A guidance and advisement program seeks to provide a small group of students—ideally 10-15 students—with a caring adult in the middle school or high school setting. Elementary schools often already have this type of configuration given that their students are already assigned to a single classroom teacher for the bulk of a school day.
The advisement program can provide relevance and relationships by 1) assisting students and their parents to set goals and develop a strong program of study to meet them; and 2) forming a relationship between a faculty member and a student.
The goals for a quality advisory program are to:
- improve relationships between faculty and students;
- allow students to develop a sense of belonging;
- promote school as a safe haven for students;
- develop a faculty who advocates for students;
- monitor academic progress;
- assist students with planning their sequence of courses;
- involve parents in their student’s education;
- advise on postsecondary education and careers; and
- ensure students take a challenging core curriculum and choose an academic, fine arts, or career/technical area for in-depth study.
Overall Design Considerations Advisory Design Rubric
The American School Counselors Association recommends that guidance and advisement programs cover academics, career development, and personal and social development. Guidance and advisement groups should meet once a week or once every two weeks, and the activities should be prepared so that the teacher acts as the facilitator.
Monitoring and evaluation should also be a standard part of any program. Students and teachers need to have the opportunity to provide feedback and make suggestions and to have them incorporated into the program. If students see that the guidance and advisement program is responsive to their input and goes the extra mile to meet their needs, they are more likely to respond to it positively.