Washington Framework for Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling


The development of a comprehensive school counseling program centers on the beliefs of the members of the counseling team.  Belief statements reflect a common understanding among team members about students, families, teachers, and the educational process.  Allowing all team members to contribute to the discussion facilitates the development of belief statements that reflect the full range of experience and talent that the team has to offer.

Effective school counseling Belief Statements (ASCA, 2012):

  • Indicate agreed-upon beliefs about the ability of all students to achieve
  • Address how the school counseling program meets student needs
  • Addresses the school counselor’s role as an advocate for every student
  • Identify those involved in the planning, managing, program delivery, and evaluation of program activities
  • Include how data will inform program decisions
  • Include how ethical standards guide the work of school counselors

Vision Statement

The vision statement communicates what school counselors want to see in the future for the school community.  It focuses on the beliefs that school counselors hold about what all students can achieve given the support of a comprehensive school counseling program.  The vision guides our actions and reflects our drive to provide the best learning environment for all students.

An effective Vision Statement (ASCA, 2012):

  • Describes a future where the school counseling goals and strategies are being successfully achieved
  • Gives a rich, vivid picture of what success looks and feels like
  • Is bold and inspiring
  • States the optimum student outcomes that are five to 15 years in the future
  • Aligns with the vision of the school and the district
  • Is believable and achievable (Kose, 2011; Levin, 2000)

Mission Statement

When developed collaboratively and used regularly, a mission statement can become the guide for program decisions. A good mission statement lets students, parents, staff, and the community know the reason why the school counseling program exists. It provides direction and above all must be consistent with actions. The mission statement provides the road map to reach the vision.

A Mission Statement should (ASCA, 2005):

  • Keep the program’s focus on the beliefs, assumptions and philosophy
  • Establish a structure for innovation
  • Create one vision
  • Provide an anchor in the face of change
  • Be written with students as the primary clients
  • Advocate for the equity, access and success of every student
  • Indicate the content and competencies to be learned
  • Show linkages with the school, school district and state department of education mission statement
  • Indicate the long range results desired for students

Work Plan for Developing a School Counseling Program Mission Statement

Yakima School District K-12 Counselors Mission Statement

Easton Counseling Mission Statement

Cle-Elem / Roslyn Counseling Mission Statement

Union Gap School District Comprehensive Counseling Mission Statement