KSCA Advocacy Notes

www.kyschoolcounselor.org

Welcome to KSCA Advocacy Notes!

As Advocacy Chair for the Kentucky School Counselor Association, I want to connect school counselors across the Commonwealth with important advocacy information they need to promote our wonderful profession in Kentucky! Please contact me with any feedback or questions! My contact info can be found under the leadership tab on the KSCA website.

Stacey Russell
KSCA Advocacy Chair

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Legislative Update

KSCA is working to change the title of our certification from guidance counselor to school counselor. In order for this to happen, legislation needs to change. We may be calling on you in the next several months to contact your state legislators and sign petitions to get this changed. For now, we are asking for anyone who has a strong connection with their state legislator to contact our Advocacy Chair, Stacey Russell with their name. We'll need state legislators to sponsor our bill, and the more we have, the better. You can e-mail Stacey by clicking HERE.
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New Year, New Chances to Advocate!

It's a new school year! The new school year gives us a fresh start with plans and another opportunity to advocate! There are several small ways we can advocate for our students and what we do and the beginning of the year offers many opportunities for us to do that!

  • At parent nights, have a table set up with brochures explaining your role and your program. Check out previous editions of KSCA Advocacy Notes for some great examples of brochures.
  • Make sure your website is up-to-date with explanations of your role, your program, how parents can get involved, etc.
  • Speak at PTA meetings about your role and how you can help parents.


KSCA hopes you have a great beginning of the school year! We have several exciting goals for the year. If you're not a member, NOW is the time to join! Please CLICK HERE for information on how to join!

Guidance vs. School Counselor. What's the big deal?

I've heard it so many times. "What's the big deal with being called a guidance counselor? You guide children don't you?" or "I don't really care if I'm called guidance counselor or school counselor. It means the same thing, right?"

Yes, we guide children. So do teachers, principals, parents. And no, guidance counselor and school counselor do not mean the same thing.

In the beginning, guidance counselors sole job was to help students with career and college prep. They didn't do much else, and several decades ago, were teachers who took just a few extra classes. Today, school counselors do so much more than help students choose a career and get ready for college. We have masters degrees in counseling, and most of the time our coursework is only a few classes different than that of an LPCC. We help students develop those social and emotional skills that are so critical to their future success. We use data to see what our students need, then create a program to address those needs. This is not something your grandma's 'guidance counselor' did.

So why is it important for us to change our title? Because, as Carol Miller, counselor in New York stated in her post on social media, it unifies us. There is so much confusion over our role, even throughout our state! Having different titles to describe our jobs contributes to that confusion. It also causes people to not take us seriously.

KSCA wants to confront this head on. For our part, we are working to change the legislation to say school counselor, instead of guidance counselor. We are hoping to get in front of school administrators to educate them on how best to utilize their school counselors.

What can you do? Educate! Explain to anyone who will listen what our title actually is. Watch for updates from us on how you can help with our legislative efforts.

One voice in a crowd isn't going to get much attention. Lots of voices shouting the same thing gets much more attention. Keep up the great work you're doing!
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