Susannah Wood, an associate professor in the University of Iowa College of Education and the former program coordinator for the master's program in school counseling, suggests leaning on the "Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success" outlined by the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) as the foundation for plans to assist students as they prepare for a career in today's fast-evolving, digitally-driven, and globally connected workplace.
Introduced in September 2014, the standards are based on a survey of research and best practices in student achievement from a wide array of educational standards and efforts. The 35 standards are organized into three domains: Academic Development, Career Development, and Social/Emotional Development. The standards are the next generation of the ASCA National Standards for Students, which were first published in 1997.
"Critical thinking, that's a life skill no matter where you go. Self-awareness, self-responsibility, self-starting, being able to collaborate and cooperate with others. These are things you're going to need for a lifetime, but they're also skills you bring into the workplace," says Wood.
She says the collection of 35 standards create a "roadmap" for school counselors and suggests these life skills are applicable across the spectrum of academic planning , socio-emotional learning, and career preparation. Wood adds that school counselors can also have significant influence on another piece of the puzzle for student success in today's fast-moving environment: the creation of healthy and uplifting school cultures.
"We have to facilitate ways for them to know each other and to know themselves, and to be able to be productive citizens. The career piece isn't new, but it looks different. The school climate piece isn't new, but it looks different because of the things in our society right now," Woods says in reference to greater awareness of the mental health of students.
For more information or resources, visit the UI College of Education's Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, the American School Counselor Association, or the National Association for Gifted Children.