A *validity study of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model Readiness Self -Assessment Instrument
School counseling has great potential to help students achieve to high standards in the academic, career, and personal/social aspects of their lives (House & Martin, 1998). With the advent of No Child Left Behind (NCLB, 2001) the role of the school counselor is beginning to change. In response to the challenges and pressures to implement standards-based educational programs, the American School Counselor Association released “The ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs” (ASCA, 2003). The ASCA National Model was designed with an increased focus on both accountability and the use of data to make decisions and to increase student achievement. It is intended to ensure that all students are served by the school counseling program by using student data to advocate for equity, to facilitate student improvement, and to provide strategies for closing the achievement gap.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of an instrument designed to assess school districts' readiness to implement the ASCA National Model. Data were gathered from 693 respondents of a web-based version of the ASCA National Model Readiness Self-Assessment Instrument. Confirmatory factor analysis did not support the structure of the 7-factor model. Exploratory factor analysis produced a 3-factor model which was supported by confirmatory factor analyses, after creating variable parcels within each of the three factors. Based on the item loadings within each factor, the factors were labeled in the following manner: factor one was labeled School Counselor Characteristics, factor two was labeled District Conditions and factor three was labeled School Counseling Program Supports. Cross-validation of this model with an independent data sample of 363 respondents to the ASCA Readiness Instrument provided additional evidence to support the three factor model.
The results of these analyses will be used to give school districts more concise score report information about necessary changes to support implementation of the ASCA National Model. These results provide evidence to support the interpretation of the scores that will be obtained from the ASCA Readiness Instrument.