., extracurricular activities) Community resource bank Culturally relevant community resources can be made available to families and/or educators

Potential Challenges to School Counselors and School Psychologists Collaboration in This Model:

Potential Challenges to School Counselors and School Psychologists Collaboration in This Model Initial resistance on the part of other educational stakeholders SP is generally not school-based, which can impact the amount of time that the SC and the SP have to work together Limited time and resources in many school settings could make any or all of the components of this model difficult to implement

References:

References Murphy, J.P., DeEsch , J.B., & Strein , W.O. (1998). School counselors and school psychologists: Partners in student services. Professional School Counseling, 2 (2), 85-87. Rowley, W.J. (2000). Expanding collaborative partnerships among school counselors and school psychologists. Professional School Counseling, 3 (3), 224-228. Simcox , A.G., Nuijens , K.L., & Lee, C.C. (2006). School counselors and school psychologists: Collaborative partners in promoting culturally competent schools. Professional School Counseling, 9 (4), 272-277.

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