School Counselor CONNECT!

January 2016

Resources and information provided in the School Counselor CONNECT! are for communication purposes only. Listing these resources and information does not constitute endorsement by either the Office of Counseling and Guidance or the Alabama State Department of Education.


2016-2017 ALSDE Subject and Personnel Codes

The 2016-2017 ALSDE Subject and Personnel Codes have been posted to the ALSDE Web site. The course list contains the courses that are available for students next school year. The early release was requested by several LEAs so that handbooks and other preparations for the next school year can begin now.

If you have questions regarding the new Subject and Personnel Codes, please contact Dr. Michal G. Robinson by telephone at 334-353-1191 or by e-mail at or Sean J. Stevens by telephone at 334-242-9111 or by e-mail at

Potential Magazine Scholarship Opportunity

Please let your students and families know there is a scholarship to help pay for ACT Prep, tutoring, college visits, application fees, and more.

The deadline for the Potential Magazine "Don't Wait to Reach Your Potential" $1,000 scholarship has been extended to January 31, 2016. This scholarship is for college-bound teens in grades 9th-12th residing in the state of Alabama. The scholarship does not require specific test scores, GPA, or class ranking. Parents can also register but will need to designate a student to receive the award.

Click here to enter.

School Counseling Program Components

Counseling & Guidance Curriculum

Curriculum Update
Plans are being finalized for providing curriculum resources to school counselors at all grade levels. Small group, large group, and classroom lessons will be posted to the new Counseling and Guidance Web page soon!

Elementary Resources
Leadership is an essential skill to modern life. Whether you are a leader at work, in your community, or simply within your household, every person will need to take the lead at some point. In some ways, leadership seems like a gift or talent. Certainly, some people are natural leaders and seem to have a certain je ne se qua about them. However, like all things, leadership skills can be taught and using great historical leaders is a great way to combine a little history and leadership into one lesson.

Rebecca Atkins shares her Leadership Lesson Series for elementary school counselors on her school counseling blog at
Individual Student Planning

Cash for College
Cash for College works through its network that includes the Alabama State Department of Education, two- and four-year colleges, local education foundations, local education agencies, and regional collective impact agencies to increase FAFSA completions statewide. Cash for College uses local data, research, best practices, and community expertise to focus, mobilize, and improve the FAFSA completion efforts already happening in schools. At the end of FAFSA season, Cash for College will honor high schools with greatest improvement in FAFSA completion with media recognition, a celebration event, and cash incentives.

Alabama high schools can opt-in to this program by filling out this brief application by January 29. Please visit to learn more about the program and how you can bring it to your school in 2016.

Countdown to College Workshops
Potential Magazine works with Alabama school counselors to host Countdown-to-College Workshops. Unlike college fairs, these workshops include a moderated panel format with representatives from 3-5 colleges and universities. Parents and students leave this 90-minute workshop with:

· Insight into the College Admissions Process
· Scholarship opportunities for students
· 10 Tips to earn scholarships
· Full understanding of the 3 areas that ACT scores impact
· ACT/SAT tips for improving scores
· Encouragement that practice and studying produces results
· Impacts of different real-life scenarios (missing deadlines, changing your mind, etc.)
· Benefits of Community College attendance and dual-enrollment
· Importance of FAFSA and ways you can prepare your family finances to maximize awards

Potential Magazine provides the school with the following:
· College and university panelists, program coordination and facilitation
· Media and press promotion of the event
· Event promotion in our weekly eNewsletter sent to more than 5000 Alabama families and in Potential Magazine issue.
· My College Organizer provided to attendees
· Door prizes such as a 7” tablet and Starbuck’s Gift Cards
· Promotional kit with announcement suggestions
· Event fliers & posters

There is a fee of $350 which is usually paid by the PTA/PTO or local educational foundation. With over 20 workshops hosted in Alabama schools, Potential Magazine has empowered over 2000 students and parents with practical advice and valuable knowledge to help them focus their efforts on the transition to college and career education.

For more information, please see the attached flyer and contact Pam Mashburn at

Alabama Career Planning System/KUDER
The Alabama Career Planning System provides education and career planning resources to help you build a successful future. Whether you're searching for higher education or training, exploring career options, or creating a professional portfolio of materials for the job search, the system can provide you with the tools you need.

Contact your school system's Career and Technical Education Administrator for information about the Alabama Career Planning System.

Four-Year Education Plans
One of the most valuable components within the Alabama Career Planning System is the Four-Year Education Planning tool. Professional School Counselors, Career Preparedness teachers, and CTE Career Coaches use the four-year education plan when helping students address their individual academic and career interest needs. PLAN 2020, the strategic plan for education in Alabama, requires that all Alabama public school students enter Grade 9 with a completed and approved four-year education plan.
Responsive Services

Addiction Prevention Coalition
The mission of the Addiction Prevention Coalition is to help prevent substance abuse by facilitating student led drug prevention programs, connecting individuals to recovery resources, and fostering community collaborations.

To learn more about the resources that are available through the Addiction Prevention Coalition, visit or contact Renee' N. Smith, Prevention Coordinator at

2-1-1 Connects Alabama

2-1-1 Connects Alabama is a statewide network of regional call centers whose mission is to provide easy access to health and human services available throughout Alabama. The first call center was established in Montgomery in 2002 and the network has grown to provide services to all Alabama residents.

By making services easier to find, our 2-1-1 network strives to empower individuals with the information they need to "Get Help or Give Help" in their local communities. We serve individuals from all walks of life, but more importantly, the vulnerable populations such as the indigent or elderly, who often slip through the cracks.

For more information regarding 2-1-1 services in your area, click here to find your local call center.
System Support

FOCUS Program

FOCUS promotes school and community partnerships for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other adolescent risk behaviors. The program is based on a student led approach and seeks to promote youth involvement in the planning of prevention activities. The class includes: FOCUS group training, peer helping, peer mediation, peer tutoring, violence prevention, and positive decision making skills. Other features of the program include planning monthly health observances, a yearly school health fair, and service learning. Teacher training is provided through various Regional Education In-service Centers.

FOCUS is being replicated throughout the State of Alabama. The program is supported by the Alabama State Department of Education, Governor’s Commission on AIDS, community based organizations, and local education associations.

Every year FOCUS hosts two events tailored specifically for students. The recurring events include the Rally for Awareness held in the spring and the Alabama Youth Council held in the fall.


Alabama Youth Council

In summary, as a result of FOCUS, students have had opportunities rarely afforded previously. Youth have gained knowledge, leadership skills, and an awareness regarding their value in the prevention of adolescent risk behaviors. The program has also enabled students to build a stronger resume and investigate public health career options.

CTE Career Coach
Your high school's CTE Career Coach is a valuable resource to support your school counseling program. Contact your school system's Career and Technical Education Administrator for information on how your Career Coach can assist you with career development activities for your students.

Conferences and Professional Development

Professional Organization Membership

If you have not done so, be sure to join or renew your membership with your professional organizations. The Alabama Counseling Association, Alabama School Counselor Association, Alabama Career Development Association, and the Alabama Association for Career and Technical Education not only provide outstanding conferences and other professional development activities, but also advocate for school counselors at the state and national levels.

Alabama Human Trafficking Summit

The second annual Alabama Human Trafficking Summit is scheduled on February 4-5, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Tallapoosa Street in Montgomery, Alabama.

February 4
--Networking Reception, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 5-7 pm. Come and meet the Summit speakers, members of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, and others instrumental in the fight against human trafficking in Alabama.

February 5--Registration/Check-in begins at 8:00 am at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Continental breakfast will be available. The Summit program will begin at 9:00 am. Keynote speaker will be Kevin Malone, Founder and Executive Director of Project P.A.T.H. (People Against Trafficking Humans), and past General Manager of the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers major league baseball teams. Breakout session in the afternoon include sessions for Youth; Schools; Hospitality Industry; Medical; Law Enforcement; and more.

Registration--$50 per conference attendee, which includes continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and materials. Go to to register online; or to download the registration form and mail with check (payable to End It Alabama).

Hotel reservations are available at the Embassy Suites Hotel by calling (334) 269-5055; Group Code AHT.

For more information, contact Pat McCay at 256-653-8527 or by visiting and click the SUMMIT button.

Career Cluster Spotlight

Architecture & Construction

Architecture & Construction professionals create virtually every structure you see around you, from parks to community housing. Whether you dream of designing a new building or wielding a blowtorch on a construction crew, opportunities are available throughout Alabama for highly skilled, hardworking people in this field.

Need-to-know facts and figures about real Alabama jobs, salaries, and education options in Architecture & Construction or any of Alabama's 16 Career Clusters can be found on the Alabama SUCCESS Guides Webpage or by contacting Bryan Upton, Education Specialist and Architecture & Construction Career Cluster Manager, at or at 334-353-4522.

School Counseling Spotlight

Alabama College Application Campaign Week

Congratulations to the schools below who had 100% of the Senior Class of 2016 apply to college during Alabama's College Application Campaign Week. Congratulations to the School Administration, Professional School Counselors, CTE Career Coaches, advisors, and parents who made this initiative so successful!

Counseling & Guidance State Staff

Sean J. Stevens
Education Administrator--K-12

Willietta E. Conner
Education Specialist--High School

Wanda Langley
Education Specialist--Elementary and Middle School

Sherry Herron
Administrative Assistant