National Boards: Part 2- Documented Accomplishments

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My last NBPTS post discussed Documented Accomplishments.  This post continues the discussion of Entry 4.

As mentioned previously, you are allowed 10 pages maximum for your description and analysis of your accomplishments.  This applies whether you choose to share three accomplishments or the maximum of eight accomplishments.  NBPTS instructions state that your description of each accomplishment must “clearly and specifically describe why they are significant in your counseling context and what impact they have on student learning and the improvement of your school counseling program.”  Therefore, it is not enough to just write what you do and and how you do it.  You must also describe the significance and impact.

You are given four specific questions to use for actually writing the accomplishment:

  • What is the nature of this accomplishment?– Describe the accomplishment in detail.  Don’t assume your assessor knows anything about what you’re describing.  If it’s PBIS, for example, tell what the letters PBIS stand for and what it entails. BE SPECIFIC.
  • Why is this accomplishment significant?–  How does it make you better?  How did the accomplishment affect students?  Did it fill a need at your school?  This is where you will need to demonstrate partnering with students’ families, being a learner, or being a leader and/or collaborator.
  • How has what you have described had an impact on students’ learning?–  Did it improve something?  Was there a shift or positive change because of it? For example- Before hosting a career fair……But now,……  Was student learning improved because of the accomplishment?
  • How does what you have described contribute to the improvement of your school counseling program?–  What positive changes have resulted because of this accomplishment?
In addition to the ten pages of description and analysis, you may submit up to sixteen pages of documentation to support your accomplishments.  This documentation may include artifacts or verification forms.

Artifacts can be newsletters, flyers about specific events, parts of a handout from a presentation, letters from parents, or a copy of a certificate of completion for a workshop you attended.

Verification forms are used for those accomplishments that have no artifacts to include.  In this instance, you would ask someone who knows about your accomplishment to complete a verification form confirming or verifying your description.  A person who verifies can be anyone from an adult to a child.

Be sure to read every bit of the portfolio instructions!  It gives cautions as well as suggestions on how to choose your accomplishments.

Reflective Summary
You are required to reflect on every entry.  For the documented accomplishments, you will write a two-page reflection.  This will include your thoughts on the significance of all of your accomplishments together and your plans for the future in regards to impacting student learning and making improvements to your school counseling program.

The reflective summary questions ask what was most effective in impacting student learning and improving your school counseling program, what your plan is to further impact student learning in the future, and what your plan is to further improve your school counseling program.

One thing I want to say here (and I will probably repeat later) is this:  Be sure to answer each question completely.  Even if you feel you’ve already said something in a previous answer, write it again if the question calls for that information.  Never say to yourself, “I said that on the other page.  I don’t need to say it again here.”

PLEASE read the format specifications and how to assemble your entry very carefully!  Instructions are very specific and failing to follow them could result in your entry not being read.  I will write more about this in my next National Boards post.

If there is anything here you still do not understand, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me.

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