Posts Tagged ‘School counseling’

2015 School Counselor of the Year Honored at White House

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

On January 30th, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the White House as the First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the American School Counselor Association’s School Counselor of the Year awards ceremony. This is the first time this event has been held at the White House. 36 finalists and semifinalists and 2015 School Counsel of the Year Cory Notestine of Alamosa High School in Colorado received recognition from the First Lady and actress, Connie Britton who played a school counselor on the popular television series Friday Night Lights.

The First Lady shared that “Every day, our school counselors help young people become the people they’re meant to be and achieve what they were put on the earth to achieve.  That is truly an awesome responsibility.  It’s also a tremendous privilege.”  The First lady published an op-ed and also spoke about the event, as well as her Reach Higher Initiative, on Entertainment Tonight.  View a video of the White House ceremony here.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon

Kimberly Green, Executive Director

By admin in News
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Legislative Update: House Moves Several Education Bills Forward, Appropriations Committee Sets FY 15 Spending Level

Friday, May 16th, 2014

CapitolLast week, the House approved through voice vote the Strengthening Education through Research Act (SETRA). The bipartisan vote and legislation reauthorizes the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA), which supports educational research programs such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exams and state longitudinal data systems.

“The Strengthening Education through Research Act will improve education research and help ensure more schools and students can benefit from effective educational practices,” said Rep. Rokita (R-IN) upon passage of the legislation.

Of particular interest to the CTE community is SETRA’s authorization for state longitudinal data system (SLDS) grants which encourage the alignment of data across K-12, postsecondary and workforce programs. These grants support the capacity of states and programs to report on post-program employment outcomes for CTE graduates. Additionally, the bill strongly emphasizes the importance of using data effectively for continuous program improvement. As Rep. Rokita pointed out during debate on the House floor, “what good does the data do us if it can’t be used?”

NASDCTEc is very supportive of this legislation and looks forward to SETRA’s future progress in the Senate. The text of the bill, fact sheets, and other useful information can be found here.

In addition to moving forward on SETRA, the House also passed the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10), which streamlines two existing charter school programs into a single $300 million annual program to support the development and expansion of high-quality charter schools — a $50 million increase over current funding levels.  The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support on a margin of 360-45. House CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) also successfully passed an amendment to the bill before its final passage, which added comprehensive career counseling to the criteria the Secretary of Education must consider when making grants under this legislation.

“This amendment recognizes that career counseling is a critical tool we must promote in order to assure that students are informed and prepared to meet their next educational or career challenge,” Rep. Thompson said upon the amendment’s adoption.

Rep. Langevin echoed these sentiments saying, “Investments in education are repaid many times over through the creation of a skilled, educated workforce. That investment is made exponentially stronger when we provide young people with career counseling programs that enable them to make smart decisions about their futures.”

NASDCTEc applauds this renewed focus on career counseling in our nation’s schools and looks forward to similar proposals to further strengthen these critical student support systems. More information on this legislation can be found here.

House Appropriations Committee Sets Levels for FY 15

Late last week the House Committee on Appropriations passed a measure confirming the topline spending cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 at $1.014 trillion for the entire federal discretionary budget. This figure conforms to the spending caps put in place by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The committee also set about dividing up this figure into 12 separate allocations — known as 302(b)s — to be used by each of the relevant subcommittees as they craft the necessary spending bills to fund the various departments, agencies and programs that compose the federal government.

Discouragingly, the 302(b) allocation for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education — under which the Carl D. Perkins Act’s basic state grant program falls— was set at $155.7 billion. This figure is roughly $1 billion below what was allocated in FY 2014 and will put additional pressures on appropriators as they decide how to divide that sum among the various programs under the jurisdiction of the Labor-HHS-ED bill. As this process unfolds, NASDCTEc will be working with appropriators in both Chambers to ensure that adequate investments are made in our nation’s CTE system. The Senate is expected to undertake this process in the next several weeks.

Does the budget and appropriations process sound confusing? Check-out NASDCTEc’s on-demand webinar unpacking this complex process.


Yesterday, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Credentialing Improvement for Troop Talent (CREDIT) Act of 2014 to help members of the armed services acquire credentials for use in the civilian labor market. The bill would expand the authority of the Tuition Assistance program currently available to servicemembers by allowing the program to cover expenses stemming from obtaining a civilian credential. Under the program’s current rules, the program only provides financial assistance for postsecondary programs and does not cover fees from certification or licensing programs.

“The CREDIT Act will provide servicemembers with the resources they need to obtain civilian credentials while on active duty, easing their entry into the civilian workforce and improving their chances of getting quickly hired by a private sector employer,” said Sen. Kaine upon the introduction of his bill. NASDCTEc strongly supports this legislation and applauds the Senator’s commitment to expanding federal financial aid eligibility for CTE programs that help prepare students in all walks of life for further education and careers.  More information on the bill can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

By Steve Voytek in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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Financial Aid Toolkit Now Available from the U.S. Department of Education

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the launch of an online “one-stop shop” aimed at guidance counselors and other advisers, such as staff or volunteers at community-based organizations, who assist students through the process of selecting and financing their higher education. The Financial Aid Toolkit, available at, consolidates financial aid resources and content into a searchable online database, making it easy for individuals to quickly access the information they need to support their students. Press Release

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By admin in Resources

Legislative Update: Obama Jobs Plan, FY12 Appropriations, Bills Introduced

Friday, September 9th, 2011

President’s Jobs Package Focuses on Education

Last night, before a joint session of Congress, President Obama unveiled his proposal to create jobs and grow the economy. With unemployment hovering around 9%, the Administration hopes that this plan turn around the economy. Broadly, the American Jobs Act proposes to extend existing and implement new tax cuts, and invest in areas such as infrastructure, housing aid, and education. This $400 billion plan will be paid for using savings identified by the newly-appointed Congressional deficit reduction committee.

Related to education, and CTE in particular, there are some promising elements:

• $35 billion to prevent public sector job layoffs – This includes educators, police officers and firefighters. Up to 280,000 education jobs are vulnerable to cuts this school year due to state budget troubles. The fund would support state and local efforts to retain teachers, counselors, tutors, and classroom assistants.
• $30 billion school modernization fund – This fund would support efforts to modernize at least 35,000 public schools. The money could be used to update labs, renovate facilities and increase internet access. Priority will be given to rural schools and schools in the most need. The funding includes $5 billion dedicated to community colleges.
• $5 billion for low-income youth and adults – This funding will focus on expanding employment opportunities for communities that have been hardest hit by the recession. Called the Pathways Back to Work Fund, it will make it easier for workers to remain connected to the workforce and gain new skills for long-term employment. This initiative will include:
o Support for summer and year-round jobs for youth
o Subsidized employment opportunities for low-income individuals who are unemployed
o Support for local efforts to implement promising work-based strategies and to provide training opportunities, including:
 Sector-based training programs
 Acquisition of industry-recognized credentials
 Career academies that provide students with academic preparation and training
 Free evening and weekend basic computer training classes, adult basic education and integrated basic education

FY 12 Appropriations
The House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education markup scheduled for this morning has been cancelled, with no new date announced. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) has said that the House will vote on a continuing resolution during the week of September 19 that it will likely run through November 18. Congress is hoping to finalize the appropriations process by that date and will use an omnibus appropriations bill, rather than separate bills by subcommittee.

In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee approved a funding level for Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee that is $17.9 billion above the $139.2 billion set by the House. While the $157.1 billion allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee is $23.7 billion below the Administration’s FY12 budget request and $300 million below FY1 levels, this is encouraging news. Despite the fiscal climate, it is clear that the Senate understands the importance of education programs.

Bills Introduced

Technical school training subsidy bill
Rep. John Barrow (GA) introduced H.R. 2851, a bill that would amend the Workforce Investment Act to establish a technical school training subsidy program. The bill would provide competitive grants to the states to provide funds to local workforce investment boards for technical school training subsidies in local areas through the One-Stop system. Subsidies received by individuals shall be used to assist them in paying the cost of tuition for career and technical education at a technical school.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By admin in Legislation, Public Policy
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Counselor of the Year Creates Opportunity at CTE School

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Last week, the efforts of an ambitious counselor at a career technical education (CTE) high school were recognized nationally. Dr. Randy McPherson, a counselor at Trezevant Career and Technology Center in Memphis, Tennessee, was awarded School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

McPherson plays an extensive role in expanding opportunities for his CTE students, many of whom qualify as at-risk. Upon entering the field over 15 years ago, he researched the Memphis job market and helped eliminate programs that did not lead to high-demand, high-paying, and highly-skilled jobs.

McPherson started a health science program featuring internships, guest speakers, mobile labs, and field trips to hospitals for students hoping to enter health-related fields. He also spearheaded efforts to create a Cisco Network Academy at the school, offering students the opportunity to increase computer networking skills and to earn college credits online. His numerous contributions helped Trezevant to be recognized as one of the nation’s 10 Model Alternative programs.

McPherson himself provides an exemplary model as a school counselor. By greatly increasing the quality of programs available at Trezevant, he creates vast opportunities for his CTE students to succeed.

By admin in News
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NASDCTEc Fall Meeting: OVAE Holds Perkins Listening Session

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The concluding session at last week’s Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland was a listening session on Perkins reauthorization, moderated by Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, Brenda Dann-Messier, and Sharon Miller, the director of the Division of Academic and Technical Education. Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier told the attendees that this listening session was going to be the start of a national conversation about Perkins reauthorization. She and her staff plan to host a series of listening sessions that will conclude at NASDCTEc’s Spring meeting in April 2011. She also said OVAE is soliciting feedback and comments from the public about Perkins reauthorization at [email protected].

The session was structured around four topic areas: Programs of Study, secondary to postsecondary transitions, performance measures, and whether there should be more specific or common measures and definitions, including regulations.

Programs of Study

o   Need to better engage postsecondary, but Perkins does not mandate secondary and postsecondary collaboration

o   Need a clear definition of POS

o   Not all community colleges offer all POS, so it can be limiting for students

o   It is also limiting for students that many four-year colleges do not accept credit from two-year institutions

Secondary to Postsecondary Transitions

o   Two-year schools are struggling to get four-year schools to accept credit

o   Not all states have statewide articulation agreements

o   As more and mores students flood into community colleges, there is less of a priority in serving high school students through articulation agreements and dual enrollment

Performance Measures

o   Academic attainment at secondary level – because students are often tested before 11th grade (when most students begin CTE), it is tough to the impact of CTE on academic attainment

o   Certificate completion at postsecondary level – the results go to the students, and it is hard for states to track this information

o   Technical skill attainment at secondary level – this is tough to measure, and is not always appropriate at the secondary level

o   Placement at the secondary level – tough to track because of FERPA restrictions on collecting data

Common measures/definitions and regulations

By admin in Legislation, Meetings and Events
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Legislative Update: Education Jobs Fund, FY11 Appropriations, School Counselors Bill

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Education Jobs Bill Uncertain in the Senate

While the House voted last week to pass the Education Jobs Fund, it remains unclear what will happen in the Senate. Last Friday, a group of 13 Democratic Senators, led by Sen. Evan Bayh (IN), sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (HI) opposing the $800 million education offsets in the House bill, while expressing support for the education jobs fund.

FY11 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Markup

House Appropriation subcommittees have begun hearings to markup FY11 appropriations bills, with six bills already marked up. We have heard that the House Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee will markup their FY11 bill next week, possibly on Friday, July 16th. Now that the House passed the Budget Enforcement Resolution, the full House Appropriations Committee can formally make its 302(b) allocations, which set the amounts that each subcommittee has to work with as they set spending limits for programs they have jurisdiction over.

Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act

Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA) recently introduced H.R. 5671 the Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act. This bill seeks to create a demonstration project in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would fund additional secondary school counselors in troubled Title I schools in an effort to reduce the dropout rate. While the bill does not specify CTE, it does allow for counseling services such as individual graduation plans, something NASDCTEc supports in our ESEA recommendations.

By admin in Legislation
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Institute Report Out: Adams County Education Consortium Provides Students with Multiple Career-Planning Opportunities

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Institute Report Out: Individual Career and Academic Plans: Multiple Years of Exploration under the Cluster Umbrella
Presented by Sandra Steiner, Executive Director, Adams County Education Consortium

Designing relevance in academic instruction and providing students with age- and experience- appropriate access to employers ensures better post-secondary and workforce readiness. This presentation focused on proven middle and high school programs of the Adams County Education Consortium that enhance career development of all students and engage area employers.

Programs highlighted included:

Adams County Commissioners’ Career Expo

The Adams County Commissioners’ Career Expo is a unique, one-of-a-kind career fair designed to get 8th grade youth thinking about their future education and career goals. This annual event is particularly remarkable since it is designed to accommodate the total county 8th grade population and introduce them to professionals in their selected industry choices. Guidelines for preparing a student Career Expo

Backpacks to Briefcases

Backpacks to Briefcases is a free sit down dinner and training session for Adams County high school graduating seniors. The first annual event took place February 10, 2010 and included 140 seniors and 42 professional table host/sponsors. This event was designed to help students make the transition from the high school classroom to the world work and/or higher education by providing information on how to best handle themselves in business/professional settings. More

Experience 9 to 5

This is a multi industry career exploration program that is offered over several dates in the fall. The multiple night programs will allow students the chance to dig deeper into an industry of choice.  Students will get hands-on opportunities to “try out” the job and learn more about what is required to be successful. More

By admin in Career Clusters®
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Institute Report Out: North Carolina Career Clusters Guide

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The North Carolina Career Clusters Guide was shared by:
Felicia Gray-Watson , Section Chief, CTE Support Services, lead speaker
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Community College System collaboratively developed a career clusters resource for counselors to implement career clusters. Using the North Carolina Career Clusters Guide, counselors are able to assist students identify career options, educational goals, and make plans for success. This helpful guide includes “Discover Your Career Personality,” an interest inventory designed to provide focus and direction for future planning. (Note: the guide is a very large file, and will need additional time to download)

By admin in Career Clusters®
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Institute Report Out: Listening Session with OVAE

Monday, June 21st, 2010

At last week’s Career Clusters Institute representatives from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education held a listening session to hear from stakeholders about the upcoming Perkins reauthorization, scheduled for 2012. The session was centered around three topics: programs of study, Tech Prep and the legislation generally.

Programs of Study

When asked how reauthorized legislation could better connect secondary and postsecondary levels, attendees responded in a variety of ways:

Tech Prep

In his budget the President proposed consolidating Tech Prep and the Basic State Grant, and reaction from the attendees was mixed:

Perkins Legislation

Finally, OVAE asked what the new Perkins should look like and attendees brought up several areas of focus:

By admin in Legislation
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