Board Chair Message: "We Want to Hear from You"
By Olin Morrison, WSCA Board Chair
Since joining the board, one of my favorite aspects of the position has been connecting with and listening to school counselors from across the state.  Through these conversations I have been able to informally survey the state of counseling in Wisconsin.  As a result, two things have become very clear: 1) Wisconsin school counselors are among the most passionate and innovative counselors in the U.S., and 2) the demands of the job are high and increasing.
The demographics of our schools and communities are changing.  Whether it is increasing prevalence or awareness, schools are faced with socio-economic, cultural, LGTBQ, and mental health situations at an increasing rate.  As a result of this, counselors have the opportunity to take on increased leadership roles within their schools, districts, and communities.  Many school counselors are already being asked to lead district committees, provide staff professional development, and mentor struggling teachers.
This year the Board of Directors will focus on school counselors as leaders.  We have many questions including: Are these responsibilities appropriate?  Are school counselors adequately prepared to be leaders in their districts/communities?  What happens if school counselors don’t step up to the plate?  It is our hope to engage as many different entities in this exploration as possible.  Along the way we will be looking to provide our members different opportunities to join the conversation and continue to have their voices heard.  Whether it is your first year or your fortieth, we want to hear from you.

DPI Update: ACP
By Gregg Curtis, School Counseling Consultant

Academic and Career Planning (ACP) implementation is in full swing across the state. DPI messaging and communications continues to target the “what” and “why” with educational leadership, while local CESA ACP workshops are assisting districts in

 addressing the “how” of ACP.
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 an school district staff…(the training) and
  3. …rules to implement this subsection. (the rule)

There has been significant progress made in each of these areas since the last update, so I’d like to take a minute and bring everyone up to speed.
The Tool
Career Cruising was chosen as the statewide career development system last spring, and we have worked with them to get as many volunteer districts on-boarded over the summer. If your district has decided to use Career Cruising as your system but you have not yet begun the on-boarding process, please contact Steve Yaun at
For extensive information about Career Cruising, you can find almost anything you’d want to know on the “Career Cruising in Wisconsin” webpage located here:
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.
Professional development content and delivery instruction have created for use with school staff. The training that is created addresses both the leadership and implementation of ACP regardless of the role staff plays in a school. PD activities are being continually reviewed and uploaded onto the appropriate section of DPI’s ACP Implementation webpage here:
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. You can find information about the new rule here: This information contains the rule’s history, new language, changes from the old PI-26, and resources to help districts plan, create, and publish their Education for Employment Plan.
As always, stay up-to-date on ACP information by accessing DPI’s ACP webpage. (URL: Here you will find the most real-time updates and can subscribe to the ACP list-serv and blog. In addition you can join DPI’s ACP Google+ Community. 

The Many Benefits of Completing a WSCPAR
By Todd Hadler, WSCPAR Coordinator

Not too long ago, Key and Peele (a former Comedy Central show) did a SportsCenter parody called TeacherCenter where they reversed the roles of professional athletes and educators. Excerpts included Central Rapids High School (lowest performing school) taking Mike Yoast, a calculus teacher and natural “Mathelete” with the overall first pick in the 2015 teacher draft. In typical Key and Peele enthusiasm, they spelled out how this draft pick was a win/win because with Mr. Yoast getting first round money, he could financially help his dad out knowing that Mike’s dad was a pro football player living paycheck to paycheck.  Another TeacherCenter “Highlight (yes, the words were highlighted with a neon yellow highlighter) of the Day” included teacher Ashley Ferguson showing off her professional teaching skills by bringing an introvert into the classroom discussion with ease. It had all of the hype that sportscasters portrait on the set with commercials using educators to sell their products. If you get a chance, take a look.

It’s really an honor to represent the Wisconsin School Counselor Association as co-coordinator of the Wisconsin School Counseling Program Accountability Report (WSCPAR). I can’t guarantee “free agent” type of money for completing a WSCPAR nor can I guarantee the excitement of Key and Peele, but believe me, the WSCA/WSCPAR committee is working for YOU! The goal (or as a soccer announcer would say “GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL”) of this article is to help answer common questions about the WSCPAR.
What is a WSCPAR?  The WSCPAR is a snapshot of your program that showcases your work.  The WSCPAR highlights your school, your school counseling accomplishments, school counseling goals, and through the use of data, shows how students are different as a result of your school counseling efforts.
How do you start a WSCPAR?  There’s no wrong way to start a WSCPAR.  Some counselors work in a linear way and complete the document from start to finish, some work on a section of the document at a time, some do the easiest parts first and the more intense parts last or vice versa, and some look back at previous award winners to get ideas. It doesn’t really matter where you start but please pay close attention to the current rubric.
When is the due date?  The electronic submission and mailing postmarked dates are October 15th, 2016.  **Please note on the application that you must submit items both electronically and by mail.
Do I have to complete all of the sections? Yes/no. In order to be considered for the Program of Promise (PoP) award, you have to meet the requirements of the rubric.  A team of professionals will  review submitted WSCPARs and grade them on the rubric. WSCPARs meeting a score of 24 or higher receive the PoP award.  If you do not want to be considered for the Program of Promise award but would like to submit a WSCPAR for professional feedback, please do.  It may help you in starting a WSCPAR for 2017!
What if my WSCPAR doesn’t get a score of 24 and doesn’t receive the Program of Promise award?  In order to score a 24 on the rubric, WSCPARs need to average a “2,” or “meets expectations” in all of the sections.  A weaker section can bring down the average and overall score to just below 24.  Does that mean that the WSCPAR that didn’t reach 24 is an awful document? No way! In fact, our WSCPAR committee has read over some very good WSCPARs that scored just under 24 points. 
**Speaking for the entire WSCPAR committee, pay close attention to content and typos/grammar.**
What are the benefits in completing a WSCPAR? Many! Your WSCPAR can help support you and your school counseling program in many ways:

  • program evaluations
  • individual evaluations
  • positive press to your program for your stakeholders, school and community
  • use it for your SLO and/or tie it into your PDP
  • strengthen the administrator/counselor relationship or other professional relationships including those with representatives during WSCA’s Day on the Hill.

Go ahead, give it a try!

WSCPAR is a great way to advocate for your program by demonstrating accountability to your school and district goals!  We strongly encourage you to submit a WSCPAR by October 15.  We can’t wait to see you on stage at the 2017 WSCA conference in Madison! 

Hear what other school counselors have to say:

            “Completing the WSCPAR process in 2014 was a great learning experience for me and my team of high school counselors. It helped our counseling department highlight some of our school counseling goals and programs that we were implementing. Although we did not receive an award, seeing our completed WSCPAR document was very rewarding! We put a lot of hard work into creating the WSCPAR document and I am very proud of what we completed. I highly recommend that all school counselors consider completing the WSCPAR application process. It really does help you, as a school counselor, reflect in all the work that you are doing to help your school and your students succeed in their education!”                        

-Angelica Valdivia, Horlick High School, Racine, WI



Great Lakes WSCA Conference Scholarship!

Great Lakes is partnering with WSCA to offer scholarships for high school counselors with less than five years of experience to attend the annual WSCA Conference. 

The Great Lakes WSCA Conference Scholarship covers:Preconference and Conference Registration
  • Two-night hotel room at Hilton Monona Terrace (including parking)
  • Meal & Travel Stipend
Scholarship applications are due November 15, 2016.

Scholarship information can be found here

Great Lakes believes all students deserve a chance at higher education. Great Lakes partnerships support systems to help students who are least likely to consider college to continue their education beyond high school, succeed on campus, and graduate ready to reach their full potential.

Staff Spotlight

Tammy Holtan Arnol – Director

WSCA has played a role in my professional development as a school counselor since grad school. I attended my first WSCA conference in 2002 with professors and fellow grad students from UW-Whitewater.  The following year, I was honored to receive WSCA’s Mike Troy Graduate Student Scholarship and completed my school counseling internship with a past WSCA president! The WSCA conference has always been a rejuvenating experience of learning new practices and reconnecting with colleagues. I’ve presented at sectionals and at a pre-conference workshop on the Nurtured Heart Approach®.  At last year’s conference, I presented a sectional on Restorative Practices®.
I have worked in the Verona Area School District as a French teacher and then as a school counselor since 1996. I started in the district as a high school counselor, then moved to an elementary counselor position, and now I currently work district-wide as a counselor. My school counseling passions include culturally and linguistically responsive behavior approaches, including Nurtured Heart Approach, Restorative Practices, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, PBIS, school counselors as leaders and universal curriculum. 

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Staff Spotlight

Andrea Donegan: Government Relations Co-Coordinator

“Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life!” 
My passion is helping children and lifelong learning, and there is no better way to realize that passion than serving as a school counselor.  As a school counselor of 22 years at the elementary, middle, and intermediate level, I think I have found the secret to staying refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s all about following the comprehensive school counseling model in order to be proactive and preventative in working with all kids.  I found it’s also about creating new programming that you are excited about! 
As a second year WSCA Government Relations Co-Coordinator, I am dedicated to working on behalf of all school counselors to elevate the profession through marketing and education to key stakeholders in our state. I truly believe that when our voice is heard, it makes a significant impact for our profession and most importantly, the students we serve!  Being involved as a  WSCA Government Relations Co-Coordinator has benefited my professional growth in several ways:
  1. Networking with amazing and dedicated counselors from around the state
  2. Staying abreast of current trends in school counseling and education
  3. Advocating for students and the services and resources to support them
  4. Pride in giving back to an organization that works for all counselors and all students
I sincerely hope that you will consider getting involved with the WSCA team!
Some great resources I would love to share with you are: Best wishes for a phenomenal school year!  I hope to see you all at the WSCA annual conference in February!


Committee Updates & Upcoming Events

Professional Development 

2016 Fall Summit Information

Friday, October 21st, 2016 - 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m. (includes lunch)
CESA 4 Conference Center – West Salem, WI

Session Details: Mental Health in Schools: Jennifer Muehlenkamp is a national expert on suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in youth.  Participants will learn best practices and interventions to support students with non-suicidal
 self-injury, depression and anxiety in the school environment.

Jennifer Muehlenkamp Bio - Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Dr. Muehlenkamp is a leading expert and experienced clinician in the area of non-suicidal self-injury and suicide; including its co-occurring disorders like depression, anxiety, and BPD. Dr. Muehlenkamp has published over 90 peer reviewed articles and book chapters on the topic of assessment, treatment, and risk/protective factors for self-injury and suicide. She is a co-author of two books (Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Eating Disorders and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Advances in Psychotherapy) and is a regular consultant to mental and behavioral health professionals in her region. Dr. Muehlenkamp’s work has been honored with awards from the American Association of Suicidology, Self-Injury Awareness Network, and has been featured in U.S. media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the American Psychological Association’s newsletter, The APA Monitor. In addition to her empirical work, Dr. Muehlenkamp is the director of her University’s Suicide Prevention and Research Collaborative, she is a board member of her State and County Suicide Prevention Coalitions, and she is currently the President of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury.

One Graduate Credit will be offered through Viterbo University for $200.00.

Registration is now open

Professional Recognition and Scholarship Update

Calling all amazing educators in School Counseling!
WSCA is now accepting Professional Recognition Award Nominations!
Do you know of an amazing individual in education who deserves to be recognized for their hard work and advocacy for students?
Nominate them for a Professional Recognition Award!
Each year, WSCA wants to recognized individuals within the schools who truly go above and beyond to help our students succeed. As a first year school counselor, I am only beginning to understand how busy our days can be. However,  if you can just spare a few minutes out of your day to nominate someone you know or yourself, WSCA will be able to recognize these individuals at our annual conference in February!
Nominations are due December 1, 2016.
Nomiations can be submitted at:
Attention Graduate Students in School Counseling Programs!

Could you use $1,000?

Apply for the WSCA Graduate Student Scholarship today!
Applications are due November 1, 2016.
Apply today at:
High School Scholarships are now open!
Do you know of any high school seniors that are planning to attend a postsecondary school for the 2017-2018 school year?
WSCA offers 4 $1,000 scholarships to seniors!

Have them apply at:
Applications are due November 1, 2016.

The Professional Recognition and Scholarship Committee is excited to announce a new Professional Recognition Award!
This year, we have added a School Counseling Team Award for a team of school counselors who go above and beyond for their students. Additionally, we are excited to announce our continued scholarship sponsorships with  Educators Credit Union, Career Cruising, and Method Test Prep. Be on the look out for our scholarship and professional recognition applications to open up. If you are interested in joining the Professional Recognition and Scholarship committee, please contact Katie Nechodom, Professional Recognition and Scholarship Coordinator, at
Reminders - High School and Graduate School Scholarship applications are due November 1, 2016. Professional Recognition applications are due December 1, 2016. These applications are now available on WSCA’s website, with a direct link to the applications on the WSCA home page.
The process for selecting WSCA School Counselor of the Year has adjusted this year. Nominees and applicants will apply through the WSCA website. The WSCA School Counselor of the Year will then proceed to the American School Counselor of the Year through the ASCA website. The deadline is to nominate or apply is December 1, 2016.  Individuals can nominate others or even self-nominate. We encourage applicants to start the nomination process early because the WSCA School Counselor of the Year will be able to apply for the ASCA School Counselor of the Year, which a very extensive process. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Nechodom, Professional Recognition and Scholarship Coordinator at
Quick links to all forms:
High School App Link -
Graduate School App Link -
Professional Recognition Nomination App link -​

Publications Update

November WSCAlink: ACP with All Staff Buy-In & Support Deadline October 10
December WSCAlink: The Use of Social Media for Professional Development Deadline November 10

In the meantime, send questions/articles to and the Editorial Board will let you know when it will be used. Don’t be afraid, be published!

Graduate Student Update

WSCA seeks graduate students to present their scholarly work at the WSCA Conference! Any original work- class projects, curriculum, research, compilations, are all examples of great poster presentation topics! Click Here for more information about how EASY it is to submit a poster proposal. You can receive volunteering credit for presenting a poster for one hour. It's also a great step in finding a school counseling position! Questions? Contact our Graduate Student Coordinators

Conference Update

WSCA Conference 2017

Feb. 21-23

You Spoke, We Listened…
Following our 2016 Annual Conference, WSCA invited our conference attendees to respond to the 2016 Conference Evaluation. Approximately 430 attendees participated and provided feedback about their conference experience. We would like to take some time to respond to the feedback we received, specific to sectionals.
Can the sectional offerings and descriptions be made available sooner?
We do try to have the sectional offerings and descriptions listed on our website as soon as we can. Last year we were able to have the offerings posted by mid January. We will continue to work hard to have them posted even earlier this year. Please be watching our website for the most up-to-date list of sectional offerings.
The sectional I wanted to attend was full…
During the sectional selection process, our team identifies the topics we believe will be the most popular sectional topics at conference. To do this, we consider survey feedback, current trends, state initiatives, and hot topics in school counseling. These sectionals are then placed into our two largest sectional rooms, which each hold approximately 260 attendees. All other sectional rooms hold approximately 100 attendees. We understand your frustration, and are working to find a solution to this problem so we are able to more accurately predict and plan for highly attended sectionals.
The sectional I attended was promoting the purchase of curriculum, a program, and/or books…
Within the sectional proposal application, a presenter must indicate if he/she will be promoting the purchase of curriculum, programs, and/or books. As our team processes the proposals, we work very hard to filter out any proposals that appear to be selling or promoting products. We also understand that practicing counselors use various resources and may reference these resources during their presentation. When this occurs, we will have it noted in the sectional description.
I was not aware of the sectional changes and cancellations…
Occasionally, sectional changes do occur after our conference materials have already been printed. When this happens we will always provide an insert in the conference booklet indicating any changes. We also provide this information at the opening keynote on Wednesday. Unfortunately we also have experienced cancellations the day of the conference. We will provide this information at the opening keynote when possible. We will also post a sign on the sectional room door to make attendees aware.
There were very few sectional offerings for the elementary level…
Each year, we aim to increase the number of offerings for the elementary level. Despite our efforts, we have very few sectional proposals submitted for this level year after year. We are looking to YOU for help. If you know an elementary school counselor who is doing some great things, please, please encourage her/him to submit a sectional proposal!
Some of the sectional offerings did not have handouts available…
Last year we were able to provide handouts digitally for the first time. It was optional for presenters to upload their presentations and handouts, so we were not able to provide handouts for every sectional. We will continue to improve our process to provide handouts to attendees. This year, we will make the handout link more accessible to attendees, and we will work to increase the number of handouts available online. Please note that handouts will not be made available prior to the start of our conference. All handouts will be available during and after the conference.
I wish there was more time to network with other counselors…
This year we are making some big changes to allow more time for attendees to network with colleagues and fellow counselors, and to visit with exhibitors. On Wednesday, we will now have 30 minutes between sectionals, and the day will end at 5:00pm. We have decided to forgo the WSCA Reception on Wednesday to give attendees extra time to spend networking. We have also added even more time to lunch, allowing lunch to be one hour and 30 minutes. Because these changes will slightly impact the number of sectionals offered, there will be the option of attending early bird sectionals on Wednesday morning.  Watch for more information about these changes in the coming months!



We know there are so many terrific things being done by school counselors from all across the state.  We’re calling on you to share your expertise with your colleagues.  We need quality sectionals for elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Just click here to get to the WSCA Sectional Proposal page:

Sectional proposals are due by Friday, November 11th.  Please consider adding your ideas and energy to the conference by doing a sectional.  It’s what makes the WSCA conference so powerful!
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October 2016