Center for Continuous School Improvement (CCSI)

Center for Continuous School Improvement (CCSI)

School Counseling Program Model

The Utah College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model provides a comprehensive framework for school counselors to promote a whole child approach to academic/learning, life/career, multicultural/global citizenship, and social/emotional development for each student. This K-12 framework is also systemic in that it ensures student supports are deeply ingrained in the system to improve outcomes for students, not only academically but also for lifelong success. Taking a comprehensive and systemic approach offers school counselors, teachers, administrators, other school personnel, and policymakers a range of strategies and practical tips to work more effectively in their schools and communities. Effective collection, analysis, and use of data ensure school counselors are accountable for personal and program implementation while meeting the individual needs of students. The data-driven process helps all stakeholders select and implement intentional supports and interventions that close equity gaps, demonstrate program effectiveness, and raise achievement levels for each student.

Utah Model

Plan for College and Career Readiness

The Plan for College and Career Readiness process is a comprehensive approach to individual student planning in which school counselors coordinate ongoing activities to help students establish personal goals and develop future plans. School counselors help students make successful transitions from grade level to grade level, set future goals (including selecting college and career pathways), and establish career literacy. School counselors who establish a systemic approach for the school counseling program build an environment where each student has equitable access to all school programs and can achieve and attain their goals.

Career Literacy and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Connections

Career literacy provides students with the capacity to make informed decisions about choosing a career and deciding the best course of action to reach their goals. School counselors play an integral role in helping students gain an understanding of a variety of careers. They also help align career aspirations to educational opportunities that support the student’s individual College and Career Readiness Plan.

School counselors and CTE collaborate to provide students the best opportunity to prepare for their future. The focus of CTE Career Pathways changes the paradigm of career planning for students from career development to career literacy. Career literacy is the basic knowledge and skills that students need to navigate the world of work. It involves a holistic approach that helps students to understand a range of career fields, multiple entry and exit points for various occupations, and strategies for career development and advancement. The career literacy process transforms the student mindset to enable them to make more informed decisions regarding their career pathway. School counselors help to ensure that each student is college and career ready.

For further information regarding CTE, refer to the Utah State Board of Education Career and Technical Education (CTE) website.

Keys to Success

Keys to Success is an online college and career platform administered by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). Keys to Success top priority is to motivate Utah students to connect with scholarships, internships, CTE Pathways, and opportunities that align with their interests. The program is presented to students as an application for ultimate accessibility. The website also provides school counselors (K-12) with resources and tools to support student development in college and career readiness


YouScience is an aptitude-based career guidance platform that assesses students’ natural talents and matches them to best-fit academic and career pathways, work-based learning, and post-secondary opportunities. Identifying emerging talents in 7th/8th grade provides students and school counselors with information to help students select electives and career pathways. In high school, additional talents are identified and related to best-fit careers, providing students and school counselors with information on post-secondary opportunities for college majors and career outcomes. YouScience cuts through social bias and noise, providing gender, racial and urban/rural equity – levelling the playing field for all students – because all students have talent.

YouScience also provides career-skill certifications in elective and career pathway classes. Combining aptitudes, interests and skills, provides students and school counselors with a well-rounded view of a student and leads to better post-secondary decisions.

To get started contact Kellie Openshaw at (801) 653-0759 or via e-mail at