Executive Director Message: "School Counselors as Change Agents"
By Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director

It is hard to believe that 1st quarter is over and parent teacher conferences will soon be here!  I hope your year is off to a wonderful start.  As I talk with counselors across the state, it is inspiring to hear about the work being done in our schools to support students.  WSCA has a long history of supporting counselors and is continuing to grow and expand these efforts. 
 
WSCA is excited to partner with the RTI Center to offer a new counselor-specific professional development opportunity.  School Counselors as Change Agents: Establishing Equitable Systems of Support will be a free four-part webinar series starting on November 7th.  Please note the prerequisites for success in this series: participation in the 2016 WSCA Summer Academy OR professional and personal experiences and reflection on both implicit bias and dominant culture privilege in schools and society. Space is limited and registration is required through the following link - https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/3431089084245034242
 
WSCA is creating outstanding conference opportunities for members as well. Below is a sneak peek of what’s to come:

  • WSCA was given a grant by Great Lakes to offer 25 conference scholarships (up to a $850 value) for members working in high schools with four years or less experience to attend the 2017 conference.  Applications are due November 15th!  For additional information http://www.wscaweb.org/2017-Scholarship#.WAPrIvkrLIU 
  • Counselor-specific ACP and Career Cruising training.  This is specially designed training just for school counselors; this won’t be a repeat of what you have seen before. 
  • DPI will be adopting the ASCA model in Wisconsin.  Be the first to learn about what this will look like in Wisconsin and discuss implementation strategies!
  • FREE Professional Headshots on Wednesday February 22nd 
​WSCA is dependent on our members for the success of the organization. Please talk with your colleagues and encourage them to join, consider volunteering for a WSCA committee, submit a conference sectional proposal (deadline 11/11), or nominate an outstanding counselor/counseling advocate (deadline 12/1).

Warm regards,

Stacy Eslick

Assistant Board Chair Message: "School Counselor as Effective Educational Leaders"
By Angela Goebel, WSCA Assistant Board Chair

The conversations and discussions the past few months with our Board of Directors have been fruitful and lively.  With the leadership of Olin Morrison, we have been engaging each other through salon discussions.  A topic discussion is presented with questions to ruminate and ponder over.  We invite a guest to join our meeting and value the perspective they have to share with us.  The varied viewpoints and mindsets create an opportunity for each of us to see things in a new light.
 
A few weeks ago, our discussion revolved around leadership. There were four questions we considered.  Inquiry of what effective educational leaderships looks like occurred.  Further discussion examined effective leadership for equity.  Finally, we asked the question, “How does this align with the school counselor role and/or redefine the counselor role?”.  The lists were long and in depth.  Voices were rich with discussion.  While I can not share all the thoughts, the following are some of the reflections that resonated with me.

Effective Educational Leadership and Effective Leadership for Equity are:

  • Valuing perspectives and nurturing inclusion (i.e. students, families, staff)
  • Data-informed
  • Willing to have courageous and difficult conversations
  • Solution-focused and proactive;  Thinking outside the box
  • Collaboration from many levels (i.e. Administration, Staff, PTO, Community)
  • Direct and transparent communication
  • Examining our own stereotypes, assumptions, and biases
  • Self reflection and/or self awareness on our own cultural lens and its impact on work and the system
  • Coordinating an authentic voice for systems change 

In our role as school counselors, we are change agents with the capabilities to be leaders. For some of our counseling colleagues, this is a natural role.  For others, it may be outside our comfort zone.  So, I pose to you the four questions we considered in our salon discussion.

  • What is effective educational leadership?
  • What is effective leadership for equity?
  • How does this align with the counselor role?
  • How does this or could this redefine the counselor role? 

Whether your reflection is on an individual basis or through collaboration with colleagues, I hope the thought process and/or discussions are as fruitful and lively as ours was at the beginning of October.



2017 Election:  The WSCA Board Needs You!

The Wisconsin School Counselor Association (WSCA) needs dedicated school counselor-advocates to become members of the WSCA Governing Board of Directors.  The WSCA Board is focused on the profession of school counseling, educational leadership and meaningfully impacting college and career readiness for ALL children in the state of Wisconsin. WSCA continues to play a vital role in promoting the profession of school counseling to all our stakeholders on a state, regional and national level.  It is through the dedication of the members of the WSCA Board that we ensure school counselors remain leaders in the field of education.
 
We strongly encourage school counselors interested in having a significant impact on our profession to serve on the WSCA Governing Board of Directors.  We are currently seeking Board of Directors candidates to represent the diverse needs and perspectives of all Wisconsin school counselors. This is a three-year commitment. We have recently transitioned to the policy governance format for our WSCA Board, and will have a nine-member Board of Directors which works separately from the coordinator team.  Applications will be accepted until December 1, 2016, at which point the Elections Committee will vet the candidates and select a slate of three to be brought to the elections in February.

For additional information follow this link 


ACP with All Staff Buy-In & Support
By Tammi Fure, WSCA Director

Academic and Career Planning (ACP) is designed to be a student-driven, adult-supported process; the goal is for students to be able to design and create their own meaningful academic and career plan for postsecondary success. This article focuses on the importance of the “adult-supported” component. Adult-supported means that they have constructive adult relationships along their personalized journey that help them reach their long- and short-term goals. These adults are there to support students if they need assistance while learning to adapt to opportunities and conquer challenges they face along the way. Our students’ success is dependent on this, which is why it’s so important for all educators (e.g. district administrators, building administrators, teachers, custodians, educational assistants, case managers, secretaries, etc) to believe in the framework and invest time in their students.
 
Education for all staff members should include information about the ACP statute that Wisconsin has adopted (s. 115.28(59)). However, it is important to recognize the bigger picture as well. ACP needs to be part of the school culture, both within your building and district-wide. ACP may be a culture shift for many schools, as the focus becomes about helping students develop self-awareness and determine the best pathways to achieve their career and educational goals. It is no longer solely about college planning. Students may be developing postsecondary goals in a variety of areas, including entering the workforce, joining the military, finding an apprenticeship, pursuing a certification, enrolling at a technical college, and applying to universities. Through ACP, students will be able to recognize the many opportunities available to them, as well as develop key skills to be able to successfully navigate decision-making when their career paths change throughout their lives. ACP needs to incorporate an all-in approach so that it doesn’t feel like the burden is being placed on one department or staff role (e.g. teachers, counselors).
 
Some districts may have started implementation of ACP curriculum, framework, and visioning. During this time, it’s possible that different departments may be duplicating information delivery to students. This is an opportunity to examine current practices and merge them with your district’s goals for ACP implementation. Take the time to collaborate with other members of your building to determine best practices for incorporating career exploration and career planning into current courses, advisory sessions, or grade-level meetings. Allowing time during professional development throughout the school year will help districts educate all staff about the importance of ACP and the next steps their district is taking in implementation.
 
With that being said it is important to acknowledge many of the activities related to ACP the school is most likely already doing. Some of those activities could be conferencing/parent involvement, career exploration activities, career interest inventories, academic preparation, and more. The goal is to have a seamless system with the delivery of ACP, but involving all within the school building, so it becomes common vocabulary no matter what adult a student is interacting within the building. An example may include having the students job shadowing a food service department and/or custodian staff.  The students could be receiving a lesson with using the district software system (i.e. Career Cruising) from a teacher assistant.
 
ACP is an opportunity to not only engage educators and students, but also parents and the community, which can be done through the district’s strategic and improvements plans. ACP will involve collaboration at the district and school building level. At the district level there will need to be a meeting with all key stakeholders (i.e. Director of Instruction, Director of Student Services, Director of Finance, etc.) to communicate what occurs at each grade level that may meet some of the state requirements from the Service Delivery of Academic & Career Planning Department of Public Instruction (DPI) provided.
 
The vision for ACP is a process that all students experience in all classes that is student-driven with collaboration with mentors/parents and is a lifelong process. If students and families, see teachers and administration buy-in and enthusiasm they too will feel the value. One of the key elements and principles of ACP is student’s relationships with adult mentors/advisors, engaged families, committed school administration/staff, and supportive/engaged community. Without the support from all adults the student will not produce a meaningful ACP for post-secondary success, so that is why staff buy-in is so important.


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.
 

 Board Spotlight

Jennifer Betters-Bubon – Director

My name is Jennifer Betters-Bubon, and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I received my Masters in Counseling from Boston University and my Ph.D in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  A former elementary school counselor of 11 years in the Verona school district, I am enthusiastic in my role as counselor educator and I have loved my experience on the WSCA board.
 
I first became involved in WSCA as the elementary school counselor representative in 2004-2006 and re-engaged my work with the board in the last 2 years as a board director. I am passionate about exploring the barriers that impact K-12 students’ social/emotional, academic and career development, and this translates into my focus on the development of future school counselors and training practicing school counselors. I have a particular interest in the role of data-driven practice, advocacy and leadership in transforming the role of the school counselor. Currently, I maintain an active research agenda focused on the role of the school counselor within multi-tiered systems of support (e.g., PBIS, RTI) and work with local public schools to ensure school counselors in training are provided with substantial school based experiences.   

Committee Updates & Upcoming Events
 

Professional Development 
 

FREE Webinar Series starting November 7th - Space is limited to 100 people - Register Now!

The Professional Development Committee is proud to be working with the Wisconsin RTI Center on a continuation webinar series for school counselors who attended July's Summer Academy at CESA 1 on Culturally Responsive School Counseling Programs. These free webinars are also for school counselors who did not attend Summer Academy, but who want to strengthen their leadership within this topic. Here are more details:
 
Register today! FREE webinar series with the Wisconsin RTI Center centered on culturally responsive practices. This is a 4-part series that you can receive one credit from Viterbo University for $200.
  • Please register for “School Counselors as Change Agents: Establishing Equitable Systems of Support” by November 6th, 2016 by going to:​
This webinar series begins on Monday, November 7, 2016 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM CST.

The purpose of this webinar series is to continue the conversation from the summer WSCA academy, centered on culturally responsive practices. This series will provide school counselors the opportunity to use tools and language to strengthen their ability to act as change agents for equity in their schools’ multi-level systems of support (PBIS/RtI).

Prerequisites for success: Participation in the 2016 WSCA Summer Academy OR professional and personal experiences and reflection on both implicit bias and dominant culture privilege in schools and society.
         ****This is limited to 100 people, so please register soon!

Professional Recognition and Scholarship Update

 
Five Reasons to Submit Nominations for one of  WSCA's Eight Professional Development Awards 
  1. They're worth it! Here is your chance to tell someone just how amazing they are! 
  2. It shows how important their role is. So many people work with the students of Wisconsin to help them be successful socially, academically, and in future careers. These roles are vital to the success of students! 
  3. It's motivational! Seeing the amazing things they are doing can help inspire others! 
  4. Let them shine! Our work as educators, counselors, administrators, and more can feel thankless.  Nominating someone for an award is a great way to let them know you appreciate their hard work! 
  5. It takes only a few minutes! The process is quick and easy!
So what are you waiting for? Head over to wscaweb.org and nominate someone today!
 
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 works to recognize individuals within the schools who truly go above and beyond to help our students succeed. We know that school counselor’s days are extremely busy, but it only takes a few minutes of your day to nominate!  WSCA will recognize the award winners at our annual conference in February! 
 
Nominations are due December 1, 2016.
Nominations can be submitted at: http://wscaweb.org/index.php?module=cms&page=238
 

Publications Update


December WSCAlink: The Use of Social Media for Professional Development Deadline November 10
January WSCAlink:  Transitioning Back After a Long Absence (Chronic Truancy, Major Illness, Teen Parent) Deadline is December 10

In the meantime, send questions/articles to tabithastelter@gmail.com 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!
 

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WILL YOU ANSWER THE CALL???


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: http://goo.gl/0YkKrc

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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November 2016