Professor Stuart Chen-Hayes: New Book Adds School Counselors to the Achievement Debate

As principals, teachers, and parents in schools across the country debate how to effectively close achievement gaps and raise standards, one group is often left out of the dialogue: school counselors. Professor Stuart Chen-Hayes and his colleagues are seeking to change that in a big way.

Their new book, 101 Solutions for School Counselors and Leaders in Challenging Times, uses a Q&A approach to cover topics ranging from data-driven counseling to bullying, collaboration, and equity. Readers will also find a generous list of print and digital resources.

In writing the book, Prof. Chen-Hayes and his co-authors, Prof. Melissa Ockerman and Prof. Erin Mason of DePaul University in Chicago, wanted to share their combined 57 years of experience as school and college counselors and counselor educators.

“We see school counselors and leaders as change agents for equity and wanted a book that reflects that skill set,” explains Prof. Chen-Hayes. The book outlines how practicing school coun- selors and other leaders can use state-of-the-art, evidence-based solutions for a variety of academic, career, college access, and personal/social issues facing K-12 schools. It includes anecdotes from more than 50 K-12 school counselors and other leaders who have successfully implemented evidence-based work in schools.

In addition, the book contains an update to Prof. Chen-Hayes’ ACCESS Questionnaire, which he created in 2007 to assist school counselors and leaders assess their school counseling programs. Another feature, ACCESS/Accomplishments Plans, can be used with K-12 students as an annual planning tool to ensure academic, career, college access, and personal and social planning.

“As we worked on this project, we realized that in all regions of the United States that school counselors and other leaders K-12 are doing outstanding work that needs to be publicized widely in terms of how our profession is daily working for equity and closing gaps in many schools,” he said.

Prof. Chen-Hayes is program coordinator and associate professor of counselor education and school counseling in the Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education Department. He is the author—or co-author—of 50 refereed research publications in 12 journals. He writes about school counseling and school leadership and issues affecting the LGBT community in education.