RTI Action Network
Response from Jill Cook, American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Position Statement:

Professional school counselors are stakeholders in the development and implementation of the Response to Intervention (RTI) process. Professional school counselors align with the RTI process through the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program designed to improve student achievement and behavior.


The Rationale
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered approach to help struggling learners. (RTI Action Network, 2008). Guided by student outcome data, RTI can be used to make decisions about general, compensatory, and special education, assisting in the creation of a well-integrated and seamless system of instruction and intervention (Ehren, B, et. al., 2006). Professional school counselors implement a data-driven comprehensive school counseling program that meets the needs of all students and includes the identification of students who are at-risk for not meeting academic and behavioral expectations. Professional school counselors design and implement plans to address the needs of struggling students and collect results data based on the effectiveness of the interventions.


The Professional School Counselor's Role
Professional school counselors assist in the academic and behavioral development of students through the implementation of a comprehensive developmental school counseling program based on the ASCA National Model for School Counseling by:


  • Providing all students with a standards-based guidance curriculum to address universal academic, career and personal/social development
  • Analyzing academic and behavioral data to identify struggling students
  • Identifying and collaborating on research-based intervention strategies that are implemented by school staff
  • Evaluating academic and behavioral progress after interventions
  • Revising interventions as appropriate
  • Referring to school and community services as appropriate
  • Collaborating with administrators about RTI design and implementation
  • Advocating for equitable education for all students and working to remove systemic barriers


The following chart shows how a comprehensive school counseling program aligns with the RTI process.


RTI Process

Role of the
Professional School Counselor

Tier 1: Universal Core Instructional Interventions: All Students, Preventative and Proactive

1. Standards and Competencies (Foundation)
2. Guidance Curriculum (Delivery System)
3. Individual Student Planning (Delivery)
4. Curriculum Action Plan (Management)
5. Curriculum Results Report (Accountability)

Tier 2: Supplemental/Strategic Interventions: Students at Some Risk 1. Standards and Competencies (Foundation)
2. Individual Student Planning (Delivery)
a. Small group appraisal 
b. Small group advisement
3. Responsive Services (Delivery)
a. Consultation
b. Individual counseling
c. Small group counseling
4. Closing the Gap Action Plan (Management)
5. Closing the Gap Results Report (Accountability)

Tier 3: Intensive, Individual Interventions: Students at High Risk

1. Standards and Competencies (Foundation)
2. Responsive Services (Delivery)
a. Consultation
b. Individual counseling
c. Small group counseling
d. Referral to school or community services
3. Closing the Gap Action Plan (Management)
4. Closing the Gap Results Report (Accountability)


Professional school counselors implement a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses the needs of all students. Through the review of data, professional school counselors identify struggling students and collaborate with other educators to provide appropriate interventions through the RTI process. Professional school counselors work collaboratively with other educators to remove systemic barriers for all students and implement intervention programs that assist in student success.


Ehren, B. EdD, Montgomery, J., PhD, Rudebusch, J., EdD, Whitmire, K., PhD, New Roles in Response to Intervention: Creating Success for Schools and Children, November 2006.


RTI Action Network. Retrieved June 3, 2008 http://rtinetwork.org.


Shaprio, E. S. "Tiered Instruction and Intervention in a Response-to-Intervention Model." Retrieved June 5, 2008" http://www.rtinetwork.org/Essential/TieredInstruction/ar/ServiceDelivery/1.

Visit www.rtinetwork.org for more information on this topic.
Copyright © 1999-2023 National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. All Rights Reserved.