The Ontario School Counsellors’ Association (OSCA) provides leadership and support in Guidance and Career Education for Teacher-Counsellors and students in Ontario.
Improvement in education in Ontario is based on the belief that all students can learn and succeed. Supporting this belief are the four pillars of: Program and Pathways, Community Culture & Caring, Numeracy and Literacy. Guidance and Career Education is fundamental to the growth and development of all students, specifically in the areas of Program and Pathways, Community Culture & Caring.
The OSCA Guidance Program Model supports the school’s, the Board’s and the Ministry’s improvement plans and priorities as the Guidance Team works collaboratively with administrators, student success teachers, special education, and classroom teachers to assist students as they progress from K to12. A comprehensive Guidance and Career Education Program must include activities related to student, interpersonal and career development as outlined in Ministry Policy.
OSCA believes that Guidance and Career Education programs and services should be comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, developmental in nature and an integral part of the total educational program.
The OSCA Guidance Program will include the foundation, delivery system, data management and accountability required in a comprehensive Guidance and Career Education program. In addition it provides definition to the roles of teacher-counsellors. In the context of a comprehensive Guidance and Career Education program, Teacher-Counsellors are at the core of leadership within their schools. Using the five Core Leadership Capacities from Ontario’s Leadership Framework as a key focus allows for the development of a timely and focused program plan. The capacities include:
- Setting goals
- Aligning resources with priorities
- Promoting collaborative learning cultures
- Using data
- Engaging in courageous conversations.
This guidance framework embeds the components of the School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA) and Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) through collaborative and collegial leadership and conversations with student achievement at the centre. As in the School Effectiveness Framework (SEF) the Guidance and Career Education program framework’s key purpose is to promote:
“inquiry focused on student learning, achievement and well-being that informs the determination of SMART goals and effective teaching/counselling (our addition) and learning practices/strategies”