Ohio School
Counselor Association

                                                                                                                                  

     . . . empowers, unites and supports professional school counselors in their role of promoting student success.

News Blog

The Ohio School Counselor Association strives to keep its members up to date on the happenings of the association and the profession.  This section highlights news, announcements and programs that may be of interest to school counselors.  If you like what you are reading or have additional information to share, be sure to comment on the post for others to read.  Check back often to see what is new in the association.
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  • 08 Jul 2014 11:55 AM | Anonymous

    The Board of Regents on Monday approved its annual condition report that recommends ways to connect K-12 to higher education to careers. The board voted unanimously to finalize the report barring a handful of edits and additions members sought. Because the final report requires additional work, it is not yet ready for release.

    Assistant Deputy Chancellor of External Relations Charles See said the "Pre-K to Jobs: Higher Education's Role in Developing Students for Careers" report from the board contains information on how institutions advise students to "bridge" education and career, such as through student advising and use of co-ops and internships.

    It also discusses how institutions develop and maintain infrastructure and processes support in curriculum revisions, related to the economy and careers. And the report delves into education preparation programs to help teachers in the K-12 setting prepare students for higher education and the workforce, he said. "I think the Board of Regents did a good job in analyzing issues regarding workforce and higher education - it's such a huge topic," BOR Chancellor John Carey said in an interview. "The challenge is to present it in a concise way and cover everything that needs to be covered, and I think they did a good job of doing that. There's just a lot of challenges for state government to participate as well as higher education and even for the business community to communicate more with our education institutions."

    Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), an ex-officio member, said during the discussion she was concerned about the lack of information on K-12 efforts given the state has put an emphasis on connecting the two systems. "It's certainly a very important topic...to the legislature, the governor and obviously the Regents," she said. "My only concern is that we make sure it's an aligned process."

    Under the PreK-12 teacher preparation category, the report recommends collaboration between prep programs and K-12 schools to align the needs of learners with the requirements on schools in Ohio, BOR Associate Vice Chancellor of P-16 Initiatives Rebecca Watts said. It also recommends the chancellor enhance program standards for the various licensure preparation programs to include delivery of content, access to information resources, instruction in careers, education-to-career pathways and business and industry engagement strategies.

    Working with the superintendent of public instruction, the report calls for the chancellor to collaborate to hold a career counselor conference for teachers, faculty, staff and leaders. "In our schools we know that we have counselors. How they are deployed is often as a testing coordinator...and so one of the things that's important in a leadership preparation - so the principal and the superintendent programs - is to talk about how do you deploy the resources that are available to you and we're not just always talking about money," Ms. Watts said. "If in fact you have a counselor in your building but you're actually not using them to the highest, best use for which they were trained, instead you're having them count test packets or you're having them coordinate scheduling, or you're having them do some other things that really are not the most effective use of their time, so we think that's an important thing in the preparation of principals and superintendents is that they have the skills and knowledge they need to most effectively use that expertise that's in their buildings."

    The document additionally recommends the chancellor and superintendent of public instruction continually review education standards, school operating standards - both of which are under the purview of the State Board of Education - and educator preparation program standards - which fall under the chancellor's authority - among other things. "To make sure that we are aligning those requirements so that what's required for schools and teachers in the field are also embedded in our preparation program standards and the reverse so that we make sure as we're bringing new requirements and new standards...into what's out there for the existing practitioners," Ms. Watts said.

    Regent Patricia Ackerman said she was disappointed the report does not touch on the history of career education in K-12. "We once had a network of career educators who were employed by school districts for the express purpose of doing many of the things this report talks about being done at that level," she said via videoconference. Ms. Watts said that topic reached beyond the state of education preparation and goes more into the K-12 side, which is why it is not contained in the report. Regent Elizabeth Kessler, who led the subcommittee that created the report, and Mr. See agreed the history element could be added to the report as one of the final edits before publishing the document.

    Other areas where tweaks will be made to the report include a suggestion from Regent Timothy Burke, who called for clarity on what recommendations apply to public institutions and which apply to privates as well, such as the teacher preparation suggestions. Ms. Kessler agreed to the addition of some clarifying language. At the recommendation of Chairman Vinny Gupta, the report will include some conclusion sentences on next steps or implementation strategy. It will also recommend that although students can be taught to use social media to find jobs, they should also be informed what not to do through those outlets that could harm their chances of employment. Other Recommendations: Assistant Deputy Chancellor of Economic Advancement John Magill touched on recommendations in the Co-Op/Internship section. He said the report suggests diversifying the student populations participating in internships because minorities and women are underrepresented, which could be because of the disciplines in which internships are often offered. Engineering is a popular subject where internships are offered, but institutions should expand the majors and degrees that have internships programming, Mr. Magill said.

    Cheryl Hay, deputy chancellor for Higher Education Workforce Alignment, said the Skills Gap section has three recommendations. They are: envisioning strategies to build ongoing, systematic mechanisms to "infuse" curriculum with industry-identified skills and knowledge needs; exploring the National Network of Sector Partners' work to inform efforts to create a workforce delivery plan for institutions; discussing expansion of institutional support and leadership roles to back state economic development and workforce joint goals.

    The report also delves into recommendations for position career services as a "strategic advantage." Among the nine proposals is to explore the possibility of an academic requirement for student engagement with career services, studying the feasibility of adding a performance metric to the performance funding formula for student engagement, expand the collection of and reporting of employment data.

    - See more at: http://www.gongwer-oh.com/programming/news.cfm?article_id=831200202#sthash.FGP17eEV.HcI5tmmM.dpuf

  • 22 Jun 2014 12:19 PM | Anonymous
    House Bill 487 is the education portion on the Governor’s Mid-Biennial Review proposal.  The House and Senate passed different version of the legislation, so the legislation was sent to a conference committee to work out the differences.  The following legislators served as members of the conference committee:  Senators Peggy Lehner (R – Kettering), Randy Gardner (R – Bowling Green), and Tom Sawyer (D – Akron) along with Representatives Gerald Stebelton (R – Lancaster), Andy Brenner (R – Powell) and Teresa Fedor (D – Toledo).  The conference committee met once on the evening on June 3, 2014 to accept a compromise version. The next day, the full House accepted the conference report by a vote of 62-30 and the Senate accepted the report 23-9.  Those objecting to the bill called is a “mixed bag” with some good and some bad. A few of the changes are highlighted below and a summary of changes from the Ohio Department of Education is attached.  During the House Education Committee’s consideration of the bill, OSCA was able to get an amendment added to require that at least one member of the newly created college credit plus advisory committee be a school counselor.  The legislation also requires State Boards of Education to develop a model policy on “career advising” and each district will be required to adopt a policy of career advising. 
    • The State Board of Education had recommended 10 end of course exams. HB 487 instead requires 7.  All students would have to pass tests in algebra, geometry and two levels of English.  Students could also either pass tests in science, American history and American government, or pass substitute exams such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate.
    • Alternately, students could meet the "remediation-free" benchmark on a college admissions test like the ACT or SAT, or earn a recognized industry credential and score well on a job skills assessment.  With the use of the college admissions exams as a possible way to qualify for graduation, the final version of HB487 also calls for the state to pay for all 11th grade students to take the tests.
    • HB 487 will also allow high schools and universities to negotiate per-credit hour prices for the College Credit Plus Program below the $40 minimum recommended by the Board of Regents, but only if the chancellor approves such deals. The amendments also set limits on how much private universities can charge students.
    • Conference Committee changes also give the chancellor rule-making authority over the College Credit Plus program, rather than the State Board of Education.
    • HB 487 also contains a “safe harbor” provision that will delay for one year certain consequences from teacher evaluations and school report cards, based on the new assessments being administered in 20142015.  This includes the assigning of overall letter grades for schools and districts.
  • 06 Jun 2014 11:06 PM | Anonymous
    Do you know a recent graduate that is looking for a unique opportunity to give back to their community(alum of college access program, alums of your local high school, etc.)? If so, please forward them this message today!


    The AmeriCorps Ohio College Guides currently has 70 positions available at 10 college access program sponsor sites including Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, College Now Greater Cleveland, Connect to Success at Washington State Community College, Greene County College Success Partnership, I Know I Can, Mahoning Valley College Access Program, Ninde Scholars at Oberlin, PACE Dayton, Scholarship Central in Zanesville and Stark Education Partnership.

    The AmeriCorps Ohio College Guides is a near-peer initiative that places fresh college grads into schools and resource centers across the state to deliver programs and counseling on college and career exploration and financial education to 6th through 12th graders; provide support to 11th and 12th graders on strategic and tactile postsecondary access and financial planning; and facilitate successful postsecondary transitions, persistence and ongoing financial education with high school graduates. 

    In return for providing 1,700 hours of service over 11 months beginning in August 2014, AmeriCorps Ohio College Guide members will receive:

    • compensation that includes up to a $12,100 living allowance, health insurance, and a $5,645 Education Award that can be used to repay qualified students loans or for future education expenses. (Also, federal student loans may be deferred for the duration of the 11-month term of service.)
    • ample training, professional development and networking opportunities and a support and advising system for AmeriCorps Members avenues of interest – graduate school, teacher licensure program, career building – for “Life After the Corps.”
    • an overall great entry-level career experience, and
    • an opportunity to make a difference and help Ohioans reach their higher education dreams.

    Interested candidates can apply through the AmeriCorps website.

    • Step 1:  Creating an application here:  https://my.americorps.gov/mp/login.do (select “Apply to Serve” to begin the application)
    • Step 2:  Search for the College Guides Listing and Apply:
      • Go to www.americorps.gov
      • Click on “Join AmeriCorps” found on the left-hand side of the home page.
      • Click on the "Advanced Search Opportunity" within the "Join AmeriCorps" box located on the right-hand side of the page.
      • Select “State/National” for program type.
      • Select "Ohio" for the state within the quick search function.
      • Type in "Ohio College Guides" for program name
      • Click on search.
      • The position descriptions will come up from each host site around the state.  Click on the program name to view more information.
      • Once you do this, you will see an "Apply Now" link at the bottom of the page.  Click on that and follow the prompts from there.

    If you have questions about the program or the available positions, please contact Bridget McFadden at (216) 635-0447 or bmcfadden@collegenowgc.org.

  • 15 May 2014 5:32 PM | Anonymous
    A new milestone in education was touted last week: 80 percent of students nationwide graduate high school. But that still means 1 in every 5 students does not get a high school diploma. WVIZ PBS brings you the story of Tyree Stewart, a drop out who is now working on a college degree. And we'll learn what safety nets are in place for students who may be at risk of dropping out or getting expelled. Featuring Akron Public Schools School Counselor, Judy Maver.
    http://www.ideastream.org/soi/entry/61835
  • 26 Mar 2014 3:28 PM | Anonymous
    OSCA Member, Diana Arie, school counselor at Fredericktown Elementary School in Columbus, OH, recently published a feature article in the March/April 2014 ASCA School Counselor Magazine. The article, entitled "School Counseling Pinspiration: Discovering How to Grow Your School Counseling Program with Pinterest" highlights all the ways school counselors can use Pinterest to find and share ideas and resources. Congratulations to Diana for representing Ohio school counselors!
  • 24 Mar 2014 3:09 PM | Anonymous
    Several members of the Ohio School Counselor Association from the Cincinnati area were recently highlighted in an article posted on the USA Today website entitled, "As Need for School Counselors Grows, Numbers Decrease". The article discusses the growing need for school counselor services in an educational environment where school counselors are declining and dealing with ever growing caseloads. Click here to read the article. OSCA congratulates those school counselors featured for their advocacy to the profession.
  • 12 Mar 2014 9:30 PM | Anonymous
    A joint House/Senate conference committee on the calamity days bill, HB416 (Burkley-Hill), Tuesday unanimously approved a report which grants an additional four days once the four contingency days are made up on top of the five "free" days already in law. The four additional days also do not need to be made up. This effectively helps schools that have taken 10 or more calamity days this winter. The final version, however, includes no requirement for teachers to participate in "in service training programs" during any of the additional days off. Among the other changes included in the conference report are the following:
    • Permits schools to make up the missed days in half-hour increments. Conference Committee member Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) explained that this was added so that districts that had already added time to their school days before this bill passed could count that toward "compliance with the minimum school year requirement ...."
    • Waives compliance with the minimum school year requirement for schools operated by a county board of developmental disabilities.
    • Includes the Senate passed provision allowing school districts to update their calamity day contingency plans for the current school year at any time and "to include in their plans online lessons or paper lesson 'blizzard bags' as a means to make up time the school was closed ...."
    • Includes the Senate-passed provision excusing graduating seniors from having to return after graduation to make up days.
  • 10 Mar 2014 2:43 PM | Anonymous
    In a recent email to superintendents, Superintendent Dr. Richard Ross announced that the Ohio Department of Education will not require that the PSAT be given in October 2014 to all sophomores as originally announced earlier in the year.

    Currently House Bill 193 is pending in the Ohio legislature. This legislation may affect Ohio graduation and testing requirements. As a result, the department has chosen to postpone the PSAT to avoid any potential graduation or testing conflicts. When there is a clear picture of what graduation and testing requirements will be, ODE will share that with schools.
  • 08 Mar 2014 1:31 PM | Anonymous
    Sara Williams, OSCA President, was recently interviewed by the Columbus Dispatch for an article entitled, "Many Bail on No. 1 College Due to Expense". The article ran on March 7, 2014 and was focused on a recent study that found many students who are excepted by their top choice college do not follow through because of cost. Click here to read the article.
  • 27 Aug 2013 6:26 PM | Anonymous
    Several OSCA Board members have been highlighted in the news media during the past month and OSCA would like to share links to the stories.

    Linking Education, Jobs Encouraged: Ohio House Committee Takes Local Testimony at Penta
    This article is a sumamry of a recent hearing of the Ohio House Higher Education Study Committee that was held at Penta Career Center. OSCA Treasurer, Shawn Grime, provided testimony highlighting the role of school counselors in helping students transition to higher education. Recommendations in the testimony included mandating K-12 school counseling services with ratios and directing the Ohio Department of Education to develop school counseling program standards.

    Pickerington Teacher Wins $2000 to Create Outdoor Classroom
    Kris Owen, a past-president of OSCA, was awarded a $2000 grant for an innovative teaching program from ING Unsung Heroes Awards Program.

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