FTCE School Counseling PK-12 (018) Study Guide

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FTCE School Counseling PK-12 (018) Prep

The FTCE Guidance and Counseling PK-12 certification exam is designed for aspiring school counselors for grades PK through 12 in Florida. The FTCE School Counseling (018) exam is intended to test candidates' knowledge and skills in counseling, including intervention, assessment, consulting and coordinating, professional ethics, advising students, counseling program development, technology in learning, and working with students from culturally diverse backgrounds. Test takers have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice questions. To prepare for the test, candidates should use this detailed FTCE Guidance and Counseling study guide that includes information about each competency that is tested on the exam. Read through this FTCE 018 study guide to learn more about the content that will be evaluated on test day.

FTCE Guidance and Counseling PK-12 Study Guide (018)
Counseling 10% (~10 questions)
Programs and Interventions for Addressing Current Issues in Schools 10% (~10 questions)
Assessment in Promoting Student Success 10% (~10 questions)
Career Development and Postsecondary Opportunities 10% (~10 questions)
Consultation, Collaboration, and Coordination 10% (~10 questions)
Professional, Ethical, and Legal Considerations 10% (~10 questions)
Student Appraisal and Advisement 10% (~10 questions)
Development and Assessment of Exemplary Comprehensive School Counseling Programs 12% (~12 questions)
Technology and Digital Citizenship 8% (~8 questions)
Cultural Competence for School Counselors 10% (~10 questions)
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Candidates will need to demonstrate their understanding of the major foundations and concepts of counseling. This FTCE Guidance Counseling study guide will help test takers become familiar with evidence-based techniques and theories that are specific to school counseling. This also means understanding how human development theories, learning theories, and other theories are incorporated into counseling theories.

Test takers should be prepared to demonstrate their skills in choosing and applying the most appropriate counseling techniques for specific populations of students and different situations. They should also be able to adapt these counseling techniques as needed.

Questions will also examine test takers' skills in choosing counseling interventions and facilitating small and large group counseling sessions. Candidates will need strong listening, leadership, and responding skills, and be able to apply therapeutic procedures in these groups.

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Programs and Interventions for Addressing Current Issues in Schools

Questions in this competency focus on strategies for helping students meet academic, social-emotional, and career goals. These strategies need to be evidence-based.

Test takers will be evaluated on their knowledge of the principles and practices of various types of programs. For instance, test takers need to know how to plan and respond to crises and institute peer helper and preventative programs. Questions about preventative programs will also examine topics in using counseling to combat high-risk student behaviors.

Candidates also need to be familiar with the ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs. They need to know the different themes presented in this model and how these components help create an effective counseling program.

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Assessment in Promoting Student Success

For this competency, test takers will need to be familiar with standardized and nonstandardized assessments. This includes knowing the different limitations and strengths of specific assessments and the difference between formal and informal assessments. Candidates will also need to know the different measurement concepts used in these assessments.

Candidates should have an understanding of the various factors that affect student performance and assessment results. Testers need to be able to respond to these factors through the counseling program. They should also be able to collect data from multiple sources and communicate the data to others.

Questions about the ethics involved in assessments will be covered in this competency. Test takers must understand the responsible use of assessments to further improve student learning outcomes.

Career Development and Postsecondary Opportunities

Aspiring school counselors will need to be able to assist students in their career and postsecondary goals. To do this, test takers will need to demonstrate their knowledge of career development resources and theories. This includes using both formal and informal career assessments for determining career and college readiness.

Test takers should also be familiar with counseling interventions and activities that can be used to promote college and career readiness. These strategies should address different levels of development, but be aimed at encouraging lifelong learning.

Candidates will also be tested on some of the logistics of college readiness and working with diverse student populations, such as low socioeconomic status students or English language learners (ELLs). For example, test takers should be able to explain financial assistance for college and the differences between postsecondary and career and technical education. In order to address the needs of special populations, candidates must be able to use counseling interventions to help with unique challenges.

Consultation, Collaboration, and Coordination

Candidates' skills in working with a wide range of stakeholders (such as teachers, administrators, community partners, and parents) will be tested in this competency. Test takers should be able to identify different parts of collaboration models for schools that address the needs of diverse populations. They will need to understand procedures for working with other professionals in the school to help develop positive learning environments.

Test takers must be familiar with the strategies for helping students as they navigate various transitions, such as changing grade levels. They also need to be prepared to make referrals and connect students with resources available in the community.

Candidates should also be ready to demonstrate their skills in communicating with various people involved in students' lives. For example, communicating with administrators and community members to explain the benefits of the counseling program. Test takers should also have the skills to coordinate with these stakeholders as they apply a counseling program.

Professional, Ethical, and Legal Considerations

Test takers should be prepared to answer questions about the school counseling field, including the history of the profession. Candidates must understand the legal, professional, and ethical standards for school counseling methods, most of which are established by the American School Counselor Association.

Questions about the legal rights of students will also be covered. For example, candidates need knowledge of parental and student rights to student records. Test takers need to know about legislation at the state and federal levels that address the needs of special student populations, such as disabled and homeless students. Specific pieces of legislation may be tested, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Candidates must have knowledge of the advocacy responsibilities of school counselors. They should be prepared to advocate for student success at the school and within the community.

Student Appraisal and Advisement

To advise students, candidates will need to know the different graduation requirements and options for students after graduation. This includes understanding the college application process and how to apply for financial resources, such as the Florida Financial Aid Application.

While students are in school, test takers should be able to help them follow specific academic plans that align with their college or career goals. Candidates should also have skills in analyzing assessment data in order to monitor student progress and help ensure they are placed in classes that are on their educational level. Test takers must also apply practices that promote student equity.

Development and Assessment of Exemplary Comprehensive School Counseling Programs

This competency is designed to evaluate test takers' skills and abilities used to create and implement a school counseling program. Candidates need to be familiar with the models set by the American School Counselor Association.

As part of the planning process, test takers should incorporate data from multiple assessments to set goals for the counseling program. They will need to understand how to use different types of program assessments and follow-up activities to collect data and continue to evaluate the counseling program. There are multiple strategies for program evaluation, and candidates must be prepared to share program outcomes with stakeholders.

Other topics that will be tested in this competency include methods for distributing resources and closing educational gaps. Test takers need to know how to ensure that all stakeholders have access to materials and resources. They also need ideas for addressing differences or gaps in behavior, achievement, attendance, and other areas.

Technology and Digital Citizenship

The use of technology in school counseling will be examined. Test takers must understand the wide range of uses for technology in a school setting, including, but not limited to:

  • Student learning
  • Storing student data
  • Reporting student data
  • Organizing the school counseling program
  • Implementing the school counseling program
  • Evaluating the school counseling program

Candidates need to have knowledge of the cultural, legal, and ethical aspects of using technology. For instance, the use of social media or issues of confidentiality. Test takers should also be prepared to help teach students about using technology responsibly and other issues of digital citizenship. Finally, candidates must be familiar with current technology trends in school settings and how it can be used for student development.

Cultural Competence for School Counselors

This competency explores topics in social justice and multicultural issues that should be addressed in school counseling programs. Test takers should be prepared to work with diverse student populations and help identify student needs and concerns. Counseling services and curricula need to appreciate cultural and be able to respond to them.

Topics in ethics will also be tested in this competency. Candidates need to understand a counselor's ethical responsibilities and their own biases. They should also understand multicultural theories and strategies for helping dismantle discriminatory contexts and biases within the school. Test takers must be able to apply strategies to combat systemic barriers in schools and help create a positive school atmosphere for students.

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