Oakland Counseling Association

2019 - 20 Volume 1

The Oakland Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession.


The mission of the Oakland Counseling Association is to enhance the quality of life in

Oakland County by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the

counseling profession and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.

2019 - 2020 OCA Membership

Don’t forget, the new School Counselor Professional Development Law starts this school year. It requires school counselors to complete 25 hours of college preparation and selection, and 25 hours of career consultation, which must include 5 hours of exploring military options. However, if your license, or certificate, expires before February 6, 2020, then you are able to renew under the current rules and law. If your expiration date is in 2020, they are allowing you to renew anytime between January 1 and February 5, 2020 under the current rules and law. If you renew any time after February 6, 2020 you will need to complete the new professional development requirements.

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to become a member of the Oakland Counseling Association. We offer members low cost, and relevant, professional development options. You will be joining a group dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Oakland County by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing in the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity. This year’s professional development opportunities will all count toward the new PD requirement.

For a small fee you can become a member, and be eligible to attend a variety of workshops at a discount. As an added bonus, if you renew by October 10th your name will be entered in a raffle for a FREE MSCA Fall 2019 Conference Registration. In addition, on the first Friday of each month we will draw one name, from our current membership, to receive an Amazon gift card. Simply go to www.oaklandcounselors.org and click on the membership link at the top of the site. Current memberships are available at $20 for individuals, $50 for departments (Agency or School Building), and $10 for graduate students. So don’t hesitate, and sign up for your Oakland Counseling Association membership today!

Award Nominations Open!!

This year we are opening the Oakland Counseling Association, Counselor of the Year and Terry Hood (Lifetime Achievement) Award Nominations early to allow more time to nominate a colleague. We hope that you will take the time to nominate one of your colleagues for one of these awards. We know that sometimes counselors do not announce their retirement until after our awards ceremony so if you know a counselor who recently retired who is deserving of the Terry Hood Award, please consider nominating them.

Feel free to forward the nomination links to administrators in your building and we will try to do the same!!

Counselor of the Year

Terry Hood Lifetime Achievement

A message from MMHCA about the proposed LARA rules

We are deeply grateful for the tremendous work that has been done by each of you and our supporters over the past two weeks. MMHCA is working very hard to move us successfully through this situation. We also need your help to be successful. Please read the following to see where you may be able to assist. We will continue to update you as regularly as possible.

A few points we would like to make clear:

1. If LARA's proposed rules go into effect before HB 4325 is signed by the governor, then LLPCs and LPCs will not be able to diagnose or use counseling techniques - it will be illegal for LLPCs and LPCs to diagnose and use counseling techniques.

a. This means LLPCs and LPCs will not be able to bill under someone else (as has been done in the past) because you will not be able to use counseling techniques (conduct mental health therapy).

b. If the legislature passes HB 4325 into law after LARA's proposed rules take effect it will nullify the rules.

2. If HB 4325 is signed by the governor (before LARA's proposed rules go into effect), then law will clearly define our scope of practice among other things (supervision, etc.), and LLPCs and LPCs will be able to practice mental health therapy in the same way they have for decades (since 1989). Passing HB 4325 will negate the need for LARA's rules.

3. Our focus now and over the coming weeks must be to influence legislators to move HB 4325 quickly to Governor Whitmer. Please be thoughtful/diplomatic about what you write on public sites. Stay focused on the goal of contacting legislators.

4. Public hearing on LARA's proposed rules on October 4th. The hearing is being held at the G. Mennen Williams Building Auditorium, 525 W. Ottawa St., Lansing, MI 48893 and starts at 9am.

5. Please join MMHCA - your memberships fund the essential lobbyist we have employed to help move HB 4325 through the system. MMHCA is the only organization funding a government relations professional who is working on HB 4325. Go to our mobile friendly website to donate and/or join. www.mmhca.org.

6. Use this living excel document to easily access legislators' contact information and action steps all in one place. Tremendous thanks to Benjamin Reisterer for creating and maintaining it. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fkuYQciUwYXhj32iaK1e_75dFTxwYv1M2N8D8XssvAM/edit?usp=drivesdk&fbclid=IwAR1FCcxgdSz8XFOqJa4az0Lsuw837kPIBOas3i_U1wIibLzl3IJ0iI8bCUY

7. Read MMHCA's September newsletter for more information and to access important documents via links.

8. Many people still don't know about this dire situation. OUR ABILITY TO PRACTICE OUR PROFESSION IS AT STAKE! Tell every graduate student, LLPC and LPC you know about this information asap. Have them sign up to receive MMHCA emails like this one (go to mmhca.org/articles/and at the bottom of the September newsletter is a button to sign up to be on the mailing list).

9. Dr. Sara Sue Schaefer will be presenting on October 1, 2019, at the Kalamazoo YWCA in their lower multi-purpose room. This is a very important meeting to attend from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. The presentation will also be live streamed on the Facebook group Michigan LPCs for HB 4325 & Against LARA SOP Changes - Counselors & Allies.

Dr. Sara Sue Schaefer has been instrumental in working on this issue for many years. She will be presenting about what we can say and do at the hearing on October 4th to further our cause. The YWCA is located at 353 East Michigan in Kalamazoo.

10.MMHCA has a Facebook page you can follow as well. It's called Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association.

11.Please do the following (use the excel document link in #6 for contact information):

a. Continue contacting Governor Whitmer and encourage support of HB 4325.

b. The Ways and Means committee meets about HB 4325 on Wednesday, 10/2/19. Contact the committee members about how urgent it is to pass the bill out of committee asap so it can move to the House of Representatives for a vote.

c. Contact Senate Majority leader Mike Shirkey via phone and email to respectfully request that he support HB 4325 and bring it to the Senate for a full vote as quickly as possible once the bill gets to the senate. Explain that HB 4325 does NOT expand LPCs' scope of practice, it only solidifies what we have already done for over three decades.

d. Contact the Speaker of the House Representative Lee Chatfield and urge him to put the bill up for a vote WITHOUT AMENDMENTS as soon as possible.

e. Keep the language simple when contacting legislators e.g. "HB 4325 puts into law what has been the practice for 30 years." Educate the senators about the current situation.

f. Letters to the editor and news coverage are great and noticed by legislators.

g. Remember - all the contact information you need is in the excel document here:


Keep up the outstanding advocacy for our license, our colleagues and our clients. It is an honor to be side by side with you in this effort.

James Blundo MMHCA Executive Director

Napoleon Harrington MMHCA President

MMHCA Public Policy Committee

Acuitas LLC, the MMHCA Retained Lobbyist

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MI Tuition Grant Update

On Monday, September 30, 2019, Governor Whitmer signed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

On Tuesday, October 1, 2019, a line item veto was announced, which eliminated funding for the Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG).

As a result of the veto the following actions will occur:

  • MTG will become an inactive program in MiSSG, which means all current awards for Academic Year 2019-20 will be removed and no new awards will be created.
  • MiSSG School Users who have MTG security rights will retain those rights for referencing Academic Year 2018-19 and prior.
  • The MiSSG Student Portal will no longer display any reference to MTG.
  • Publications referencing MTG will be updated.
  • The maximum annual award amount for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) at private/independent institutions will be $1,000 for Academic Year 2019-20.

Additional details will be shared as we learn them.

MI Student Aid
Phone: 1-888-447-2687
Fax: 1-517-241-5835
Email: mistudentaid@michigan.gov

Web: www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid
MiSSG: www.michigan.gov/missg

OCA 10-2 Event, Financial Aid: Awareness, Promotion, and Increased Completion

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our first event of the year! We hope you left with valuable information to help your students with the FAFSA completion process and ideas to increase completion.

Here is one of the articles that we discussed:

Upcoming Professional Development

Provider: College Board

What: SAT/PSAT Implementation Workshops

When: Varies

Where: Varies

Category: College Prep SCECH’s may be provided depending on location

Registration: http://eventreg.collegeboard.org/events/oakland-intermediate-school-district/event-summary-c56467e0d2e1409780e838f61cffcf24.aspx

Provider: Trish Hatch

What: Data-Driven School Counseling in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

When: October 7, 2019

Where: Webinar

Category: No SCECH’s provided

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WhA88jMPTqKI32GyiHtSig?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=SAGE_social&utm_content=corwinpress&utm_term=f607da27-5251-4c3a-9623-e096d5825087

Provider: Ethan Sawyer

What: College Essay Guy - 60+ College Essay Resources in 60 Minutes

When: October 10, 2019

Where: Webinar

Category: No SCECH’s provided

Registration: https://events.genndi.com/register/169105139238459196/67e84250cf

Provider: Insuring MI Future

What: Stem Pathways into Insurance Conference

When: October 10, 2019

Where: Lansing, MI or Live Stream

Category: 2.5 Career SCECH’s available

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stem-pathways-into-insurance-conference-registration-70145919333

Provider: MCAN

What: Access in Action: Using Dual Enrollment Programs to Increase College Opportunities and Persistence

When: October 17, 2019

Where: Webinar

Category: No SCECH’s provided

Registration: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5138040228158786061

Provider: Oakland Community College

What: Excellence in Counseling

When: October 25, 2019

Where: OCC - Auburn Hills Campus - CREST Training Center

Category: 6 College Prep SCECH’s available

Registration: https://events.oakland.k12.mi.us/coe/coe_p2_details.aspx?eventid=186960&cc=COEE&oc=10

Provider: Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA)

What: MSCA Fall 2019 Conference

When: November 10 -11, 2019

Where: Lansing Convention Center

Category: 8 SCECH’s available, some of which will be College and Career

Registration: https://www.michiganschoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=882

Reminder of the School Counselor Professional Development and Renewal Requirements

The purpose of this memo (link below) is to remind districts, school counselors, and stakeholders of the upcoming changes to school counselor professional development and license renewals that will take place February 6, 2020 per state law.


The 100 "general" PD hours can be any education-related professional learning related to the field of school counseling (including DPPD, college credits, and SCECH's). The 50 hours dedicated to College, Career, and Military MUST be through approved SCECH providers. To search for approved programs, visit the MOECS SCECH Catalog.


In the SCECH Catalog you can change the category to "School Counseling" and search by General, College Prep & Selection, Career Exploration, and/or Military Options.

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counseling resources

School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies

2019 ASCA Updated School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies

K-12 Career Readiness System Guide

The purpose of this document is to provide Oakland County school districts assistance with their K-12 Career Readiness System. The vision encompasses awareness, exploration and preparation from kindergarten through post-secondary options.

Michigan Cyberbullying Law

The new law, also known as enrolled House Bill No. 5017 was approved by former Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 24, 2018.

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