“Implement a CBA” Overview

Click on a title below to go directly to that topic.
Introduction to “Implement a CBA”
Delivering a CBA Curriculum
Implementing CBA Plans
Establishing a Reliable Support Infrastructure
Links to Implementation Templates

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Introduction to “Implement a CBA”

Three Major Components of Implementing a CBA

Fully implementing a CBA school counseling program is a complex set of activities that must be organized and conducted in a systematic fashion. This section is not intended to address all aspects of a complete implementation process, but rather focus on three major components that are critical to the successful delivery of a CBA.


Delivering a CBA Curriculum

The curriculum is the primary vehicle for delivering CBA content that helps students acquire relevant knowledge, develop appropriate skills and embrace the attitudes, behaviors and habits of mind that lead to success in school and life. The graphic below identifies critical aspects of the CBA curriculum delivery process.

3.2-2 Delivering a Results-Based Curriculum 11-17-15

If you have completed the templates in the “Develop Learning Opportunities” section of the Website, you already have produced a developmentally-appropriate scope and sequence that identifies the core CBA curriculum activities that are intended for delivery to all students. You may also have begun the process of documenting some of the activities. The scope and sequence constitutes your essential curriculum delivery plan. It is not intended to necessarily identify every curriculum activity you deliver. It is intended to identify those activities which you believe so strongly are essential to students achieving the CBA standards that they should be delivered to all students.

The first step in delivering a CBA school counseling curriculum is using the scope and sequence as your delivery guide. You may decide that other curriculum activities need to be delivered to all or some students in response to emerging needs, and these should be incorporated into your delivery plan as well. The scope and sequence is also useful in keeping track of which activities have already been delivered, when they are delivered and by whom.

All CBA curriculum activities should be designed as meaningful learning experiences for students and contain embedded assessments that can be used to determine the extent to which student are achieving the competency statements which specify the results students are expected to achieve through participation in the activity. The embedded assessments are designed for immediate feedback to students so they know how well they have learned what is expected of them and in what areas they need to improve in order to demonstrate proficiency.

These assessments do not necessarily need to be used every time the activity is delivered, but it is important that the assessments be included in the documentation to demonstrate that student progress is capable of being assessed. This is especially important in demonstrating to others that the activity is challenging and can provide vital information that will allow for the adjustment of student learning plans so they can maximize their potential to achieve at their highest potential.

Since the curriculum is the primary vehicle for delivering a CBA, it is important to gather, analyze and report data associated with delivery of the curriculum. It should be determined, in addition to proving immediate feedback to students and their parents/guardians, who need to see the data to make informed decisions about the impact of the curriculum on student achievement and well-being, and which curriculum activities need to be continued or modified or discontinued. Collecting this information will be critical for effectively evaluating the program as discussed in the “Evaluate a CBA” section of the Website.

An important step in implementing the CBA curriculum is to find out from teachers how school counselors can best help them and what topics/issued they encounter with their students which are within the purview of the school counseling program. A teacher needs assessment template is provided in the “Implementation Templates” section at the end of this file.

Implementing CBA Plans

A CBA uses four types of plans. Each plan contains three primary components: a) results to be achieved, b) action steps to achieve the results, and c) measures to determine the extent to which the results have been achieved. These plans articulate our best thinking on how to implement a CBA school counseling program, from high-level strategic plans that reflect our long-term future vision to annual plans that document the detailed implementation steps. Plans also represent a consensus among counselors and school leaders regarding the best way to accomplish the outcomes.

3.2-3 Implementing CBA Plans 11-17-15

A continuous focus on the results to be achieved is critical to this process, along with ongoing monitoring of progress toward achieving the desired outcomes and taking corrective action when needed. The measures are directly related to the specified outcomes and are capable of producing data that can be used to evaluate the efficacy and impact of implementing the CBA plans on student achievement and program quality.

The CBA school counseling program should be implemented with fidelity. This requires stewardship to the plan and using the various CBA plans to guide delivery of the CBA program so that outcomes specified in the plans can be achieved within projected delivery dates. Relevant data needs to be gathered throughout the implementation effort so it is available for the various evaluation activities discussed in the “Evaluate a CBA” section of the Website.

Establishing a Reliable Support Infrastructure

The third major component of implementing a CBA is establishing a reliable support infrastructure. By reliable we mean that supports are in place and consistently serve to facilitate the CBA implementation process. A reliable support infrastructure effectively defines and manages critical organizational functions that enable the implementation effort to be conducted efficiently and sustained over time.

Four functions addressed in a successful CBA support infrastructure are identified in the graphic below.

3.2-4 11-17-15

Why is it important for these functions to be well-established and reliable? Imagine a scenario in which not everyone knew what was expected of them, not everyone was cognizant of the rules governing the program, participants did not recognize their accountabilities and/or failed to embrace them, training in how to successfully implement a CBA was woefully inadequate or nonexistent, operational guidelines for the program were not available or easily accessible, people in charge did not know what to do next, and critical information needed to efficiently implement the program was not distributed to those who needed it to make informed decisions. In such a scenario, which may reflect aspects of your current school counseling program, school counselors’ capacity to support student learning and learner outcomes is severely diminished.

Roles and Accountabilities

Role and accountability statements enable school counselors and other key groups impacting the counseling program to fully understand, embrace and fulfill what is expected of them. Role statements are developed for the primary constituencies involved in a CBA (e.g., school counselors, teachers, students, parents, other support professionals, administrators and school leaders). Everyone has a role to play in the successful implementation of a CBA. Everyone has responsibilities that require their attention. The “Roles and Accountabilities” template discussed in the “Implementation Templates” section at the end of this document helps you define and document key roles and accountabilities that are essential to the development and delivery of a CBA.

The template helps organize individual and collaborative efforts to improve the school counseling program by defining what each constituent group is responsible for and how all groups interact to ensure that the results expected from implementing a CBA are achieved. Role and accountability statements can be used as part of CBA program evaluation and school counselor performance evaluations.

Policies and Protocols

All programs are governed by a set of rules (policies) and recommendations (guidance) that define what is acceptable and not acceptable. It is important to know the rules that govern the school counseling program. These can be policies (e.g., school committee adopted, state department of education mandated) or guidance issued (e.g., by a superintendent, principal, state department of education) to explain in greater detail recommended ways to implement policies and ensure compliance with regulations.

In addition, the implementation of any policy or guideline will involve protocols (standardized procedures and use of forms) that document the critical steps that must be completed. Protocols identify what needs to be done, who is responsible for doing what, using what tools, when the task is scheduled to be performed and within what timeframe it should be successfully completed. It is expected that established protocols will be followed to ensure the efficient implementation of the school counseling program.

Key policies and protocols should be documented. The “Policies and Protocols” template” discussed in the “Implementation Templates” section at the end of this document will help you define and document key policies and protocols that impact the CBA program, including the name of the activity, who is primarily responsible for its completion, and standardized forms used to complete the process. The documented materials can be used as part of the CBA professional development program so that those involved in the program are aware of and in compliance with relevant policies and following standardized procedures.

Documented policies and procedures should be accessible by anyone who is impacted by them. This allows for easy access to district policies impacting school counseling, provides standardized processes for the efficient operation of the counseling program, and clarifies misperceptions regarding what school counselors do and how they do it. Policies and protocols provide an indispensible roadmap to delivery of a comprehensive CBA school counseling program.

Professional Development

In order to develop a construct-based approach and incorporate it into your current school counseling program, school counselors need to understand the difference between a CBA and their current way of delivering their counseling program. They need to know how key CBA terminology is defined and used, and the strategies and actions required for a CBA. The CBA professional development program should be comprehensive (covering all aspects of a CBA), ongoing, and ensure plenty of time for counselors and other constituent groups to learn and apply their learning.

Professional development is a central component in all change initiatives. Developing and delivering a CBA is a major paradigm shift that requires a reexamination of the fundamental assumptions we make about student developmental needs and learning, and how they are impacted by school counseling programs and counselor practice. Because of this, meaningful and substantive professional development is a necessity.

Communication Network

A fluid communication network, simply stated, is critical information produced, organized and distributed in a timely fashion to those who need it to make informed decisions.

It is highly recommended that a CBA be developed, delivered and evaluated by a community of dialog and self-reflection. The production and dissemination of vital information is therefore essential so that everyone has the information they need to embrace their role, perform their tasks and make informed decisions. This requires fluid communications, a systematic approach to creating an information system that fulfills these needs.

The first task in creating a fluid communication network is to define the informational needs of key individuals and constituent groups. In other words, what do they need to know and by when do they need to know it to successfully perform tasks and achieve results for which they are responsible. Once the informational needs have been defined, lines of communication can then be established so that once information is produced it can flow efficiently in a timely fashion to those who need it to achieve desired results. Managing the communication network should be a centrally-coordinated responsibility assigned to a member of the program’s leadership team. Without the continuous flow of relevant information, the capacity for achieving desired results in the school counseling program can grind to a halt.

The “Defining Informational Needs” in the “Implementation Templates” section at the end of this document can help you identify and document key individuals and constituent groups and their informational needs. Key questions that must be answered for each type of informational need include:

  • Where is the information produced?

  • By when do they need the information?

  • Who needs the information?

  • In what format do they need the information to facilitate its immediate and accurate use?

  • What communication line(s) needs to be established to get the information to that individual or group?

Links to Implementation Templates

Several templates are provided to help you implement a CBA. A “pdf” file containing Instructions, and a MS Word file (docx) for you to input your information, are provided for each Template. Follow the links below to access the Instruction and Template files.

CBA Teacher Needs Assessment

The six-step process above enables you to develop, document and set up a delivery schedule for your core CBA school counseling program. It is also important to inform teachers about key features of your CBA and the types of curriculum services you can offer them. A “Teacher CBA Needs Assessment Survey” is provided to help you communicate your curriculum-related services to them and obtain their feedback.

CBA Teacher Needs Assessment Instructions

CBA Teacher Needs Assessment Template

CBA Roles and Accountabilities

This template allows you to document roles and accountabilities for key constituent groups involved in the school counseling program.

CBA Roles and Accountabilities Instructions

CBA Roles and Accountabilities Template

CBA Policies and Protocols

This template allows you to document policies and guidance that govern the school counseling program and protocols for implementing the policies and guidance.

CBA Policies and Protocols Instructions

CBA Policies and Protocols Template

CBA Professional Development Needs Assessment and Impact Analysis

This template allows you to determine school counselors’ professional development needs and analyze the impact of delivering the school counseling professional development program. Instructions for both templates are contained in one pdf file. A separate docx file is provided for each of the two templates.

CBA Professional Development Instructions

CBA Professional Development Needs Assessment Template

CBA Professional Development Impact Analysis Template

Defining Informational Needs

This template allows you to define the informational needs of key individuals and constituent groups in order to develop a fluid communication network.

Defining Informational Needs Instructions

Defining Informational Needs Template