The Research Committee promotes the understanding and use of data and action research by AzSCA and AZ School Counselors to inform and demonstrate the effectiveness of their program.


Innovations in Elementary School Counseling During A Global Pandemic
  • Elizabeth Hooper, MA, MS
  • Armando Romero, MS, BHT 

During the recent pandemic, counselors, like all educators, faced the challenge of engaging students working online and in safe-space or “hybrid” learning areas. This scenario often manifested failing grades, lack of motivation, and other mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and isolation. To increase academic participation and overall student wellness, counselors found new ways to build trust and rapport online instead of in person. Students shared motivational and how-to videos with classmates. Counselors conducted virtual family fun nights, incorporated music into counseling sessions, and integrated therapy dog school visits into the counseling program. Cooperation and perseverance amongst counseling colleagues and all school staff were crucial ingredients for student growth and success.
College and Career Readiness: Developmental Needs, Classroom Management, and Lesson Plans
  • Whitney Cowan Britton, Capella University
  • Kathryn Watkins Van Asselt, Capella University

College and career readiness is an integral part of a comprehensive school counseling program. According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Ethical Standards, school counselors are qualified and expected to provide direct and indirect services that address students’ academic, social/emotional, and career needs. In Arizona, and across the country, school counselors are expected to lead systemic change by delivering to all students a comprehensive competency-based program, aligned with state standards for academic, personal, and career development. This paper summarizes developmentally appropriate ideas for school counselors to lead robust college and career readiness classroom guidance. The importance of incorporating college and career readiness by discussing classroom management techniques will enable school counselors to lead an effective program. Three examples of lesson plans at the elementary, middle, and high school level are also provided.
  • Jeff Cranmore. PhD, Grand Canyon University
  • Laura Isbell, PhD, Texas A & M Commerce University
  • Jennifer Akins, LPC, and School Counselor, McKinny High School
  • Mitch VandenBoom, Assistant Principal, McKinny High School

Virtually all high schools offer college and career guidance. However, once seniors graduate, little information is available to schools on the experiences of their students. This study explored college readiness through the lens of current college students. Utilizing an on-line survey, 86 college students reported their experiences, as well as offered suggestions to school counselors.  Overwhelmingly, students reported a need to increase the rigor of their course work, and to begin to transition toward a collegiate environment. The paper concludes with suggestions for school counselors on improving college readiness to ensure all students have equal access to ensure future success.
  • Jeff Cranmore. PhD, Grand Canyon University
  • N.J. Katusz-Utter, Director of College Readiness, Sunnyside Unified School District

For the past 35 years, the AVID College Readiness System has worked to prepare students to enter the college and the workforce with the required skills for success. This paper will review the history and mission of AVID, as well as provide a brief overview of the AVID materials/curriculum and the evaluation standards. Finally, there is discussion of the role professional school counselors play in the campus-level AVID program, and how they can provide guidance to an even greater number of students.