|WSCA Board Chair Message
By Kelly Curtis, WSCA Board Chair
Welcome back to school! As we have described to you in the past several newsletters, our association is beginning a new chapter as we officially operate within the policy governance framework. Our Leadership Development Institute (LDI) in July was our first opportunity to actually function with the two leadership teams, and we are definitely feeling the changes in our roles. We completed leadership training separately, and the elected board met on the first day to establish ends policies for the coming year.
“A” for Advocacy: Local, State, and Federal
By Nate Rice, Government Relations Coordinator
The WSCA Government Relations Committee is committed to helping all school counselors find their voice and advocate for their school counseling program, and our profession, at the local, state, and federal level. Now more than ever, we must share our story about the difference we make for our students and families, backed by data that supports the effectiveness of our efforts.
To help you find your voice and get the word out, the Government Relations Committee will be hosting a sectional at this year’s conference that will do just that, by providing practical strategies for how you can engage your local school boards, along with state and federal elected officials, to tell your story using data and advocate for the profession you love. We are excited to announce Amanda Fitzgerald, Public Policy Director for ASCA will be coming to Madison in February to participate in what promises to be an incredibly valuable sectional for you and your program!
We all must fully embrace WSCA’s challenge to seize the moment and be visionary leaders who impact the state and national agendas surrounding education and student success. To this end, in July Andrea Donegan, Government Relations Co-Coordinator and I spent two days in Washington, DC to build relationships with members of Congress and their staff, to educate them about comprehensive school counseling (rather than “guidance”), and advocate for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) that provides grants to school districts to transform their school counseling programs. In addition, we met with ASCA’s Amanda Fitzgerald to introduce ourselves and receive valuable information to help us with our Congressional office visits.
The trip was incredibly productive and surpassed expectations. First, it was a true privilege and honor to represent Wisconsin’s talented, hard-working, professional school counselors on Capitol Hill. Second, we met with 100% of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation or a member(s) of their staff (both U.S. Senators and all 8 members of the House of Representatives). Third, the visits allowed us to define what comprehensive school counseling is, how we make a difference through our comprehensive model, and the importance of ESSCP as the only piece of federal legislation that directly supports school counseling. And, by chance, the trip corresponded with floor debate in the U.S. Senate on the Every Child Achieves Act (ESEA revision)!
During all of the meetings, we stressed the importance of having ESSCP in the final ESEA bill that is expected to emerge from a joint Senate/House conference committee that will seek compromise between the competing Senate and House versions of ESEA. The goal of the conference committee will be to create a final bill that can pass in both bodies and be signed into law by President Obama.
It is vitally important that WSCA and its membership stay engaged in the public policy arena at the local, state, and federal level moving forward. One of the ways you can do this is by participating in WSCA Day on the Hill in conjunction with the 2016 WSCA Conference in Madison on Tuesday, February 16, beginning at 1:30 PM. The event is FREE and a lot of fun. As previously mentioned, Amanda Fitzgerald will be joining us to share her wisdom about best practice strategies for a successful legislative visit before heading over to the Capitol to meet with your Wisconsin State Senator and Assembly member. It will be a truly memorable experience! Join us!
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By Gregg Curtis; DPI School Counseling Consultant
Welcome back to school, counselors!! I hope everyone practiced some self-care and had a chance to rest, relax, and recharge for the 2015-2016 school year. It has been a busy summer in ACP-land, so I’d like to take a few minutes to give you an update and direct you to DPI’s latest resources.
Gregg Curtis, DPI
I’m Gregg Curtis, and I’m in my fourth year as the School Counseling Education Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. If I were to use song lyrics to describe my journey to DPI, they would have to be from poet Jerry Garcia, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”
I graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, in 1979; and spent the next 10 years in Iowa City. Four of those years were a lesson in undergraduate futility at the University of Iowa. Four years were spent in a pipefitter apprenticeship with the UI Physical Plant. And two were finishing up a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Degree in hand, I moved to rural North Central Iowa in 1988; and I spent the next ten years as a middle school teacher.
I returned to the UI in 1998; receiving a master’s degree in school counseling in 2000; and I used my counselor training to work with the 450+ 7th and 8th graders on my caseload at South East Junior High School in Iowa City. Following my work as a school counselor, I returned to the UI and received my doctorate in Counselor Education with a minor in the Social Foundations of Education in 2008. Prior to joining DPI, I spent 6 years as a lecturer and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; preparing graduate students to work as counselors in schools, community mental health agencies, and institutions of higher education.
The first opportunity I had to work with WSCA was when I joined the board as the Government Relations chair. In that position I loved coordinating the Day on the Hill event for school counselors to advocate for the school counseling profession. In my role as DPI School Counseling Consultant, I serve as a liaison to both the WSCA Board of Directors and the WSCA Committee Coordinators; providing information and guidance to help the organization in its work to establish and work toward the ends policies.
While the leadership and accomplishments of the WSCA Board over the last 50 years is admirable, the board has made some major contributions to the Wisconsin school counseling landscape in the last 3 years. This summer, the board made vital contributions to help evaluate school counselors’ work in an authentic, realistic way; creating an evaluation rubric, work flow, and collection of evidence that demonstrates what counselors do. In addition, the board has been a partner of DPI in the rollout of the Academic and Career Planning Initiative; providing collaboration and avenues for professional development. Finally, significant strides in advocating for the profession have been made since 2012.
I am proud to serve the WSCA membership as liaison to the board and humbled to serve all school counselors as the DPI consultant. You can keep up to date with current school counseling topics by subscribing to the DPI school counseling list serve. Simply follow this link, enter your email address, check the “wcscp” box in the “Health, Wellness, Student Services” section, and submit. You will receive a welcome message and be able to network with me and counselors all over the state.
Keep up the great work you do with and for students!
ASCA is requesting feedback from State Counselor Associations on revisions and updates to the ASCA Ethical Standards. WSCA is looking for a small group of school counselors from across the state to provide leadership on this project, which will begin this month. If interested, please contact Stacy Eslick at email@example.com before September 11th.
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:
Can’t wait to rock this committee? If you’re still reading this, I know you will!
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 http://www.wscaweb.org/getinvolved. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie Nechodom at email@example.com 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!
As we start the new school year, we’d like to just quickly highlight some of the benefits of joining and/or renewing your WSCA membership. 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, the newly enhanced WSCA website, and our many social media sites. 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. And don’t forget about our scholarships and professional recognition! What a great way to be involved, support, and network with other school counselors!
Registration is now 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:
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.
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!
Early bird special until Sept. 30, 2015:
WSCA Member $4
One Graduate Credit will be offered through Viterbo University for $110.00. (Course payment & registration are separate from the workshop registration).
Visit http://wscaweb.org/2015-Fall-Summit and register today!
Thank you to our co-sponsors ASVAB Career Exploration Program and CESA 11 Healthy Safe and Respectful Schools!
Consider submitting to WSCAlink! We welcome submissions in the following areas:
Send questions/articles to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Editorial Board will let you know when it will be used. Don’t be afraid, be published!
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: http://www.wisconsin.schoolcounselorawards.org/scoy/
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 email@example.com
WSCA Board Chair Message
By Kelly Curtis, WSCA Board Chair
Topic of the Month:
Vision for Advocacy
Gregg Curtis, DPI
Committee Updates & Announcements