WSCA Executive Director Message

By Stacy Eslick

Wisconsin schools are in many different stages of implementation of Academic and Career Plans (ACP) for all 6th through 12th grade students set to begin in the 2017-18 school year.  WSCA has been partnering with DPI to provide education and training to Wisconsin Counselors and school teams on ACP best practices.
School Counselors have an amazing opportunity to demonstrate leadership and advocacy at the school, district and state level with the implementation of ACP’s.  Through this structure, the entire school staff is responsible for the delivery of ACP for students.  ACP allows counselors to lead a distributive model of developmental classroom lessons and reinforces the value of this work to all staff.  This model allows counselors to use their time and expertise more strategically in supporting students and families.
WSCA has been advocating for school counselors to be involved as leaders in the implementation of ACP’s in their schools.  School Counselors are uniquely qualified having the knowledge, experience and training to facilitate and guide administration and staff to systematically design the ACP based on school and community needs.  WSCA is currently advocating and collaborating with DPI in the creation of a recommended best practice job description for ACP Coordinators.  It is critical that ACP Coordinators have the skill set and training necessary for ACP’s to be effective in our schools.
For additional information on WSCA and ACP, please visit our website at .
Warm regards,

Stacy Eslick
WSCA Executive Director

WSCA Assistant Board Chair Message

By Jennifer Betters Bubon, WSCA Assistant Board Chair

By now you have likely settled into the routine of a new school year. As a board of directors we are settling into a new routine as well and are working to meet the mission of the organization:
The mission of WSCA is to advance the profession of school counseling in preschool through post-secondary in order to maximize the academic performance, career planning, and personal/social growth of every student.
As you engage in important work in your schools, please consider getting involved in WSCA as a board member.  As an organization, WSCA does so much to further our profession. In just the last year, we helped to construct a school counselor evaluation form in conjunction with DPI, sent representatives to the ASCA delegate assembly, and worked on important legislative issues related to the ACP process. Serving on the board of directors is a great way to stay connected to important issues that impact the work you do each day.
In light of our transition to policy governance, we are changing our board election process. Specifically, we are asking for applications and the nominations committee then review all applications. At the WSCA conference, we will put forth a slate of 3 candidates that are representative of the diverse needs of the counselors from across the state.  All WSCA members will have an opportunity to vote to accept the slate of candidates.
Please consider adding your voice to our organization. To apply, please know that you need to be a member of both WSCA and ASCA.  In addition, you will need to complete an application, submit answers to questions about your experiences and include one letter of reference.  Additional information can be found on our website. This three-year commitment will afford you many opportunities to get involved at the state level, attend WSCA meetings 4 times per year and connect with other WSCA members throughout the state.  Please get in touch with me ( or Board Chair, Kelly Curtis ( for more information.

Topic of the Month:  Academic and Career Planning

ACP Review

In case you may have missed some of the great information shared by our very own Gregg Curtis, DPI School Counseling Consultant, we have summarized critical components for you here.  All of this information was taken from “DPI Corner” articles of archived issues of WSCAlink and/or can be located on the Department of Public Instruction’s ACP website (
“The academic and career planning initiative will provide web-based software that school districts may use as well as guidance, training, and technical assistance on how to implement academic and career planning services to students in grades six through 12.  State law requires every school board to provide ACP services to all students in grades six through 12 by the 2017-18 school year. ACPs are a part of the state superintendent’s Agenda 2017, which is focused on having all Wisconsin students graduate from high school college and career ready.” (DPI, June 25, 2015)
From the September 2015 Issue of WSCAlink:
“On August 6, 2015 ACP Leadership Teams from the 25 pilot districts and representatives from all twelve CESAs and several technical colleges attended a professional development day in Madison. Materials and resources for assisting districts/schools in developing leadership and infrastructure for full ACP implementation were shared, and districts set their own SMART goals and timelines for the pilot year. Following the utilization of some of the professional development materials in the pilot schools, DPI will make revisions/improvements and post them on the DPI ACPwebpage for all districts/schools to use.
In addition to managing the pilot project, the DPI ACP Workgroup continues to create materials for districts/schools to use in communication about ACPs and implementing the ACP process. Specific menu tabs have been added to the ACP homepage to provide information, materials, and resources explicitly designed for communication, implementation, and professional development. Some of the new infographics/flyers, presentations/webinars, and videos for communication are particularly user- and media-friendly. Check out all of the latest here.
As the ACP rollout continues, school counselors will be looked to as leaders in the process. The 2016 WSCA Conference has already planned two ˝-day preconference workshops; a morning workshop for those beginning or newly interested in the process and an afternoon for those who attended last year’s full-day workshop and/or have already begun some serious work. Watch the WSCA website for more information as it develops.
Best  wishes for a GREAT year!”
Hyperlinked pages:
Pilot selection press release:
ACP webpage:
ACP communication tools:
WSCA website:

From the May 2015 Issue of WSCAlink:
“As you know, the law that mandates Academic and Career Planning Services (ACP) for all students in grades 6-12 starting in the 2017-2018 school year (WI §115.28(59)) encompasses three main areas:

  1. The procurement and maintenance of information technology, including computer software, to be used statewide by school districts… (the tool),
  2. …guidance, training, and technical assistance to school districts and school district staff…(the training) and
  3. …rules to implement this subsection. (the rule)... 

The Tool
The request for proposal (RFP) for the career development technology system was published on May 25, 2015. This RFP contained the mandatory abilities, features, and technological specifications required to be chosen as the state’s system. Any commercial vendor who wishes to respond to the RFP must do so by April 30, 2015. After that time, responses will be evaluated; with the highest rated venders being invited to demonstrate their systems for a small cadre of “experts.” The experts will further evaluate the systems and make a recommendation to the state superintendent. The final steps will include state negotiations with the vender and the development of a plan to on-board school districts that choose to utilize the chosen system.
Bottom-line: the good news is that steps are being taken to ensure that the schools and students of Wisconsin get a system that will meet the variety of needs dictated by the rule, districts, schools, and communities. The bad news is that, at this time, it does not appear that the state career development technology system will be available for school districts by the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.
The Training
State, district, and building-wide implementation of ACP will require an “all hands on deck” approach. As such, there are areas of knowledge and skills in which educational professionals will likely need some professional development.
DPI formed the ACP Professional Development Design Group to assist in identifying specific areas of knowledge and skills necessary to do this work well. Educators from various aspects of K-12 educational leadership and practice made up this group, and their work resulted in a list of 11 broad competency areas. The group also separated these competencies into the work of leading ACP implementation (the “visioning” work) and doing ACP implementation directly with students (the “implementing” work). Two of the competency areas spanned both groups.
Bottom-line: Professional development content and delivery modes are being created throughout the spring. The training that is created will address both the visioning and implementing groups (regardless of the role they play in a school); with priority given to building training that targets the specific competency areas identified as needed through the survey sent to all superintendents and middle/high school principals this spring.
The Rule
Administrative Rule PI-26 is better known as the Education for Employment Rule (E4E) and has been on the books since the mid-1980s. Rather than create a new rule, DPI decided to incorporate language which outlines the “musts” of ACP implementation into a revision of PI-26.”
Additional Resources:
Wisconsin State Legislature
ACP Frequently Asked Questions

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Tips for Best Practice - Problem Behaviors Can be Discussed
By Tabitha Stelter, WSCA Publications Coordinator
also printed in the October edition of Teaching Today)

As the new school year is off and running, so are some students! But running from adult directives and expectations may signal an underlying problem that needs immediate intervention.  As part of Randy Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools Model, the staff of my building use evidence-based behavioral strategies.  As soon as a student’s behaviors are interfering with his/her learning or the learning of others it’s time to have a conversation with the student to get at the root of the problem.  This Planned Discussion is the first intervention in the Early Stage set of interventions (Sprick & Garrison, 2008). Oftentimes, it’s the only intervention needed.  “Students may not know what is expected or may be unaware of the teacher’s concern.” (p. 71).

The first step is to identify the problem behavior(s) of the student.  Planned discussions are appropriate for annoying misbehavior such as tattling or disorganization.  These discussions can also be the springboard for moderate misbehaviors if caught early enough.  These include poor listening skills, dependency, arguing, disruptive behavior, tardiness or inaccurate or incomplete work.  If a student is displaying severe and/or chronic behavior then a planned discussion can be effective if it is included in a more comprehensive plan. 

After staff identify the problem behaviors, narrow the focus of what you hope to accomplish.  Often, many misbehaviors are interrelated so determine the primary concern for the student.  This will help to increase the student’s sense of control and lead to success.  Another way to find success is to build upon the student’s strengths. Point out what he/she is doing well at the beginning and conclusion of the conversation to keep them motivated.

As for the actual discussion, determine if any other adults should be present.  You can inform the parents and invite them to participate, but I would caution that inviting the parents/guardians too soon will rob the student of the opportunity to take responsibility of the problem.  It may also send a message to parents that you aren’t capable of managing minor misbehavior. 

Include another teacher who may see similar misbehaviors with the student in his/her classroom.  They can offer support/focus for the discussion.  Note that too many adults may overwhelm a student.  Rule of thumb, no more than three adults (minus the parents) to the one student.  An administrator should only be invited if the behaviors are severe or threaten the safety of yourself or others in the classroom.

Now you’re ready for the discussion. Schedule the conversation for a neutral time.  Using his/her recess will only annoy the student and taking time from your lunch hour may not be feasible.  Be sure to allow enough time for emotions to settle after an incident has occurred too.  According to Sprick, “the higher the level of your concern, the longer you should make the interval between the misbehavior and the discussion.” (p. 78).  You will still want to correct misbehavior with a brief statement (i.e. Vulgar language is not tolerated in this classroom, Johnny) followed by a comment that you will want to discuss the incident at a later time.

When setting the meeting with the student, give them the vital information he/she wants to calm their worries.  Tell him/her where and when, who else will be there, and most importantly, have them think about what they need from you as the teacher to be successful in the class.  Often times, students get to finally answer what it is that they need from us adults and it’s as simple as “feeling like I belong in the classroom” or “knowing that you like me”.

The hardest part to having the planned discussion is clarifying what your main concerns are, so as for the actual discussion be ready to jot down some things.  There is a great reproducible in the book, but basically you’ll want to document 1) the problem, 2) a goal, and 3) objectives to meeting that goal.  Be sure to assign tasks for each of you.  It may seem that the student should do all the work, but if they identified needs then you’ll have a job or two also. This is a document that you and the student can have a copy of when it is filled in.  That way you both leave the conversation having a tentative plan to act on. 

Set a follow-up meeting within a few days to check-in on the plan. Review any tasks that were assigned to either of you.  Offer additional support if needed.  Having a second meeting shows the student that you are invested in making the teacher-student relationship work.  It also gives you a chance to praise him/her for their hard work on fixing the problem behavior.

Sprick, R. and Garrison, M. (2008).  Interventions: Evidence-Based Behavioral Strategies for Individual Students. 2nd Edition.  Pacific Northwest Publishing, Inc., Oregon.

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Staff Spotlight

Paula Haugle, Development & Education Co-Coordinator
Hi!  My name is Paula Haugle (pronounced Hug-Lee), and I am entering my third year as the WSCA Professional Development and Education Co-Coordinator.  In these past two years, I’ve learned a lot about the organization, our profession, current issues in our state, and myself.  It’s been incredibly rewarding and I’m looking forward to finishing out my term by providing top notch professional development to our members.

When I’m not working with WSCA, I’m the 4K-12 School Counselor for the School District of Elmwood in Western WI.  I’m entering my ninth year at Elmwood and I love the connections I’ve formed with students, families, colleagues, and the community.  My husband Brandon and I live in Elmwood and have two children, William (6) and Paige (3).  I earned my Master’s in School Counseling from Winona State University in Minnesota.  My Bachelor’s is in Business Administration from UW-Eau Claire.  I am truly passionate about professional development, and I am fortunate to work for a district that fully supports the professional development of educators.

My position with WSCA is responsible for both Summer Academy and Fall Summit.  Our committee is working hard to get ready for Fall Summit 2015 in beautiful Turtle Lake.  We’re also in the process of planning events for 2016.  If you have suggestions for us, or want to help out, please contact me at

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Director Spotlight

Rachel Berg, Director
From the beginning, even as a grad student at UW-River Falls (go Falcons!), attending the WSCA conference, hearing keynote speakers talk about the importance of our profession and attending sectionals has been so inspiring! What we do makes a difference, and I’m so excited to not only be a member of WSCA, but a director on the WSCA Board.  I’m learning that there is so much more to WSCA than just the conference and I cannot wait to continue learning and help impact our profession.
I have been a school counselor for 9 years, 8 years at Luck in my current position as the 7-12 counselor. Being in a small district, I enjoy the amount of time I get to spend with my students.  Career and college readiness is a passion of mine, and I am always seeking to help students  have the knowledge to make informed decisions and be prepared for life after high school!


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Upcoming Events & Committee Updates

Advocacy and Public Relations

Greetings from the Advocacy & Public Relations Committee!
 Have you thought about getting more involved in your profession?  Wonder how to promote all of the great things you’re doing in your setting?  Do you want National School Counseling Week to be a national holiday?   If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should join our committee.
The nuts and bolts of this committee:
  • We meet virtually so you probably won’t have to drive: Think google hangouts, etc.
  • You won’t have to get up in front of people and talk (that’s what I LOVE to do)
  • You don’t have to spend any money, unless you want to
  • Our goal is to meet only when we need to, usually at night or on a weekend and no more than two hours at a time
  • The meetings will ramp up in December and January getting ready for NSCW
  • You might be writing some public service announcements for award winners or potentially being our representative in your CESA, but don’t worry, we’ll do it together!  
Are you ready to join?  GREAT!  Just contact Lisa Koenecke and let her know.  Best way to reach her is via e-mail or call River Bluff Middle School at 608-877-5511
Can’t wait to rock this committee? If you’re still reading this, I know you will!

Graduate Student Update

Calling all graduate students! 
While it is clear that WSCA has many benefits for graduate students, we believe that graduate students also have a lot to offer WSCA.  One goal of WSCA’s graduate student representatives this year is to encourage interested students to join WSCA’s subcommittees.  A list of committees looking for members can be found at  If you are interested in working with WSCA but don’t see an opportunity listed that is in line with your specific interests, please contact Sara Rollin at or Katie Nechodom at for more information.  We would be happy to work with you to help you find your own niche within WSCA.  If you’re interested in being published (which, by the way, looks great on a resume), then consider writing an article for the newsletter.  WSCAlink is monthly and the Graduate Student Newsletter is a quarterly publication. Contact us if you are curious!

Membership Update

The benefits of membership go beyond our annual conference and include many other professional development opportunities, such as the Summer Leadership Academy, Fall Summit, and WSCPAR training. All of these trainings are available at a reduced rate for members! Active members also stay informed through Counselink, WSCAlink, Wisconsin SCENE, our many social media sites, and the newly enhanced WSCA website. By enhanced, we now have the following website updates to provide even more functionality:  Our organization is also an advocate for all school counselors in the state as we work with legislators on issues affecting school counselors and students (look at ACP Advocacy, for instance). And don’t forget about our scholarships and professional recognition! What a great way to be involved, support, and network with other school counselors! 


Professional Development Update

Registration is still open for WSCA’s 2015 Fall Summit!
Join us in beautiful Turtle Lake at the CESA 11 Conference Center on
Thursday, October 22, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
We have two exciting topics to choose from:

Option 1:
Creative Solution-Focused and Strength-Based Applications in School Settings

This workshop, presented by Carol E. Buchholz Holland, Ph.D., NCC will provide professional school counselors and school counseling graduate students an overview of the Solution-Focused approach and its practical applications in K-12 schools.

Option 2:
WSCPAR Training and Work Session

Learn tips and suggestions about how to approach the process and how to submit your WSCPAR application. Bring your own building level data and start creating a WSCPAR!

Registration Rates: 
  • WSCA Member $50
  •  Non-member $60
  • WSCA Student Member $40
One Graduate Credit will be offered through Viterbo University for $110.00.  (Course payment & registration are separate from the workshop registration).

Visit and register today!

Thank you to our co-sponsors ASVAB Career Exploration Program and CESA 11 Healthy Safe and Respectful Schools!

Publications Update

Consider submitting to WSCAlink! We welcome submissions in the following areas:
  • Feature Articles:  There are monthly topics related to WSCA’s Ends Policies (look to for the list of topics by month). Articles tend to be no more than 2 pages in length, 12 font double-spaced.
  • Tips for Best Practice: Anyone can submit for this section!  It should be no more than 500 words (roughly two pages, double-spaced) and offer practical ideas that can be implemented right away. Examples include: an innovative small-group idea that worked well for your students or a great classroom management strategy that you’ve used during lessons.  Short and easy to use is the goal for this writing. 
Send questions/articles to and the Editorial Board will let you know when it will be used. Don’t be afraid, be published!

Scholarship and Professional Recognition Update

High School and Graduate School Scholarship applications are due November 1, 2015.
Professional Recognition applications are due December 1, 2015. These applications will be posted soon to WSCA's website.
The process for selecting WSCA School Counselor of the Year has changed to align with ASCA's School Counselor of the Year process.  Applications can be accessed at the following website:  
Deadline: December 1, 2015
Individuals can nominate others or even self-nominate.  It is encouraged that applicants start the nomination process early, as it's quite extensive compared to years past. If you have any questions, please contact Kaila Rabideau, Professional Recognition & Scholarship Coordinator, at 

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Conference Updates


Our goal every year is to provide you with new information and networking opportunities in order to keep you and your School Counseling Program “on fire” and fueled with energy. This year, we’re inviting you to come to Madison on February 16-18 to “Heat It Up!” with us.
If you are already “on fire” and willing to help fellow school counselors refuel and ignite their School Counseling Programs, we encourage you to come and help “Heat It Up!”  Sectional sessions are the heart and soul of our annual conference, and you can share your expertise and best practices by submitting a sectional proposal through our NEW ONLINE SUBMISSION PROCESS! Just click here to start putting together your proposal. All sectional proposals are due by Friday, November 13, 2015.
Start making plans and mark your calendars. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!


October 2015

WSCA Executive Director Message
By Stacy Eslick
WSCA Assistant Board Chair Message
By Jennifer Betters-Bubon
Topic of the Month:
Academic and Career Planning

Staff Spotlight:

Paula Haugle, Development & Education Co-Coordinator  

Director Spotlight:

Rachel Berg, Director  

Committee Updates & Announcements