School Safety and Violence Prevention
The program provides candidates with opportunities and experiences to understand ways in which school environments can enhance the safety and wellbeing of all pupils. The program provides candidates with the knowledge and models of systematic school safety planning that include comprehensive school climate and crisis response plans addressing elements of prevention, intervention, and treatment. The program provides candidates with opportunities and experiences to demonstrate knowledge and skills to assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive program to reduce the-incidence of school site violence. The program provides candidates with knowledge and skills that address the needs of witnesses, victims and perpetrators of violence as they relate to improved behavior and enhanced teaching and learning.
Factors to Consider
1. Promotion of school safety
This program equips candidates with the necessary knowledge in human behavior, group dynamics and organizational culture through the design of different courses. Such knowledge is deemed essential to prepare school counselors to contribute to the development and implementation of a comprehensive program to enhance school safety.
Candidates’ knowledge and skills in understanding human behavior provide them with the frame of reference to understand youths who exhibit behaviors suggesting that they might be at risk of violence, victimization or perpetration.
COUN 174: Students are introduced to basic counseling theories that include the Person Centered Theory of Rogers, Existential work of May, Perls’ Gestalt work, psychodynamic work of Freud and Adler, and Cognitive Behavioral work of Skinner and Lazarus. These theories provide frames of reference for understanding human behavior.
COUN 200: This course is designed to help candidates to acquire the theoretical framework and skills to function appropriately as an entry-level counselor in a variety of settings. Candidates have the opportunity to practice counseling skills in role-play, classroom exercises, and one-on-one counseling practice. All members of the class serve both as counselor and client, and observe peers and offer critique on the appropriateness of their counseling behaviors. They also compare and contrast techniques for various client populations, including multicultural and social equity populations.
COUN 208: Candidates have the opportunity to practice counseling skills in one-on-one counseling practice with selected clients. They have the opportunity to develop understanding of clients’ behavior at a deeper level.
CI 285: Objective 1: Students have the opportunities to explore previously-learned, research-based psychological
frameworks important to explaining and planning behavior.
COUN 249: Objective 2: Apply knowledge of human behavior to students in an approved school setting.
To design or adopt programs that can enhance school safety, candidates need to understand group dynamics and group behaviors as these domains have impact on youth’s school experience.
1.The student will identify principles of group dynamics including group process components, developmental stage theories, group members' roles and behaviors, and therapeutic factors of group work.
2. The student will describe group leadership styles and approaches including characteristics of various types of group leaders and leadership styles.
4. The student will describe group counseling methods including group counselor orientations and behaviors, appropriate selection criteria and methods, and methods of evaluation of effectiveness.
5. The student will have direct experiences by participating as a group member in a small group activity, approved by the program, for a minimum of 10 clock hours over the course of one academic term.
6. The student will identify approaches used for other types of group work, including task groups, psycho-educational groups, and therapy groups.
7. The student will identify how group counseling in a school setting helps students overcome barriers to learning.
8. The student will describe how core conditions and appropriate techniques are used
to establish effective interpersonal communication within groups.
COUN 249, Fieldwork in School Counseling uses “Making schools safe for students” by Blauvelt as one of their textbooks. Assigned readings from this textbook are followed up by written assignments on systematic school safety planning and comprehensive programs to reduce school site violence.
In order to prepare candidates to develop systematic school safety planning, Coun 249 require them to perform the following activities:
- Read Chapter 10, Creating a S.A.F.E. Team in the textbook, “Making schools safe for students” by Blauvelt; and write about the composition and action plan of the S.A.F.E. Team in their placement, and how the team evaluates its action plan.
- Read Chapter 15, Emergency Management Assessment Checklist in the textbook, “Making schools safe for students” by Blauvelt; andsubmit in writing
to evaluate how well each element of a Comprehensive Safety Plan is implemented in
their field placement and make suggestions on what is needed to improve the existing
An important consideration in implementing safety plans is the organizational culture of the school and its community. Candidates have opportunities to develop plans directed towards changing organizational culture.
COUN 241: Objective 6: Able to develop and implement plans directed at affecting school climate by bringing
about change in an organization or with an individual(s) within an organization.
Assignment: Submit a double-spaced, two-page summary of your interview. The interview will address the following area:
What programs and strategies does the consultant employ when working with school staff and parents to alleviate school failure and increase pupil success?The interview will include the following questions:
What specific programs and strategies does the consultant use?
What does the consultant see as the biggest problem(s) facing counselors in working with school staff, parents and students?
What strategies does the consultant employ to overcome these problems?
This assignment will provide a lot of exposure to organizational culture of schools and students’ reflections will demonstrate their synthesis of concepts and experience.
Comprehensive Guidance Program
Candidates have opportunities to integrate their understanding of human behavior, group dynamics, and organizational culture when they apply such knowledge in developing comprehensive guidance program in K-12 settings
COUN 241 and Coun 249 equip candidates with the knowledge and experience related to the development of a comprehensive guidance program. Candidates taking Coun 249 are assigned readings from the textbook that focus on the development of a comprehensive guidance program. It covers topics from creating framework, to conceptualizing, examining, and developing a comprehensive guidance program. While students are asked to read the text and discuss the concepts, they are also asked to develop a comprehensive school plan for the school they are working in.
Reduction of risks associated with violence
Besides developing the necessary knowledge and skills in promoting school safety, candidates also have the opportunity to develop strategies to address risks associated with violence.
COUN 233: Objective 3:Candidates’ acquired therapeutic skills necessary for working with children and families will be demonstrated through formulation of accurate treatment plans that address clinical issues such as:
- conduct issues
- gang involvement
- child abuse
- school violence
The following topics are covered during class meetings:
- Interventions for Families with Abused Children
- Child and Adolescent Depression and Suicide
- Interventions for Families with Children and Adolescents with Conduct Issues/Gang Involvement, and School Violence
- Grief, Separation, and Loss Issues with Children and Adolescents
- Interventions for Parent-Child Relationships
Presentation topics include the following:
- working with children/teens in gangs or crime;
- school-based prevention programs for at risk behavior, targeting violence
- Solution-focused/narrative approaches to treating child survivors of sexual abuse
- Treating child and teens who have experienced sexual abuse
- Treating male survivors of sexual abuse; focus on treatment of children
- Treating children responding to loss or trauma
- Groups with children experiencing loss/trauma/abuse
- Sexual orientation and children/adolescents
COUN 242: Objective 2: Develop and apply methods of consultation services to include conflict resolution, team consultation procedures, and classroom management skills for teachers, school discipline models and strategies for teachers.