The components of the Tenth Grade Counseling Program are no longer a condition of funding but may be considered as effective school counseling practices.
From Program Advisory CIL: 83/4-4
Senate Bill 813 focuses on strengthening academic programs for students in terms of more effective instructional and curricular offerings. It also includes provisions for higher graduation standards to assure that graduates of California schools will have received excellent, balanced education in addition to meeting basic minimum requirements.
The academic counseling portion of SB 813 is included as a checkpoint for assessing student progress toward meeting graduation requirements and a quality education that will broaden the educational and career options for students. By providing for this checkpoint on student progress at age sixteen or before reaching the end of the tenth grade, it is hoped that students will be better prepared for their next step after high school, whether it be further education or a job. However, it is important to note that school districts no longer need to satisfy the requirements set forth in the Tenth Grade Pupil Progress Review and Counseling program as a condition for funding.
It is also expected that many students who have the ability to achieve higher goals and whose aspirations are too low will be actively encouraged to pursue a more rigorous program. Students who are not progressing satisfactorily toward graduation or who are not motivated toward education and career goals appropriate to their ability should receive priority for counseling.
Tenth Grade Program as a Part of a Total Program
One of the problems with guidance and counseling programs, like many categorical programs, has been the piecemeal approach to program development. Funding from vocational education programs, No Child Left Behind, Title I, etc., has been used to establish separate programs, many of which are inadequately funded and often not coordinated with the regular counseling program.
Districts are encouraged to consider these funds as an opportunity to strengthen the academic portion of a comprehensive guidance and counseling program for students. A comprehensive program will focus attention on the personal, social, and career as well as the academic needs of students. If students are to be actively led toward higher academic standards an effective program for students begins much earlier than the tenth grade or age 16.
Recognizing that the small amount of funds available will not
be adequate to do the task
completely, districts are encouraged to augment these funds with local or other funds to the extent possible.
Some possible uses of the funds are listed below:
- Conduct counselor/advisor review of student records to assess progress toward graduation and appropriateness of academic studies. Follow up with additional counseling for "high risk" students as a priority.
- Identify students with high academic potential whose current academic programs will not enable them to meet the prerequisites for higher education and provide them with additional counseling. Special efforts should be made to identify students from groups that have typically been underrepresented in institutions of higher education.
- Provide for counselor/parent/student conferences to review and revise students' programs of studies and progress toward meeting graduation requirements, college and university opportunities, and educational and career goals. It may be advantageous to implement a case study approach using what has been called an assessment team, or student study team, or intervention team. In any case, it is worthwhile to include on the team relevant teachers, parents, counselors, Regional Occupation Program (ROP) representatives, available school pupil personnel specialists, and the pupil. Available educational options may include (as examples): Regional Occupational Program/Center (ROP/C), career centers, armed forces, outreach programs from colleges and universities, independent study, correspondence courses, school-within-a-school, continuation schools, opportunity classes and schools, or work study.
- Consider using these additional approaches using
teachers, counselors, and others to provide needed individualized
review and assistance:
- Provide counseling for students and parents at night, Saturdays, holidays, or during summer when parents are available.
- Provide "freshman orientation" classes on graduation requirements, A-G course requirements for University of California/California State University admission, and other relevant topics.
- Improve your high school transition program and articulation with counselors in feeder schools.
- Systematically study the dropouts of your school and use your findings to improve your dropout remediation program.
- Add assessment devices to measure interests or vocational aptitudes.
- Institute or improve the career center or career education programs.
- Provide staff development to institute a student advisement program.
- Provide group counseling.