Consultation vs. Evaluation
A traditional evaluation is focused on making a judgment or determination concerning the quality of a performance, work product or use of skills against a set of standards. Evaluations are designed for and intended to document the level of achievement that has been attained in comparison to normed criteria. They can be administered one-on-one by a credentialed professional (e.g., reading specialist, speech pathologist, learning specialist, psychologist) or in a group setting (e.g., placement exams, yearly state-mandated testing- NECAP). Individual evaluations may be used to determine eligibility for special services. In this case, a number of different standardized tests (IQ or achievement) may be given over a period of several days by different professionals.
A Center for School Success(CSS) Consultation is designed to address school-related concerns and is tailored to the unique needs of each student. It is focused on identifying and understanding variations in a student's learning. Practical strategies are then customized to help students manage their academic environment. A CSS Consultation is a nonjudgmental and dynamic process through which a student's learning patterns can be examined across different contexts. Those patterns are then linked to a student's strengths and challenges to better understand how the student learns best, why the student is struggling in a particular situation and/or task, and what can be done to support student success.