SMART Goals for Counselors

smart goals for school counselors

Like thousands of others, I’m a member of the Elementary School Counselor Exchange on Facebook. I often see posts on there surrounding the topic of goals, student learning objectives, etc. It was something several of my colleagues in my district struggled with too. With our jobs often on the chopping block (or at least our ability to do our jobs), using strong data is only becoming more important.

I was asked to give a presentation to other counselors in my district on SMART goals and thought I’d share some of the slides here in case it proves helpful to some of you as you create your program’s goals for the year, or even smaller goals for classroom units or small groups. I needed something short, sweet, and to the point. This is what I whipped up for us:


Smart Goals - Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Results Oriented, Time Bound


The three types of data and examples for Process, perception and outcome data


Compare two types of counseling goals: Counseling Program Goals and Student Impact Goals with examples of what each goal looks like and how they differ with the conclusion that student impact goals are more powerful.


Quality SMART goal examples for elementary, middle and high school counseling programs


Where do the goals come from?


SMART Goals are derived from students' needs assessments example


SMART goals are derived from our Data Warehouse example: attendance and tardies.


SMART goals are derived from your School Improvement plan with and example goal of increasing attendance at a parent education workshop.


Now you give it a try writing SMART goals

I created some printables to help you 1) create your goals, 2) give you more example goals, and 3) keep them at the top of your mind. And they are FREE! Just fill out the form to join the email list and you’ll be able to download it right away.

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smart goals for school counselors

One Response

  1. Thanks Sara, for your very simple and too the point explanation of smart goals. Your presentation not only shows how to write them, but specifically where to search for the information needed to target the goals to be used.. When first writing Smart Goals, it seemed very difficult, until I realized they were things I was already doing, I just needed to learn how to write them up..
    You showed that when learning a new skill, it’s not the amount of materials presented, but the quality of the presentation and the experience of the presenter..
    Thanks you again for both!

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Hello, I’m Sara!

With 10 years of experience in
elementary school counseling,
I get to serve in a different way now
– by helping fellow counselors and

I value quality over quantity,
effective practices and resources,
and meeting the unique needs of all
our diverse learners.

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