Assessment Design and

Field 040: School Counselor

The assessment design below describes general assessment information. The framework that follows is a detailed outline that explains the knowledge and skills that this assessment measures.

Assessment Design

Format Computer-based test (CBT) and online-proctored test
Number of Questions 150 multiple-choice questions
Time* 180 minutes
Passing Score 220

*Does not include 15-minute tutorial



Domain Range of Competencies Approximate Percentage of Assessment Score
I Student Development and Learning 0001–0002 22%
II Comprehensive School Counseling Program 0003–0006 45%
III Professional Knowledge and Practice 0007–0009 33%
Domain I–Student Development and Learning

0001 Understand human development from early childhood to young adulthood.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of various theories of development and the characteristics, processes, and variations of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language development from early childhood throughout young adulthood.
  2. Recognize environmental factors that influence children's development, the effects of these factors on children's attitudes and behavior, and ways in which development in any one domain may affect children's development and performance in other domains.
  3. Apply knowledge of various exceptionalities and health conditions and their implications for students' development and learning.
  4. Apply knowledge of behaviors that help enhance the physical and emotional health of students at different stages of development, and strategies for promoting growth and development throughout the life span.

0002 Understand the learning process and factors that affect learning.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of theories of learning, the instructional implications of students' varied learning modalities, and the characteristics of different types of learning environments.
  2. Apply knowledge of Ohio's Comprehensive System of Learning Supports (CSLS) and Response to Intervention (RtI) models.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of culture, language, and family on students' development and learning.
  4. Recognize sources of stress or anxiety that affect the learning of children and young adults.
  5. Recognize factors that may affect academic, personal/social, and career development.
  6. Recognize the relationship of academic development and performance to family, work, and community.
Domain II–Comprehensive School Counseling Program

0003 Understand the development and implementation of a guidance curriculum.


  1. Apply knowledge of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model® and how to create and implement a schoolwide needs assessment to develop a comprehensive guidance curriculum that covers academic, career, and personal/social competencies.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of content that is developmentally appropriate for classroom guidance and approaches for creating and presenting developmental guidance lessons that align with the school curriculum, the needs of all students, and the goals of the school and district.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of ways technology can be used to plan, organize, deliver, promote, and research the comprehensive school counseling program and strategies for collaborating with other school professionals.
  4. Recognize multicultural and pluralistic concepts to address when developing or selecting curricula that promote positive images of people from diverse backgrounds (e.g., ways to use diversity to create a rich academic community, meaningful career education programs, and successful social interactions; strategies for educating the school community about diversity and commonalities within the school; and criteria for selecting research-based instructional materials).
  5. Apply knowledge of major characteristics of effective prevention and intervention activities and ways in which these activities can address a range of needs in the school community.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies for engaging students in active learning, developing instructional units with sequential activities to achieve specific goals, and managing the classroom environment.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies for promoting staff involvement in guidance lessons and collaborating with teachers to deliver the guidance curriculum through classroom and schoolwide activities.

0004 Understand methods for individual planning to help students establish goals and develop future plans.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies for helping students manage transitions; for facilitating students' awareness, development, and application of academic study skills; and for guiding students as they plan, monitor, and direct their own learning.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of ways technology can be used to assist students in choosing and achieving academic, career, and personal/social goals.
  3. Apply knowledge of methods for helping students identify and pursue post-secondary options by analyzing their own strengths and needs; using resources for determining aptitudes, knowledge, and interests; and creating a plan of study to maximize their academic abilities.
  4. Recognize strategies for enhancing students' career awareness, providing developmentally appropriate career guidance to students, and facilitating students' development of career plans using information about career opportunities, labor-market trends, and local and global economics.
  5. Recognize strategies for facilitating students' post-secondary planning, including students' understanding of the costs of post-secondary options and resources for meeting those costs.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of methods for assessing and encouraging individual students' social development and communication skills.
  7. Identify developmentally appropriate strategies for teaching students to interact effectively with others, make sound judgments and decisions, solve problems, take responsibility for themselves and their own behavior, accept consequences for their actions, and respect the existence and rights of others in society.

0005 Understand methods for providing responsive services to meet students' needs.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of common problems that students face, interviewing skills for various situations, counseling theories and techniques, factors that affect a school counselor's decision to provide individual counseling, and appropriate strategies for individual counseling.
  2. Recognize methods for obtaining knowledge about diverse populations and counseling students from diverse backgrounds, ways in which the counselor's personal characteristics and behaviors can benefit or hinder the helping process, and the importance of multicultural competence and self-awareness for effective school counseling.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of diagnostic and remediation activities, criteria for referring a student to another professional, and activities and skills associated with consultation and referral.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of group counseling, including group dynamics, criteria for selecting counseling group members, potential topics for small-group counseling, strategies for facilitating group counseling, and developmentally appropriate methods for presenting information to students about various issues.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of crisis counseling methods, including suicide assessment, and intervention strategies for students, families, schools, and communities facing emergency situations.

0006 Understand principles of leadership to support the educational system.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of methods for managing and coordinating the services of the school counseling program, collaborating with school administrators and counseling colleagues, distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate counseling and non-counseling-related activities, and organizing and managing time to implement an effective program.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies for collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure that the school's physical and emotional climate is safe and inviting, for developing and conducting in-service activities for promoting a positive school environment, and for influencing the creation and development of school safety initiatives, crisis-management plans, and violence-prevention programs.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles, competencies, and benefits of advocacy used by school counselors and effective methods of community outreach and public relations to support the educational system.
  4. Identify ways in which school counselors can model fairness, lead proactively in issues of equity, and advocate for school policies and practices that provide equitable and fair access to opportunities that allow each student to succeed.
Domain III–Professional Knowledge and Practice

0007 Understand applications of testing and assessment.


  1. Apply knowledge of measurement and statistical principles of assessment; factors to consider when selecting and implementing assessments for individual and group use; and the uses, benefits, and limitations of a range of formal and informal assessment instruments.
  2. Apply knowledge of the different types of scores that various assessments can yield; the conclusions that can and cannot be drawn from given assessment data; and methods for analyzing, synthesizing, and disaggregating data to examine student outcomes and identify necessary interventions.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of legal guidelines and key issues in student assessment (e.g., in relation to IEPs, Section 504 plans, and state-mandated assessments), the advantages of using multiple assessments, and methods for using diverse approaches to assess the needs of students.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of research methods used to identify information and opportunity gaps between different groups of students, the appropriate uses of data collection to improve school performance, and the use of program audits to address the accountability goals of the school counseling program.

0008 Understand strategies for developing effective relationships with students, their families, professionals, and the community.


  1. Apply knowledge of methods for creating respectful, productive relationships with students, families and school staff; facilitating communication between school and home; providing students and families with information and support; and working collaboratively with the adults in students' lives to remove obstacles to school success.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies for encouraging and maintaining parents'/guardians' involvement with school life; the comprehensive school counseling program; and the process of planning for their child's academic, career, and social/personal development.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the school counselor's role within advisory councils, multidisciplinary teams, and multi-agency teams; and as liaison between the school and other service providers.
  4. Recognize the roles of other professionals, community agencies, and service providers in relation to students and families, and strategies for consulting with and making appropriate referrals to such individuals and entities.

0009 Understand roles, responsibilities, and professional standards of school counselors.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations of the school counseling program, its mission, its support of the school's mission, and its role in accountability.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the school counselor's roles as a change agent; a supporter of every student through program development and educational reform; and an advocate for the counseling profession.
  3. Identify the school counselor's role in the development, implementation, and management of the school counseling program and in working with administrators to develop school counseling management systems that align with the school's goals.
  4. Recognize the elements of and purposes for professional development, the importance of staying abreast of current research, and the value of participation in professional organizations to advance the knowledge and skills of school counselors.
  5. Analyze applications of the ethical principles of the school counseling profession in accordance with professional guidelines, including the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors, and ways in which consultation and supervision from appropriate colleagues can be used to guide the school counselor's recognition of ethical dilemmas and appropriate ways to resolve them.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of legal and ethical issues related to students, parents/guardians, and school personnel (e.g., confidentiality and its boundaries).
  7. Recognize the need to continually reevaluate the school counseling program and goals based on changing demographics, societal issues, and cultural trends.