National School Counseling Week 2017, “School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential,” will be celebrated from February 6-10, 2017, to focus public attention on the unique contributions of school counselors. Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for college and a career.
In addition, Governor Gary Herbert declared February 6-10 “Utah School Counseling Week” to emphasize the importance of counselors to students and parents in Utah.
How is higher ed supporting Utah school counselors?
Annual USHE Conference for School Counselors and Administrators
USHE hosts a statewide conference for school administrators and counselors each year. The 2016 conference, with the theme of “College Knowledge: Start Now” was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center with approximately 700 attendees. It focused on resources and strategies to better support school counselors and administrators in guiding and advising students on preparing for college.
College readiness certificate for high school counselors
USHE worked with the Utah State Board of Education to develop a certificate program for high school counselors to help increase their college readiness knowledge. The details of this program were outlined in HB 198, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, which was passed in 2013 and provided funds for grants to local schools, on a competitive basis, for payment of course fees for required courses to earn the certificate. The bill was jointly supported by USHE, K-12 and the Governor’s Office.
Resources at StepUpUtah.com
StepUp to Higher Education is an initiative of the Commissioner’s Office, aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of college and how to best prepare and pay for a higher education. The affiliated website, StepUpUtah.com, is full of resources for school counselors and administrators to use to encourage a college-going culture in their school. Some of these include:
- Course recommendations
- Grade-by-grade checklists
- Information on Utah College Application Week
- DIY FAFSA event materials, to assist counselors as they host FAFSA completion events at their school
- A list of comprehensive resources, including 2016-17 College Guide, paying for college information, videos, web banners, posters, and ways to request materials and events