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Guidance Expo 2010 Developing, Organizing and Maintaining High School Advisory Programs Workshop Session V 1:15 – 2:10 p.m.

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Presentation on theme: "Guidance Expo 2010 Developing, Organizing and Maintaining High School Advisory Programs Workshop Session V 1:15 – 2:10 p.m."— Presentation transcript:

1 Guidance Expo 2010 Developing, Organizing and Maintaining High School Advisory Programs Workshop Session V 1:15 – 2:10 p.m.

2 Presenters Arthur G. McCann, Ph.D., Chair of Graduate Counseling Department Director of School Counseling Program at Mercy College Robert G. Stevenson, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Graduate Counseling Department at Mercy College

3 Presentation Objectives 1.Warm up Activity To review reasons for developing an Advisory Program To discuss the unexpected benefits of Advisory Programs To explain the components of Advisory Programs at two different schools, River Dell, NJ and Great Neck, NY To review the developmental history of the two programs To examine the impact of an Advisory Program on students To explore how the experiences of these two programs could suggest possibilities for other schools

4 Why create an Advisory Program? To personalize the high school To create a safe space To earn the trust of the community To build in an advocate for every student To develop positive student leadership To encourage faculty to get to know a diverse group of students in ways they might not otherwise, even if they were in their class(es). To encourage greater student involvement in the positive extracurricular life of the school. To create a structure for the discussion of important school issues To foster a healthy acclimation to school To cultivate an atmosphere that supports academic achievement To proactively identify and support positive school behavior.

5 Unexpected Benefits of an Advisory Program There was stronger bonding among students from all parts of the school community. The impact of he Advisory Program extended beyond the school to families and to the community. – There were three referrals of parents by students. The school and the peer leaders came to be seen as a “support system” (even by students who had previously had little use for school and felt isolated or ignored).

6 Brief Outline of the Two Advisory Programs at Great Neck North There are two separate advisory programs at Great Neck North H.S., one serving the ninth grade and the other serving the tenth. Each grade is divided into twenty groups of approximately twelve students. Each group is lead by a team consisting of one faculty member and a pair of peer leaders. Peer leaders receive ongoing training in communication and group leadership skills and prepared for their weekly group sessions in a required class taught by members of the PPT and Health Department. At present there are 40 faculty advisors, 100 peer leaders, and 7 peer leadership course instructors who are supporting two advisory programs that serve more than 450 students.

7 History of the Development of the First Advisory Program at North Establishing a faculty committee to spearhead efforts to get the program started Designing a model that meets school community needs Obtaining support from all constituencies/stakeholders Responding to resistance Obtaining Formal Approval and laying the groundwork for starting the first program. Managing logistical challenges and coping with growing pains. Responding to constructive criticism and program evaluation.

8 The Decision about whether to expand the Advisory Program to include another grade Why create another advisory program? Pros and cons to consider.

9 River Dell PLAN (Peer Leader Assistance Network) Peer advisory programs are intended to give students an active role in linking students with school support services when needed. The student leaders have defined roles in assisting students who are coping with individual crises, and in the overall crisis response plans of the school community. Peer leaders take part in three 5 hour training sessions and are provided with group “support” sessions on a regular basis

10 Brief Outline of the Advisory Program at River Dell The advisory program at River Dell consists of one main group of peer leaders. Beginning with the first year of the program, there were 60 students (sophomores and juniors) who received training each year in a three year senior high school. Juniors were trained in the fall semester and sophomores in the spring. When the school changed to 4 years (grades 9-12) the number was increased to 80. That meant that the school community had about 20% of the student body trained and available for programs and service at any given time. Each group assigned a task is lead by a team consisting of between 5 and 10 peer leaders with 1-2 faculty advisors. Peer leaders receive ongoing training in communication and group leadership skills with meetings every other week and a monthly training session (often with outside presenters). The program was developed by a team of three faculty members (the school psychologist, a school counselor and a faculty member. The Peer leaders “listen” student concerns and, then help the student to utilize support services. They also have become the presenters for most of the school suicide awareness/prevention program (known as ASAP).

11 Unique features of these Advisory Programs Sharing of advisory group leadership responsibilities among a faculty member and two or more peer leaders Selection and training of peer leaders – Nomination by faculty, peers and self-nomination How advisory groups are composed – Created on an ad hoc basis with numbers determined based on the task Bonding of Peer Leaders/Listeners

12 Different focuses of the two programs Great Neck North – Ninth Grade Program – Tenth Grade Program River Dell – Focus first on students in grades – Assist students in grades – Take first position in running ASAP (Adolescent Suicide Awareness Program)

13 The advisory programs’ effects on the school culture. Great Neck North and River Dell Where it used to be. Where it is now.

14 Results of Surveys Have you developed a new friendship this year as a result of your advisory group? YesNo 54%46% Have you gotten involved in extracurricular activities? YesNo 90%10% Have you gotten involved in any extracurricular activities either as a result of the activity fair in September or as a result of a suggestion from your advisor or advisory group? YesNo 48%52%

15 Results of Surveys Continued Has your advisor been able to offer suggestions on how to handle problems? YesNoSometimes 76%23%1% How would you describe your relationship with your advisor? Very Close Satisfactory Not Good At All 11%40%40%7%2% When you or other members of the group talk, do others pay attention? YesNoSometimes 82%14%4%

16 Results of Surveys Continued Do you feel your peer leader(s) played a helpful role in your advisory group? YesNoUnsure 85%14%1% Did you have any contact with your peer leader outside of the advisory group? YesNo 64%36% Would you consider being a peer leader, when you are a senior? YesNoUnsure 68%30%2%

17 Results of Surveys Continued Overall, how would you evaluate your experience in advisory this year? Very Good Satisfactory Not Good At All 20%33%36%8%3% Do you think the advisory program should be continued for next year? YesNoMaybe 84%15%1%

18 Availability and discussion of complete syllabi for Great Neck North programs PEER LEADER MANUALS

19 Question and Answer Session and Concluding comments and suggestions

20 Halloween Carnival

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