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MASCA Program Evaluation Pilot Project

The Massachusetts School Counselor Association (MASCA) is launching a new initiative, led by its Research and Evaluation Committee: Program Evaluations of school counseling programs by peer MASCA members.  The goal of the program evaluations is to provide districts with a holistic assessment of their school counseling department’s efforts to develop a comprehensive program which supports students’ academic, social/emotional, and college/career readiness development. 

The ASCA National Model 4.0 and MA Model 3.0 serve as the frameworks for the committee’s work.  Five core areas will guide the program evaluations, including examining ways that school counseling departments are:

    1. Collecting and analyzing data to document the department’s activities, interventions, and accountability efforts;
    2. Delivering tiered interventions to support all students, with school counselors acting as leaders and coordinators of the program delivery;
    3. Developing college/career readiness in all students and building awareness about multiple postsecondary pathways;
    4. Promoting family and community engagement; and
    5. Incorporating leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change to ensure equity and access for all students.

The Evaluation Process will include:

Application Process

School counseling departments interested in participating in the pilot of the program evaluation project should complete an application form and email to

Members of the MASCA Program Evaluation committee will review the application and will schedule a brief (approximately 30 minutes) introductory Zoom call with the Director of School Counseling and/or the school counseling team and also the principal (or other administrator) to discuss the process and timeline for the peer evaluation of the school counseling department.

Survey Administration

School counselors and the principal/administrators will complete an online survey which the committee developed based on these five core areas.  Survey results will help the committee to better understand the roles and responsibilities of school counselors in the building, the priorities of the school counseling department, and the ways in which school counselors organize their time.  These data may also highlight differences in how school counselors versus administrators perceive the work of the school counselors in the building. 

In addition, students and teachers/staff will be invited to complete a short survey about their perceptions of the school counseling program so that the unique perspectives of these stakeholders are also included in the evaluation process. 

Document Review

The committee will conduct a document review of departmental materials, based on a list provided by the program evaluation committee. School counselors will provide tangible evidence of their comprehensive school counseling program such as lesson plans, course selection and 4-year planning forms, and family engagement materials.  The committee will use a rubric to score each of the documents. 

Interviews with School Counselors + Administrators

After identifying themes and trends revealed in the survey data and submitted documents, committee members will conduct individual interviews with each school counselor and at least one administrator to better understand the context of these findings.

Final Report + Recommendations

For the final report, the committee will synthesize all evaluation findings to identify both strengths of the school counseling department and areas for improvement, using the five core areas listed above. The summative report will also provide recommendations, grounded in the school counseling research base and best practices advocated by ASCA and MASCA, to assist departments in moving toward a more robust delivery of a comprehensive school counseling program. 

Identifying the ways school counselors are already incorporating some of the larger themes embedded in our profession’s Models can provide momentum for a department to begin implementing additional aspects of the MA Model.  The committee’s recommendations will help school counselors in connecting their department’s noted strengths to specific objectives articulated in the MA Model. 

Program Evaluation Standard Option - $3500:

Members of the Program Evaluation Team will: 

   Meet virtually with school counselors and principal to discuss the program evaluation process

   Analyze self-study survey results from school counselor(s) and principal/administrator

   Create and share charts and graphs of survey results

   Administer student and teacher surveys about their perceptions of the school counseling program

   Review electronically submitted school counseling department documents

   Conduct virtual interviews with school counselors and principal (30 minutes each)

   Develop a draft summary slide deck report and share with principal/ administrator

   Incorporate the district’s edits and create a final slide deck summary with noted areas of strength and areas for improvement and recommendations for moving forward

   Meet virtually with school counselors and principal to share final report (1 hour) 

Anticipated Timeline for Program Evaluations:

Pilot program evaluations will begin in spring 2023 and will be conducted virtually.

The committee anticipates conducting full-scale program evaluations starting in the 2023-24 school year.  Districts may choose either a Standard or Deluxe option. The deliverables and discounted prices offered to pilot sites are listed in the table “Program Evaluation Tiers”.

The MASCA Program Evaluation committee is currently conducting peer evaluations of school counseling departments at the high school level only.  It is anticipated that program evaluations at the elementary and middle school levels will begin during the 2023-24 school year. 

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MASCA deeply values its diverse membership and is fully committed to creating an organization where each individual is welcomed, included, respected and empowered.  No person will be excluded from MASCA on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or military status, or for any other discriminatory reason. These activities include, but are not limited to, appointment of its Governing Board, hiring or firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and the providing of services.  This policy is fundamental to the effective functioning of MASCA as an organization that supports counselors and promotes equity in our schools, districts and the Commonwealth.

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