BLOG #1: An Invitation to Dialog

An Invitation to Dialog


Welcome to our new CBA Blog. “CBA” stands for “construct-based approach,” a new approach to implementing PreK-12 comprehensive school counseling programs that are grounded in research and designed to improve learner outcomes, school counseling program quality and counselor practice.

The CBA was first articulated in our book, Achieving Excellence in School Counseling through Motivation, Self-Direction, Self-Knowledge and Relationships. (Corwin, 2014) and subsequent Construct-Based Approach (CBA) Toolkit on a Flash Drive (Corwin, 2015). We have just launched a new CBA Website (www.excellenceinschoolcounseling.com) that is intended to help you design, deliver and evaluate a CBA as part of your school counseling program.

The CBA is not intended to replace your current counseling program, but to enhance it by improving critical areas related to student standards, a challenging school counseling curriculum and meaningful student assessments. In addition, a CBA can help you improve your planning and implementation processes, establish a reliable support infrastructure for the counseling program, and evaluate the efficacy and impact of your program on students’ academic achievement and well-being.

A Simple Premise

Our premise is simple. A review of more than 50 years of research yields four constructs that produce positive results in student development and learning: motivation, self-direction, self-knowledge and relationships. Each construct has sub-constructs that further delineate critical areas on which to focus. Since these findings have been demonstrated positive results, and are within the purview of school counseling programs, it is reasonable to conclude that these constructs can be used as the foundational building blocks of comprehensive school counseling programs.

The CBA Website is implementation-focused and serves a three-fold purpose: a) help translate research findings into effective programs and practice, b) provide structured processes, clearly-defined protocols and easy to use tools for professional school counselors, and c) engage others in establishing a community of dialog, reflection and collaboration to explore and unlock the power and potential of a CBA.

Social-Emotional Learning, Metacognition and Behavior

Our major focus is on students’ social-emotional, metacognitive and behavioral development. School counselors can and do make a significant contribution to students’ learning and achievement. Social-emotional development is critical as it helps students understand their executive functioning, regulate their emotions and behaviors and engage in meaningful relationships. Metacognitive awareness and skill development are critical because they help students think about how they think and learn about how they learn. Behavioral development is critical as it involves self-discipline and being responsible. All three of these areas have one thing in common. We help students recognize their social-emotional, metacognitive and behavioral processes and patterns in order to take action to improve them.

A Vision To Live By

We are compelled by a vision of excellence. We firmly believe that incorporating a CBA into your school counseling program can increase the impact school counselors have on students’ academic achievement and development as whole individuals. By implementing a CBA we believe these student results can be achieved.

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An Invitation

Subsequent CBA Blogs will share our thoughts on how to make a construct-based approach to school counseling relevant and meaningful, and focus on issues important to the school counseling Profession. New Blogs, plus updates to our Website, will be made monthly, so visit us often.

We invite you to join us in dialog about how to unlock the power and potential of a CBA to help students achieve at their highest potential, improve the quality and impact of our school counseling programs, and make significant contributions to the vitality of our school communities.