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Exemplar #2: Case Study Project

Standards Met- Standards 19 and 25


Introduction
The Case Study Project is the second exemplar that I have chosen for my portfolio. This
project was assigned in my Counseling Interventions course, and took the entire Spring 2014
semester to complete. I chose this assignment because it was my first experience in reviewing
education records of a student with an IEP. In addition, this was the second time I had a
conference with the parent or guardian of a student. As working with parents was a fear of mine
coming in to the program, it was an achievement for me to gain confidence in this area.
The components of this project also taught me a lot about how to look at a student within
their ecosystem rather than in isolation of their surroundings, relationships, and history. The Case
Study Project involved: reviewing the educational records of a student, talking to their teachers,
parents, and counselors, observing them in their classes and at recess, and working with them
individually to meet their goals. By completing these components of the project, I was able to
counsel my case study student with a holistic view of them.
Standards Addressed
Standard 19: Academic Development
Although academics was not the primary reason for the referral of my case study student,
one of the main goals identified by the student for himself was to raise his grades. In order to
help him accomplish his goal, we incorporated academic development strategies in the individual
sessions we had together. Once the student identified homework completion as a component of
academic success that he was lacking, we discussed reasons that might cause him to leave his
homework unfinished. By flagging the minefield for possible distractions, we came up with

individual strategies to keep him on track. For example, sometimes he would watch tv and forget
about his homework. As a solution, he started bringing his homework to the tv so that it was
visible in front of him and so that he could work assignments on during commercials. By
drawing out ideas from the student himself, I was able to work with him to refine strategies for
academic success to meet his goals. Overall, I gained mastery of this standard in the process of
learning and practicing academic strategies to help my case study student raise his grades.
Standard 25: Individual Counseling
By understanding theories and stages of effective counseling, I was able to work with my
case study student in weekly individual sessions to achieve his social and academic goals. For
this particular student, I focused on using Solution Focused Brief Therapy because of its brief
nature and focus on the present and future. The techniques I utilized from Solution Focused Brief
Therapy included: the miracle question, scaling, exceptions, and asking what else?. In
addition to these theory-specific techniques, I also used my knowledge of basic counseling skills
such as paraphrasing, reflection of feeling, summarizing, confrontation, and open ended
questions. These counseling skills give me a strong foundation for my individual counseling
sessions in the future, where I aim to utilize these techniques to deliver individualized counseling
services.
One change I would have made to this project would have been to have a stronger
evaluation of outcomes on the students learning and achievement. Although his teacher reported
that the student had started turning in more of his homework assignments, I did not collect
baseline values to determine the efficacy of the intervention. The positive feedback from this
teacher was encouraging, but was not concrete evidence of whether the student was actually
achieving his goals.

Conclusion
This project taught me how important it is to look at a student holistically rather than
judging them by what one teacher says or how you see them behaving during recess on one
occasion. By completing a record review, observations, and speaking to his parents and teachers,
I was able to see the more complex picture of who my case study student was. I do not think that
I will always have time to complete this amount of research about a student before working with
them, but I will remember that students cannot be fully understood without taking their
ecosystem into account.
Another learning experience I had completing this assignment was seeing the amount of
paperwork and detail that goes into an IEP. This was the first student cumulative file I had seen
containing an IEP, and it took me at least twice as long as usual to review all the information.