A Message From Your Executive Director…
Many thanks and upcoming changes!
WSCA had an amazing year thanks to our members and countless volunteers. Our Coordinator team has worked tirelessly to provide our members with professional development, newsletters, professional recognition, advocacy and school counselor representation at the state level.
While we continue to provide our members with benefits that have become familiar with over many years, WSCA is also expanding our partnerships, advocacy and professional development. Your feedback and input is invaluable to ensuring we meet the needs of our membership!
As we think about meeting member needs, WSCA has several technology upgrades in process. Over the course of the next six months you will notice a number of changes in how we communicate and share information. WSCA is re-templating our newsletter and email communications; we hope you like the new format! We are also really excited to share that the WSCA website is being rebuilt! Our new site will be mobile friendly, visually appealing and easier to navigate.
Also changing is the staff at the WSCA administrative offices. WSCA has hired Svinicki Association Management, Inc (SAMI) to provide our day to day support of members. Yes, this means WSCA will have yet another new address, however, we will have the same email address and phone number. WSCA is thrilled to welcome SAMI to the WSCA team. Look for more information about SAMI in our next newsletter.
We hope you will join us on Tuesday July 25th at the 11th Annual Summer Academy in Stevens Point to meet our new staff. All the WSCA Board and Coordinator team also attends Summer Academy so this is your opportunity to network and share your experiences as a counselor. By attending Summer Academy, you can either begin the ASCA model implementation process or take a crash course in ACP implementation.
The WSCA team is looking forward to having you join us at Summer Academy in Stevens Point! As always, please feel free to reach out to the WSCA team if you need further information or have questions.
Assistant Board Chair Message:
With this entrance into July, I am feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. It has felt good to reflect on the past and look forward to the 2017-2018 school year. While I state that I am looking forward to the 2017-2018 school year, I am still basking in the energy of the present moment and having free time to value those things outside of work that I appreciate greatly.
With that entry into July, we are beginning another year with new WSCA Board members as well as approaching the time for our 11th Annual Leadership Academy. We are excited to begin our work with three new WSCA Board Members; Alissa Darin from Kettle Moraine High School, Laura Multer from Kohler School District, and Amy Kraemer from Westside Elementary in River Falls. Each of them were able to attend our April Board Meeting as observers to learn a little more about the WSCA Board before fully engaging as a Board Member. With the guidance and support of Steve Schneider, Policy Governance Advisor to our Board of Directors, our new board members along with present board members gained a greater perspective and understanding of Policy Governance; a governing model designed to empower boards of directors to fulfill their obligation of accountability for the organization they govern.
Olin Morrison from River Falls Middle School will be returning for another term with the WSCA Board. He will also be continuing his role as our Board Chair. We are excited to have him with us for another three years as well as leading our WSCA Board. And I, Angela Goebel, will be continuing my role in supporting him as the Assistant Board Chair. There are four other members who round out our nine-member WSCA Governing Board. They include Wanda Felton, Tammy Holton-Arnal, Tricia Norby, and Adriana Plach. A list of the 9 members of the Board of Directors is listed a little further down this page. I look forward to engaging with each of the board members as we continue to work with our Executive Director, Stacy Eslick, to make WSCA an organization for which you can be a proud member.
Our first official gathering with our new board members will be July 24th, the day before our Leadership Academy. We will be reviewing our ‘Ends Policies’ and considering how we can continue to meet your membership needs. The 11th Annual Leadership Academy will be in Stevens Point, WI July 25th. Please join us. Our focus at the Leadership Academy will be ASCA National Model Implementation and Academic and Career Planning. We look forward to spending the day with you and working to improve our WSCA!
This Month’s Feature
Career and the Elementary School Counselor: Building the Blocks for Future Career Exploration
By Dr. Helena Stevens, UW-River Falls
Career exploration at the elementary school level can provide the foundation and building blocks for future career development in children and adolescents. The ASCA Student Mindsets identify those career development efforts should provide,“Standards guiding school counseling programs to help students:
1) understand the connection between school and the world of work and
2) plan for and make a successful transition from school to postsecondary education and/or the world of work and from job to job across the life span.”
Early exposure aids in fostering lifelong learning. Starting the discussion of careers and pathways early aids students in making important connections between choices for academic success and future career endeavors (Knight, 2015). At the elementary level students can begin to explore the array of professions and jobs available and the motivations behind individual’s decisions to pursue those professions.
School counselors who provide classroom guidance, group counseling, and school wide career exploration programs, start the culture of career readiness at the elementary level. Developmentally, elementary aged students are in stages of developing a sense of identity, attitudes, and interests. There is a greater need to assistance from school counselors to aid them in a positive development of their self-concept, as related to those areas. School counseling programs for career development should provide experiences and lessons that help students develop a self-concept that comes from teaching the importance of autonomy and control for career planning, social and academic decision-making, and understanding the timing of career choices.
Program efforts for career education and exploration need to be developmentally focused for the elementary age range: 5 to 12 years old.
During this period of life, children are developing a sense of industry and acquiring new skill sets every day. Career exploration should reinforce the students’ competencies and skill sets and help them identify how strengths in math, science, language arts, and social sciences are used in future careers. Cognitively students are able to think concretely (not abstractly) and begin to understand more about their thoughts and feelings and how they may be different from others. Career guidance should help build the self-concept students have and help them understand how personal feelings, opinions, and emotions can influence a chosen career path (i.e. parental influence, media influence, personal experiences in professional offices).
Lastly, children will begin to understand that there are multiple pathways in life, outside of what authorities tell them to do. Career programs should help students understand the importance of the effects that early academic and social choices have on future career endeavors, as well as positive pathways to follow for future success.
Recognizing cultural influences is an important component of career exploration. Programs and guidance lessons should provide opportunities to reflect on the influence that students’ family systems, religion, gender expectations, and cultural customs have on potential career choices. Students should be affirmed for their individual cultural aspects and still be provided with the necessary information and knowledge related to career choices, career paths, and post-secondary options.
Here are ideas for the school counselor to implement program efforts for career exploration and awareness:
1. School Wide:
A: Career day where professionals and/or college career counselors come to the school and talk about their professions and the path taken to get to their current position.
B. Provide posters and images throughout the school that portray different jobs and reflect a diverse makeup of genders, races, and ethnicities.
C. A school-wide campaign that promotes the culture that all students are capable of post-secondary success.
D. Guest speakers from middle school, high school, and college that talk about the pathways and important decisions to make in school that affect future college and career pathways.
2. Group Guidance:
A. Lessons and activities that provide students with opportunities to do personality inventories and increase emotional awareness to understand which careers they may match with in the future.
B. Books, movie, and media references to provide stories and examples of careers and career pathways.
C. Career family trees help students to look into the history of their family and careers had by their family to identify any influences for future career choices.
D. Self-directed learning (for older grades) in which students research a career and present to their class on the career and what it required to reach that career.
E. Career charade games where students act out aspects of a career and students identify the game based on the acting.
3. Parent Resources:
A. Newsletters that provide information about programs being offered in the schools for career development.
B. Strategies and conversation starters that parents can use to talk about careers and career pathways with their children.
Here are some resources for career education in the elementary school:
Career Exploration: A workbook about careers grades 1-3. Edward A. Smith
Exploring Bright Outlook Careers: Activity book grades 4-6. Edward A. Smith
Spotlight on School Counselors
Hello WSCA members. My name is Rachel Pufall. I am the newest Government Relations Co-Coordinator.
I have been the 4K-8 School Counselor in the Washburn School District for the last 11 years. Washburn is a small, rural district that rests on the Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior. We are transitioning to a 4K-6 and 7-12 building for the 2017-2018 school year. Next fall I will be the 4K-6 School Counselor. I’m sad to say goodbye to our 7th and 8th graders, middle school students are my favorite to work with, but super excited to see what I can accomplish with 90 fewer students on my caseload.
Get to Know Us
Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director
I am honored and humbled to serve as the Executive Director of WSCA. It is exciting to have all of my time and energy dedicated to WSCA starting July 1st . To be quite honest, moving to WSCA full time is bitter sweet. I LOVE school counseling and working in schools with students and staff. Not being in a building to do the day to day work of school counseling will be a new experience. I will lean on you as our members to help me know and understand the issues that counselors are facing in the field.
Now that I only have one job, I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family. My oldest daughter is heading off to UW Stout in the fall to study Industrial Design and we continue to learn the challenges of supporting a child through the career and post-secondary education process! My two youngest daughters will be going into 5th and 8th grade in the fall. My husband and I will be celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary in a few months and enjoy gardening and traveling. Adding to the mix of our family are two adorable, naughty miniature dachshunds, Prince and Bailey.
I have shared before that I have always lived in Wisconsin and can’t imagine living anywhere else. It is fun to travel and experience new cultures, however, Wisconsin is home.