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New Jersey School Counseling Initiative

The purpose of The New Jersey School Counseling Initiative is to develop a program of education, development, and support for state school districts that will maximize the implementation of N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.2 and that will ensure delivery of a comprehensive guidance and counseling program for grades K-12. Four phases of delivery for this initiative include:

  • Phase I/Education: to educate, inform, and assist in the development of strategic plans for all districts in the implementation of K-12 comprehensive guidance and counseling programs. The process included a launch event, six regional training sessions for counselors and school administrators and distribution of CD-ROMs of The National Standards for School Counseling Programs to New Jersey school counselors and counseling directors.

  • Phase II/Development: to select fifteen pilot schools to implement model comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for the year 2001-2002 that will meet the standards provided by N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.2 and to provide system support for those pilot schools.

  • Phase III/System Support: to provide a systematic means of support for all schools in the implementation of N.J.A.C. 6A: 8-3.2.

  • Phase IV/Assessment: to follow up with pilot schools, non implementing schools, and informally implementing schools to assess the impact of the program through a process involving survey, site visits, and student evaluations. This data will be used to revisit the original implementation plan, make necessary adjustments, and inform all school districts of all recommendations evolving from this assessment process.

A. Background

The New Jersey School Counseling Initiative evolved from the adoption of N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.2 in April 2000. In cooperation with the New Jersey School Counselor Association, the New Jersey Department of Education developed the four-phase implementation plan described above. The implementation began in September 2000 with the launch event and regional trainings. It will be followed by development of systems support and education in early 2001, and selection of pilot schools in May 2001. Training, systems support and implementation of pilot school programs will begin in July 2001. Assessment will be completed during the summer of 2002. Resulting pilot information will be available for statewide dissemination.

Additionally, all trainings and professional development will be provided by professionals who have achieved state or national status in their areas of expertise. Information will be gathered from public school educators, parents, educational organizations/associations, and the work of other states. Following the assessment phase of the New Jersey School Counseling Initiative, resulting pilot information will be available for statewide dissemination.

B. Pilot Schools

On June 26, 2001, the Department of Education announced that 15 school districts were selected to develop and implement model guidance and counseling programs. The districts currently participate in the New Jersey School Counseling Initiative, a major statewide program designed to assist local efforts to provide students with opportunities for career awareness and career exploration.

Based on a competitive process the following school districts were selected to launch the initiative:

Bordentown Regional
Egg Harbor Township
Greater Egg Harbor Regional
Jefferson Township
Lower Cape May Regional
Monroe Township
Sussex-Wantage Regional
Upper Pittsgrove Township
Williamstown High School

The New Jersey School Counseling Initiative evolved from state regulations adopted in April 2000 that require all districts to develop and implement a comprehensive guidance and counseling system providing for career awareness and exploration for all students. The first phase of the initiative consisted of seven regional training sessions to educate, inform and assist districts in the development of strategic plans. The selection of the 15 pilot districts begins the second phase of the project. The selected districts will each receive a $5,000 stipend, as well as training and support as they develop their programs over the next school year.

Comprehensive developmental counseling programs take into consideration the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. These programs will help students make and carry out informed educational and occupational choices; increase student awareness of the relationship between personal qualities, education, training and the world of work; and acquaint students with the relationship between achieving academic standards and the attainment of career goals.

The final phases of the initiative will involve establishment of a statewide support network and assessments to make technical adjustments to the support program.

C. Resources: