National Boards: 5 “Must Do’s” for Entry 4

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This post focuses on five important things to remember for Entry 4- Documented Accomplishments: Contributions to Student Learning.  If you haven’t already read my previous National Boards posts, you can find them all linked on my page- National Boards.

Entry 4 Must Do’s:

  1. DO incorporate the four standards associated with this entry into your writing.  It’s similar to when we tell students who are answering questions about a passage they’ve read to prove their answers.  I can write a wonderful two-page summary about an accomplishment.  However, if it doesn’t address the four standards, that wonderful writing won’t garner the points I need for my final score.  For example: If my accomplishment is about a great family event I coordinate at my school, I would really need to focus on Standard VII: Collaboration with Family and Community.  As I read this standard, I learn that accomplished school counselors “work to educate parents on key issues that affect student learning.”  Therefore, I need to write about how my event did just that.  Let me be clear.  Each accomplishment does not have to address ALL four standards, but at some point each of the four standards associated with this entry should be addressed.
  2. DO choose accomplishments that are of significance to your school counseling program.  I mentioned in a previous post that you may think of several accomplishments you could use, but not every accomplishment will lend itself to helping you show how what you do truly impacts your students or improves your school counseling program.  Be sure to use the categories chart pictured here.  If you have a difficult time completing the chart regarding one of your accomplishments, that accomplishment may be one you should reconsider using.
  3. DO submit enough accomplishments to thoroughly demonstrate your work as a leader and/or collaborator, a learner, and as a partner with students’ families and their community.  I’ve been asked questions about the number of accomplishments to submit.  It is important to show your work in each of these areas.  Yes, you may have an accomplishment that covers two of these areas.  However, if you do, be sure you are supplying enough evidence in your writing and with your artifacts.  Also remember, you can only submit ten typed pages of writing for this entry whether you choose to submit three accomplishments or the eight which are allowed.  My opinion- More isn’t always better in this case.
  4. DO describe your accomplishments in detail.  Write as if you are telling someone who has no clue as to what you are talking about.  For example:  If one of your accomplishments involves PBIS, begin discussing it by saying Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports followed by (PBIS).  From that point forward, you may type PBIS.  Also, be sure to explain just what it is.  Remember: Write as though this person knows nothing about it!
  5. DO read the “Format Specifications” and “Assembling Your Entry” sections for this entry very carefully. Each entry has it’s own set of directions.  Never assume what you had to do in Entry 1 will apply to Entry 3.  Read, highlight, and follow the directions as written.
I also want to include a chart I created from a portion of a form that was given to me during an informational session.  I don’t know who created it, and I take no credit for it.  It helps NBPTS candidates think about their description and analysis.   The original is on a triangle.  I will explain why.


The top of the triangle included the key words for describing the nature of the accomplishment.  It should not be a very large portion of your writing, but should be very concise.  Remember to describe the accomplishment as if the assessor knows NOTHING, but don’t take one half to a whole page doing it.


The second tier is a little meatier.  You really want to get your point across when it comes to describing the significance of your accomplishment.  Not as much as you will tell about the impact of it, but a lot more than you told about the nature of it.


The third tier is the largest.  The most important point you want to drive home is how your accomplishment impacts student learning.  This is where you need to cite specific examples where appropriate.  Paint a picture for your assessor.  The assessor needs to truly understand how your accomplishment really made a difference.

The form also included “buzz words” for each section.  These words helped me think about what to say for each area.  If these are something you feel would benefit you, don’t hesitate to email me through my contact page and request them.

If there are any additional Entry 4 questions you would like for me to address, please leave a comment below.  I will use any questions from you to create my next NBPTS post.  However, if  there aren’t many questions and I can simply reply with an answer under this post, I will do that. If there are few or no questions, I will be moving on to other areas of the NBPTS process.

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  Also, be sure to enter the “Simon’s Hook Giveaway” before tomorrow, July 8th, at 11:59 P.M. E.S.T.

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