These are the seven core guidance programs explained below.
7 Guidance Programs and Services
1. Appraisal Service
An appraisal is a continuous and developmental process of collecting, storing, and processing various data about students’ educational, personal, and social life.
It is done both objectively and subjectively to help the school guidance personnel gain more insight about each student as well as the students gain insight about themself.
The appraisal is one of the foundational guidance services because, without it, every other guidance service and program done in the school will not be effective.
The reason is that all counseling and guidance goals must be targeted toward meeting the needs of clients and students.
An appraisal is a process of identifying the needs of the school and students. It is equivalent to the need assessment stage of organizing a school guidance program.
An appraisal can be done through test and non-test devices. Test devices include achievement tests, aptitude tests, personality tests, interest inventory tests, and mental ability tests.
Non-test devices that can be used for appraisal services in schools include anecdotal records, rating scales, observation, cumulative records, and sociometric techniques.
2. Counseling Service
The second guidance program in schools is a counseling service.
This service provides a platform for the school guidance counselor to provide one-on-one, face-to-face assistance to students and teachers in overcoming educational, professional, and personal-social challenges.
The major focus of the school counseling service is to assist students to make informed decisions as a result of increased insight into themselves, their situation, and the world around them.
Various counseling theories and techniques are employed to see that clients overcome their needs These techniques include facilitation, active listening, and confrontation.
As a result of this, counseling services can only be provided by a professionally trained counselor, unlike the other school guidance services that can be performed by other school guidance personnel once they are given an adequate brief by the school guidance committee and counselor.
Counseling services must also be provided following the ethical principles that govern guidance and counseling like confidentiality and unconditional positive regard.
A conducive counseling office must also be set up for the school counselor.
3. Information Service
The scope of guidance in schools also covers providing relevant, accurate, and timely information to students that will help their total development in the school.
This is done through the information service. Information to be provided to students include career opportunities and the world of work, education advancement and the nature of learning, personal and social information, societal development, and the state of the nation.
If students are not abreast with this information, they would be disconnected from life outside the class and won’t be fully developed and equipped for transition into the real world.
Also, for the counselor and guidance personnel to be able to provide this information, they must ensure that they are up-to-date with the changes in the world.
Information service becomes counterproductive when the guidance personnel provides obsolete and irrelevant information to students.
Information can be relayed on the assembly ground, through newsletters to students and parents, through the publication of the press club, and the like.
4. Placement Service
Placement services are provided when students are in the transitory phases of their lives. Primarily when they transit from junior secondary school to senior, and when they transit from secondary school to university.
Placement is the process of matching students with roles, classes, environments, and jobs that best fit them.
For this to be effective, there must first be an appraisal or evaluation of all the students to identify their potential, personality, experiences, and interest.
Afterward, the options available will be considered to see which suits the identified traits of the students the most.
Placement services can be provided both in the school setting and outside the school setting. The school setting includes placing students in the right school, and classes, and choosing the right subject.
Outside the school setting, placement service includes placing students in the right places for industrial training, practicum, and attachment exercises.
5. Follow-up Service
Follow-up is the next in the sequence of the school guidance programs and services after placement.
Follow-up simply entails keeping in touch with the progress of the student in their various places of placement. However, it is not limited to that.
Every school guidance service offered by the guidance personnel must be followed by effective follow-up. This means, for example, after a student has received counseling on developing effective study habits, that student must also be followed up to see if the habit is producing effective results.
Follow-up is necessary for holistic evaluation which is used in determining how effective the guidance services are and what can be done to improve them.
6. Orientation Service
Orientation services are provided to students at their entrance into the school system to guide them in adjusting to the school environment and experiences.
Orientation also consists of information and placement services but is done at superficial levels. The programs, structures, facilities, and authorities available in the school and their uses are explained to new students.
They are also intimated about the likely challenges they will face as they progress in school and how to overcome them. Orientation programs also prepare students psychologically and emotionally for school life.
This is done through an initial orientation program organized upon resumption of new students and through other localized orientations done in classes, on assembly grounds, and by the class teachers.
7. Referral Service
Several texts do not include referral service as one of the core guidance programs and services but a school guidance counselor must know that part of the scope of his work is knowing the end of the scope of his work.
Referral is an act of transferring a client to another professional where they can be appropriately helped. Any school guidance counselor that is not aware of their limitations will do the students and the school a great disservice no matter how skillful they are.
A good counselor must know when to refer cases that are beyond his expertise to the appropriate quarters.
In simple cases like students complaining of pain as a result of depression, instead of the counselor trying to alleviate the pain by therapy, they should simply refer the student to the school health worker for examination and feedback.
Also in more severe cases like disorders, whenever the school counselor notices that their intervention is not producing results, they should simply refer students to external and more intensive care for intervention.
This admittance of weakness is a great strength that counselors need.
The seven core guidance programs in schools are appraisal, orientation, placement, counseling, follow-up, information, and referral services. Guidance programs and services can only be fully effective and successful when every school guidance personnel is involved.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.