Free School Counseling Group Curriculum - Academic Success GroupsA brief, four week group curriculum to improve academic self-confidence and success related skills for students struggling academically.
Helping Students Change Directions
After several requests – I decided to post a curriculum I patched together at work to the The Counseling Geek. At the beginning of the school year, following ASCA 2015, I made a personal goal to run some groups this year. One of our major school wide goals was to decrease the D and F list (and thereby help to improve the number of students meeting the CSU/UC A-G Requirements) so my group is designed to be a short term, academically focused intervention. I chose the time frame of four weeks because it fits within our progress report window. Using data from our D/F list from the first progress report – I just completed the first group last week, as of the date of this post.
While You’re At It: Check out this post on a school-wide program supporting study time – All About the 1 to 2
Identifying the Students
When I got my hands on our first progress report D and F list, I started looking for 15 students that had at least 2 D’s or F’s. I also wanted to start my groups with 9th and 10th graders, as this is also where we identified many of our students got knocked off the rails in terms of college eligibility. Finally – I didn’t want to blend upperclassmen with underclassmen. The approach would be a little different for 11th or 12th graders, but you can do the same activities.
Format of the Group
My group met once per week for one whole class period (48 minutes). To avoid impacting a single period of the day, worsen an already struggling student’s grades or risk ticking off teachers – I followed a rotating period schedule each week. For example, in the first week – we met during 1st period. During the 2nd week – we met during 2nd period. And so on…I didn’t have any negative feedback from staff and it worked well that I could schedule these meetings in advance on my calendar. I chose to run them on Tuesday as it was least impacted by holidays, sporting events, or other interruptions.
Below you will find links to a shared Google Drive folder with each weeks summary of the lesson. In the weekly folders – you will find some PowerPoints, other examples of lessons to pull inspiration from, and an overview of my approach to the weeks lesson. For those of you who use very detailed lesson plans – you will find these frustrating. I am pretty extemporaneous when I speak and do lessons. I use a general road map and let the conversation guide the rest. I know where I want to go and make sure to hit my key points, but each week will likely be different. I am okay with that as each group is different as well. Feel free to beg, borrow and steal any portion of the group curriculum (I did) – I hope some of the info here is helpful. Please note – if you are reading this on an RSS feed or via email – you will likely need to head to the website to access the curriculum. I hope you help spread this resource by sharing this page and keep up to date with TCG posts by liking on of my social media outlets.
Access the Academic Success Group Folder below
Keep me in the loop.
I hope to hear from you if you use this or any parts of this curriculum. I will continue to tweak and improve my approach and take feedback from students. The data immediately after the group is looking good, but I will continue to track student grades over each marking period to follow the long term impact. If you find something that really sticks – please email me with how you adapted or used anything different and your success. I appreciate your help! In the future weeks, I plan to run two different groups each marking period. One for 9th and 10th graders and another for 11th and 12th graders. If I am able to do this – I will have worked directly and in-depth with over 150 students by June for four weeks on studying, organization and academic self-discovery skills. I am pleased with how the groups are running and excited to continue building the curriculum and helping students be more successful. Best of luck!