As a faculty counselor within the Livingston Union College District, I’ve seen firsthand the very important function that faculty counseling positions play in supporting educational achievement, social-emotional growth, school and profession readiness, and psychological well being and wellness in our college students. My Superintendent, Andres Zamora, has been a frontrunner in increasing and supporting faculty counseling positions, recognizing the constructive influence they’ve on our college group.
Between 2006 – 2015, I used to be considered one of solely two faculty counselors serving our 2,500 scholar physique, 4 colleges in Livingston. I used to be a steerage counselor greater than a faculty counselor. The truth is, I known as myself an “ASCA wanna-be” faculty counselor offering every faculty web site with no matter counseling service they wanted most throughout my restricted time at every web site as a substitute of complete providers.
In 2015, the native management and accountability plan (LCAP) was launched in California and we had a possibility to do issues in another way. My superintendent, Andres Zamora, invited me to a dialog that modified faculty counseling in Livingston. I spoke concerning the function of college counselors in each constructing as educational advisors, social emotional builders and school and profession explorers. I spoke about how faculty counselors may present college students and households with entry to data, alternatives, and sources.
My superintendent understood the worth of college counselors in training, agreed with out hesitancy and the remaining is historical past. We employed 4 further counselors guaranteeing each faculty had at the very least one counselor and the center faculty with two. This important change stemmed from an intentional and inclusive dialog between practitioner and a Superintendent who believes that each one college students, no matter their particular person circumstances, deserve equitable entry to training, data, alternatives and sources.
In 2018, my center faculty earned nationwide recognition for offering all college students within the constructing with a complete, data-driven faculty counseling program. The following 12 months, two further colleges in my District achieved nationwide recognition and the final faculty in our District achieved nationwide recognition. We’re the one California faculty district to have all nationally acknowledged colleges!
As a faculty counselor, listed here are just a few key suggestions I like to recommend for advocating for college counseling positions:
- Educate others about the advantages of college counseling positions: Share analysis and information concerning the constructive influence that faculty counseling positions have on scholar educational achievement, social-emotional growth, school and profession readiness, and psychological well being and wellness. I’ve completed this repeatedly at school bulletins, caregiver newsletters, faculty counseling advisories and college board displays.
- Share success tales: Share particular examples of how faculty counseling positions have made a distinction within the lives of particular person college students or the varsity group as an entire. I’ve completed this repeatedly by workers shout outs and, principally just lately, created an LUSD Scholar Success story that’s shared with workers and group.
- Advocate for the ASCA nationwide mannequin and really useful ratio: Use the ASCA nationwide mannequin and really useful ratio as a information for advocating for enough staffing ranges and help for college counseling positions. Use information to share how faculty counseling packages influence the lives of scholars.
By rising the variety of faculty counselors in colleges, we will higher help the success and well-being of all college students. Counseling provides college students the chance to work by challenges they might be going through and construct the abilities and confidence they want to achieve the classroom. In a time the place psychological well being challenges have gotten extra prevalent, the help of college counselors is extra vital than ever.
The American College Counselor Affiliation (ASCA) has developed a nationwide mannequin for college counseling packages that gives a framework for a way these positions can help scholar success. The ASCA additionally recommends a ratio of 1 faculty counselor for each 250 college students, to make sure that college students have entry to the help they want.
Division of Training Bio
Alma Lopez, 2022 College Counselor of the Yr, Lead Counselor, Livingston Center College (California)
The primary Latina College Counselor of the Yr, Lopez has served as a faculty counselor for 15 years. She is lead faculty counselor at Livingston Center College, in addition to Livingston Unified College District’s faculty counseling coordinator. A graduate of California State College – Fresno, Lopez embodies the total spirit of college counseling. She serves as a Acknowledged ASCA Mannequin Program (RAMP) reviewer and is a board member for the California Affiliation of College Counselors. In 2018, Lopez acquired the town of Livingston’s “You Make Us Proud Award” and likewise helped her faculty obtain RAMP standing the identical 12 months. Colleagues confer with her as a constructive, humble, and powerful advocate for college counselor packages who retains the scholars with essentially the most wants prime of thoughts, guaranteeing they’ve entry to the sources to help their success.