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Comprehensive School Counseling

School Counselors strategically design and deliver comprehensive school counseling programs that are broad in scope, preventative in design, and developmental in nature in order to align and effectively advance the mission and goals of their school and district. School counseling programs are driven by student data, focused on addressing equity and opportunity gaps, and based on college and career readiness student standards. School Counselors work closely with students to individualize and personalize their educational pathway, develop the essential knowledge, skills, and mindsets for mastering student standards, and support their required self-directed goals, plans, and accomplishments towards graduation and successful transition to postsecondary opportunities.

School Counselors provide leadership, advocacy, and collaboration by serving on various school leadership and data teams, and student support teams within a school’s multi-tiered system. They use student data to provide universal, individual and targeted interventions and supports, and targeted individual and group counseling based on Student Standards. They work closely with parents and other educators, student support personnel (e.g., School Psychologists, School Social Workers, and School Nurses), community-agencies, college access professionals, and business partners to promote students’ well-being, safe and supportive environment, culturally responsive practices, academic achievement, college preparation, career readiness, and systemic change. Services and supports in these areas look different across educational levels in order to address the developmental needs of students. School Counselors are trained to provide immediate and short-term intensive supports and crisis interventions with students and their families. School counselors then refer students and families for specialized services in district or the community, in order to provide ongoing intensive supports and services, treatment for severe and chronic issues, long-term counseling, and complex family situations.

Comprehensive School Counseling in Oregon

Comprehensive school counseling programs serve an integral role in schools and are required for districts and schools in Oregon. They are effectively delivered by state-credentialed School Counselors, whose specialized training is in strategically developing and implementing a comprehensive school counseling program, that addresses barriers to learning and promotes effective transitions by providing opportunities for each and every student to acquire and master critical skills that enable them to learn, work, interact with others, and contribute to their community. Effective program implementation and successful student outcomes are best achieved when School Counselors are spending at least eighty percent of their time providing direct and indirect counseling services and have student to counselor ratios at or near the national recommended level of 250:1.

In 2016, Oregon Department of Education formed a state-level School Counseling Content and Advisory Panel, who has identified key priority goals for School Counseling in Oregon. As efforts are underway, Oregonians asked to reimagine Comprehensive School Counseling in Oregon and engage in efforts being made to move positive student outcomes forward. Leadership and collaboration opportunities are available for those looking to get involved. Information and updates will be shared out through the Oregon School Counselor News listserve.

Comprehensive School Counseling Programs in Oregon

Oregon's Student Standards (Mindsets & Behaviors)

Student standards identify and prioritize the specific attitudes, knowledge and skills students should be able to demonstrate as a result of a school counseling program. School counselors use the standards to assess student growth and development, guide the development of strategies,activities, and create a program that helps students achieve their highest potential in the four domains: academic (learning to learn), career (learning to work), social/emotional (learning to live), and community involvement (learning to contribute). 

School districts in Oregon may select from student standards and indicators for their students and comprehensive school counseling programs. The following resources are provided as guides to assist school districts in identifying the specific competencies they want their students to acquire in order to meet developmental needs and align with academic content.

Oregon's Framework for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs

Oregon’s Framework for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs has been developed to provide a coherent guide for school districts, linking school improvement efforts and the program goals and content. The Framework can assist districts in evaluating current programs and organizing improvements in their programs based upon research and best practices. It supports districts in creating and maintaining a comprehensive school counseling program as a required element of the school support system, essential in achieving a common goal - the growth and learning of each and every student in Oregon.

CCR Alliance Academy - Scaling up advising strategies for college and career readiness.
Take your knowledge and skills to the next level for effectively preparing all students for college and career success. Participate in instructor-led courses that incorporate a learning community approach to online professional development. Courses are available state-wide and in specific areas through various delivery formats such as face-to-face, online, or hybrid. 

Courses include:
  • Practical and Job-relevant Activities 
  • Culturally Responsive and Relevant Content 
  • Interactive Discussion Forum with Guided Questions 
  • Opportunities for Local and State-wide Collaboration 
  • Professional Development Webinars and Online Readings 
  • Resources You Can Incorporate Into Your Work Immediately 
  • Short Videos of Educators Demonstrating Effective Practices 
  • Culminating Action Plan to Implement Learned Strategies 

Courses offered 

* Portland State University credits available for the first four courses listed below; One-time registration fee = $27, 3 Graduate/Undergraduate credits = $180

Rules and Statutes
OAR Division 22 Chapters: Use this link to find the following relevant chapters:
  • Career Education OAR 581-022-0405
  • Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling OAR 581-022-1510
  • Child Development Specialists OAR 581-022-1512
Oregon Administrative Rules: Use this link to search for OARs and ORS

Comprehensive School Counseling Resources

2016 Oregon School Counselor of the Year: Holly Vaughn-Edmonds

Portland, OR, October 14, 2016– Holly Vaughn-Edmonds of Franklin High School, Portland Public Schools has been named the 2016 Oregon School Counselor of the Year! Holly has been a school counselor for 17 years. She has put a strong emphasis on collaboration and cooperation and has been a keystone in the push for students to be ready for post-secondary opportunities.

"Holly’s creative spirit and big heart makes for strong collaboration with her colleagues, partners and college resources." Juanita Valder, FHS Principal

Each year the Oregon School Counseling Association honors the best of the best – school counselors who are running a top-notch, comprehensive school counseling program at either the elementary, middle or high school level. For her exemplary work which focuses on Career and College Readiness, we honor Holly Vaughn-Edmonds as a leader in her community.

“Holly believes in her students, both current and graduated. She dedicates her life to helping her students be all that they can be, she empowers each individual to be confident and she advocates for each of her students on a level that I had not seen before and am not sure if I will again.” Elona Wilson, FHS 2014

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Katie Loewen at

It is a policy of the State Board of Education and a priority of the Oregon Department of Education that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. Persons having questions about equal opportunity and nondiscrimination should contact the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Oregon Department of Education, 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310; phone 503-947-5740; or fax 503-378-4772. 

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