Part 1:  Reviewed/Revised from Week 3

The Advocacy Issue

Describe the Problem: School counselors identify and distinguish individual and group variations and strive to value all students and groups equally. However, most students of color and low-income students face several obstacles taking part in higher-level classes and rigorous curricula (Cardichon et al., 2020). the U.S. Department of Education in 2014, reported that the number of students of color surpassed that of the white population in U.S. public schools (Johnson et al., 2021). Nevertheless, white students were reported to have graduated in high numbers from high schools as compared to Hispanic and black students.

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Target population:  High school students (14 to 18-year-olds)

Why is this a problem? Inequalities among students are associated with achievement gaps along socioeconomic lines. A student who feels discriminated against, unfairly, or negatively treated usually tends to display self-destructive behaviors like acting out, withdrawal, truancy, and not taking part in class activities (Atwell et al., 2019). This greatly undermines their academic performance, making them take longer to graduate.

Impact on your school community? In Nevada, low graduate rates were reported among students of African American descent at 58.1% and Latinos at 69.2% as compared to the whites at 979.8% in the 2015-2016 academic year(Quinn & Paretti, 2021). By identifying and distinguishing the variations among students leading to inequality, school counselors can advocate for several policies and programs to help promote equity and increase the number of graduates of students of color (Thorson & Gearhart, 2019).

SMART Goal Template

Academic Year 2022   to 2023


Identify outcome data (achievement, attendance, or discipline) that serves as the basis for the goal:

With the implementation of appropriate interventions, equality among the student population will be evident through an increase in attendance among students of color. The academic performance of students of color is also expected to improve, with more black and Hispanic students graduating from high school.


By 2023  , High school students of color
  End Date   Targeted Group


will Increase the number of graduate students
  (increase/decrease something related to achievement, attendance, or discipline)  


by 50% from 58.1%  to 87.1%
  Measure of change   Baseline data   Target data


Part 2:  Due Week 6

The Initiative and Evidence-Based Interventions

Initiative – Implementing strategies such as school-wide initiatives has proven to be effective in reducing discrimination among high school students, especially those coming from low-income racial minorities (McConnell et al., 2020). The initiative helps create programs and school activities for the diverse student population. Students are also educated on appreciating their cultural diversity and treating all students equally. This helps promote teamwork and academic achievement among students who come from minority groups like African Americans.
Describe Direct Student Services (minimum of two) that relate to your initiative Describe Indirect Student Services (minimum of two) that relate to your initiative
1. Educating students on cultural diversity

2. Advising students on career development

3. Conducting culturally diverse school activities like soccer tournaments (McConnell et al., 2020).

1. Planning and coordinating career days

2. Developing and maintaining the program calendar

3. Community outreach on cultural diversity (McConnell et al., 2020).


The Data – Assessment Plan

Data:  For the implementation of the school-wide initiatives, it will be necessary to collect data on the number of students by race, their individual academic performance, and their level of participation in school activities (McConnell et al., 2020). The outcome of the intervention will be evaluated based on the number of enrolled students from minority groups and the percentage of those who graduate high school. With the implementation of the initiative, students will be provided with an attendance sheet, to promote participation in the school-wide programs for positive outcomes.
Outcome Data Plan Outcome Data Results  
Baseline Data: Low rates of high school graduates among racial minorities  (West et al., 2022). Final Data: Increased number of high school graduates from racial minorities  (West et al., 2022).  

The ASCA Alignment

ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors ASCA Ethical Standards  
1. Maximize the ability of each student to lean

2. Help students understand and appreciate cultural diversity in the school community.

3. Help students learn and apply interpersonal skills  (West et al., 2022).

1. All students must be treated with respect and dignity.

2. Equitable access to school programs among the diverse student population.

3. Provide the information and support needed in promoting self-development and assertion within one’s group identities  (West et al., 2022).


 The Collaboration: Stakeholders and Policies

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:   
Implementing school-wide initiatives requires the involvement of both the educator and the students. With the adoption of appropriate policies such as each student being treated with respect and dignity, challenges arising from the diverse student population will be avoided (McConnell et al., 2020).  
Involving Stakeholders (Indirect Services) List 1–2 strategies that could influence systemic change related to this goal.  
1.       School counselor: Develop and schedule school-wide programs like public speaking and playing soccer (McConnell et al., 2020).

2.       Diverse student population: Take part in the implemented school-wide programs

3.       School administrator: Facilitate acquisition of resources such as time, setting, and equipment among others, required in the implementation of school-wide programs.



Atwell, M. N., Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., & Ingram, E. (2019). Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. Annual Update 2019. In ERIC. Civic.

Cardichon, J., Darling-Hammond, L., Yang, M., Scott, C., Shields, P. M., & Burns, D. (2020). Inequitable Opportunity to Learn: Student Access to Certified and Experienced Teachers. In ERIC. Learning Policy Institute.

Johnson, R. M., Hill, A. V., Jones, V. C., Powell, T. W., Dean, L. T., & Gilreath, T. D. (2021). Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Adverse Childhood Experiences and Selected Health-Related Behaviors and Problems Among Maryland Adolescents. Health Promotion Practice, 152483992110082.

McConnell, K. R., Geesa, R. L., Mayes, R. D., & Elam, N. P. (2020). Improving School Counselor Efficacy through Principal-Counselor Collaboration: A Comprehensive Literature Review. Mid-Western Educational Researcher32(2), 133–155.

Quinn, L., & Paretti, L. (2021). Challenges and Opportunities for Virtual Teaching in Nevada. Policy Issues in Nevada Education4(1), 1–6.

Thorson, G. R., & Gearhart, S. M. (2019). Do Enhanced Funding Policies Targeting Students in Poverty Close Achievement Gaps? Evidence from the American States, 1996–2015. Poverty & Public Policy11(3), 205–221.

West, E. M., Moate, R. M., & McKinney, R. T. (2022). Novice school counselors’ role in closing the achievement gap with low‐income adolescents. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development.


Develop an ALP in which you:

Continue to research the prevalent issue that you selected during week 3 affecting the student population in your grade level of High school students (14 to 18-year-olds)

  1. . This must be a student-centered challenge relevant to the role of school counselors. You may use news articles, news stories, consultations with current educators, etc. to find your topic of concern. Note: The grade level should be different from the grade level that you select for your Final Project.
  2. Identify the relevant stakeholders, inside and outside of the school environment, that might be used to support students with this issue.

Based on information obtained from your research and your knowledge of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model, Action Plans, and Closing-The-Gap plans, you will develop an ALP that is appropriate for your grade level of High school students (14 to 18-year-olds).

This plan should be organized, creative, and written so that it is relevant to all key stakeholders.

You will complete your ALP using the template found in the required resources. In your plan, you must include course learning resources, textbook resources, journal articles, and other relevant resources to support your ALP. Once completed, you will submit your completed template. In your plan, you must include references for all sources used in APA format.

In your Advocacy Leadership Plan, you must include the following information found on the template:

  1. The Advocacy Issue (revised using your instructor’s feedback from week 3)
  • The advocacy issue for a student-centered challenge based on your research and its effect on students in terms of student achievement, attendance, or behavior Identify the grade level of High school students (14 to 18-year-olds) that your advocacy issue addresses
  • An initiative goal that uses the ASCA SMART format
  1. The Initiative
  • A description of a program that responds to the student-centered challenge
  • References of evidence-based strategies or techniques that support your program
  • A description of direct and indirect student services in that your initiative involves (minimum of 2 each)
  1. The Data – Assessment Plan
  • The data needed to implement your plan.
  • How you will measure the effectiveness of your initiative.
  • How you plan to assess how your population is meeting your goal(s) in a measurable manner.
  • Baseline Data
  1. The ASCA Alignment
  • At least 3 ASCA Mindsets and behaviors addressed by your initiative (provide with bullet points)
  • At least 3 ASCA Ethical Standards addressed by your initiative (provide with bullet points)
  1. The Collaboration: Stakeholders and Policies
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • List all key stakeholders required for your program to be successful (parents, teachers, community members, school counselors, administrators, etc.)
  • Provide each stakeholder’s specific role in the program



This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

1. Assignment Expectations: The extent to which work includes the required components Advocacy Leadership Plan includes: 1. The Advocacy Issue 2. The Initiative 3. The Data – Assessment Plan 4. The ASCA Alignment 5. The Collaboration: Stakeholders and Policies


Thoroughly addressed all required components of the assignment with a well-developed submission that exceeds expectations and includes reference to and integration of the learning resources.

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome

2. Learning Objective: Address assignment learning objectives: The extent to which mastery of knowledge is demonstrated relative to the learning objectives:Students will be able to analyze a student-centered challenge relevant to the role of school counselors. Students will be able to apply the ASCA model to an Advocacy Leadership Plan (ALP) to address a student-centered challenge. Students will be able to identify ASCA mindsets and behaviors addressed by an ALP. Students will be able to analyze the roles required of key stakeholders for the success of an ALP


Demonstrated understanding and integration of course content to the extent that the learning objective was mastered.

3. Submission Quality:The extent to which the submission demonstrated quality and professionalism. Includes references to resources.


Assignment was extremely organized, concise, well-written, and complied with APA formatting for citing and referencing sources. Assignment demonstrated professionalism and was courteous and respectful.

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