RAMP Recipients: Understanding the Needs of School Counselors

In my last blog, Empathy Map: Understanding the Needs of School Counselors, I was researching school counselors to help me ultimately develop a solution to increasing the amount of school counselors that follow a data-driven, comprehensive school counseling program. (DCSCP)

I received back survey responses from the RAMP recipients.  First, take a look at the survey I created:

 

There are 253 current RAMP schools.  I emailed the survey and received 37 responses. I received 29 mail delivery errors. I separated each answer into a sticky note map.  Then I took each state and put the supports that contributed to RAMP.

This lead me to five programs that possibly could have excellent results.

1.  RAMP ACADEMY (Masino and Ransom, VA)

2. Cobb County Training (Hartline and Cobia, GA)

3. Gold Star Program (American Student Achievement Institute, IN)

4. CARAT SYSTEM (Sparks, NC)

5. Cohort Model (Young and Kneale, VA)

The most successful programs had 8 major components that were found in each program.  These components were a systemic training program consisting of:

Accountability
Commitment
Detailed Planning
Monthly Meetings
Training
Network System
Feedback
Celebration/Rewards

The RAMP recipient responses also lead me to find that there were two distinct types of RAMP recipients.

The first type, I call the Lone Wolf.  This type of school counselor was able to do RAMP on their own.  He/she likely was the first in their state, or first in their district.   This type was able to find out how to successfully follow a data-driven program on their own.  The Lone Wolf had characteristics matching the ASCA 2010 Conference Session “How They Did It: RAMP Certification Success Strategies.” (Fulthorp, 2009)

wolf

The second type had a system support that helped them through the process.  If self-efficacy was missing, the system support was able to help fill this deficit.  Any missing piece that the school counselor was lacking was filled through the system support.  After completing the RAMP process, they were then comparable to the Lone Wolf and able to continue to Re-RAMP.  Some school counselors who were still not confident could then use the system support to Re-RAMP.

Surprisingly, most RAMP recipients were unaware of the laws affecting their job.  Continuing to look at the different states, I found the newest laws from the February 5th, 2015 podcast, “National Trends in School Counseling State Policy” by Dr. Julie Hartline and Dr. Alice Anne Bailey.  I wanted to know if the state laws were contributing to an increase in following a DCSCP.   The states with the strongest laws supporting school counselors were:

Alabama (1 RAMP)
Mississippi (0 RAMP)
North Carolina (56 RAMP)
West Virgina (0 RAMP)

I was surprised to find that the laws did not seem to affect RAMP (except in North Carolina).  It will be interesting to see if these new laws do increase RAMP recipients in the other three states.

Lastly, I had wanted to know why some of the most influential counselor educators that provided training for school counselors had few RAMP schools in their state.  Looking at their state they did not have a systemic training program in place.  The training was one-time or sporadic and did not include all 8 components of a successful program. The training was done in multiple states and seemed most helpful to the Lone Wolf.

Next, I will be researching the history of school counseling to help me better understand the political and cultural trends that have influenced the profession.

Christina

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