Counseling Career Development Term Paper 4 pages

interview with a high school guidance counselor concerning student testing and performance. The school has three different testing methods: Plan for sophomores, PAST Preliminary for SAT exams, and End of Instructions after English II and U.S. History. The types of school career development programs are mentioned.


How does the school testing methods affect the students in preparation for college or careers? The local school has three different testing methods: PLAN for sophomores, PASS Preliminary for SAT exams, and End of Instructions after English II and U.S. History. The types of school career development programs are limited because it is a small rural school.

The counselor states that testing in Oklahoma is not everything he wishes it were. He states that the school does not have specific school programs. However, he meets one on one with every senior. He states that the school takes serious its role in helping students make wise decisions concerning the college or career goal that they choose.

The school is serious in its intentions to develop high-quality standards for students. “In 1999 Priority Academic Student Skills curriculum (PASS), originally established in 1993, has been revised to clarify and provide more specific content guidelines” (NCTAF 2). This allows for different levels of performance in writing, reading, and mathematics. In some states, such as Oklahoma, if a student does not do well on the PASS, then he is not able to obtain his drivers license. Oklahoma requires that the student do well on a reading comprehension test that is given in the eighth grade or they cannot obtain their drivers license.

The PLAN is a test that sophomores are required to take. It helps them to realize what they need to study to eventually build toward the goal of going to college or to a vocational technology school. This test is important for the student, because many colleges require high scoring on SAT tests.

The End of Instruction tests are given after students complete English II and U.S. History. The counselor stated that he did not understand why this test is mandatory since nothing happens if the students fail this test. He acted like this test was a waste of time for the students and the tester. He stated that if the students failed they should have to repeat the courses or not give the test. The tests should mean something if the students are required to take them.

One of the problems in Oklahoma is the assessment program that “needs many major improvements and perhaps a complete overhaul” (Fairtest 2002). One area in testing that may cause incorrect testing is the multiple-choice questions in the PASS. This allows a student to guess and some students are great guessers. However, this does not show how well they can do when they get to college. The counselor stated that he was concern that many students will find college life is a lot harder than what they expect. Multiple choice testing is not the best method of testing.

One of his concerns was that many students do not realize the seriousness of high school and their GPA until their junior or senior year. It is difficult at that time to change the GPA. The counselor expressed that other achievement test might show the seriousness of working for the GPA. Students that goof off in high school will not be able to achieve well in college or be able to get the funding that they need when they go to college.

The counselor stated that he believed there were needs for different testing to establish a student assessment system that is comprehensive. He gave the NCTAF or the National Commission for Teaching and America’s Future Handbook. It states the tests should be used to test students and give an overall complete assessment of the students’ ability and then teachers should use these results by:

Results should be shared by teachers across grade levels.

Results should be used to improve curriculum.

Results should guide professional development.

Use multiple, ongoing assessment involving more than paper and pencil tests (e.g., checklists, projects, performance and other forms of authentic assessment).

Conduct annual assessment to establish trend data” (NCTAF 2001).

The problem is that most schools do not follow through with the results from the tests. The results are ignored and are not used, as they should be. In fact, the current school system allows for equity of the schools but not adequacy.

In today’s economy, the single biggest competitive advantage you can have is a highly skilled workforce” (okcareertech). The counselor encourages students to begin thinking about being a part of that competitive workforce which means education is vital.

The career development program by the school does not consist of any “set” method. However, the counselor and others work with students from the 11th grade to 12th grades. He stated that anyone may come visit with him about their desires to attend college or vocational technology programs. There are several colleges located in an hour distance from the school as well as several vocational education programs. The counselor calls the students in to discuss possible plans for the future beginning with the 11th grade. The students can begin attending vocational technology programs or college programs in the 11th grade depending on their SAT scores. Several of the colleges allow for students to take some courses in the 11th grade. Several of the vocational technology schools have programs for juniors and seniors.

The counselor stated that he often helped the students find the colleges of their choice and then sends for information about the school with applications requested. He encourages the student to think about what they want to do before they graduate and to send to several colleges for applications.

He states that he helps each student by designing a project to discuss the college or career goal that the student may have. He has a questionnaire that directs the student in their planning. “open-ended or constructed response item items that ask students to respond in their own words – to “construct” their answers – to questions that may have multiple good answers. Students usually reason out their solutions as part of their answers” ( He wants to get an idea if the student is interested in college and which college has he thought about. If the student does not want to attend college, he strongly suggests a vocational school beginning in the junior year.

The counselor uses suggestions from the teachers and administrators as to suggestions to discuss with the student concerning his/her future. The counselor states that he tries to give the student information on his/her career choices. A lot of time is spent on the computer looking at different possibilities for careers.

The counselor stated that he tries to get students who want to major with music or art to put together a portfolio to show at the colleges that they visit. Putting collections of student work together to show at the colleges is important. “Collections of students work that show teachers and others who may “score” portfolios the range and quality of student work over a period of time and in various content areas” (

The counselor states that the school wants to help every student make the best choice when it comes to planning for their careers.

Works Cited

Adult and Career Development” Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Strategic Action Plan for Building Oklahoma’s Future” National Commission for Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) Revised, July 13, 2001 Oklahoma at a Glance Handbook

Testing Our Children: Oklahoma”

What Are Promising Ways to Assess Student Learning?” Improving America’s School: A Newsletter on Issues in School Reform – Spring 1996 Available Online at

National Commission for Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) Oklahoma at a Glance A Strategic Plan for Building Oklahoma’s Future

Testing Our Children: Oklahoma”

National Commission for Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) Oklahoma at a Glance A Strategic Plan for Building Oklahoma’s Future

Adult and Career Development” Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (What are promising ways to assess student learning? Improving America’s School: A Newsletter on Issues in School Reform – Spring 1996).

What Are Promising Ways to Assess Student Learning?”

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