Counselors develop professionally, experience ISU

March 10 2008

TERRE HAUTE -- Even though Dennis Barrett challenged Marci Davis for a second time, he still couldn’t defeat her reaction times.

“I think I found my new calling,” Davis, a counselor at Greenwood High School, said with a laugh after beating Barrett, a counselor at Austin High School, in a drag racing start simulation. “I just might have to come back and minor in motorsports.”

“I still couldn’t beat her,” Barrett said with a shake of his head.

Davis and Barrett were two of about 55 counselors from Indiana and Illinois schools that came to Indiana State University on Tuesday (March 4) for Counselor Day on Campus.

The day, sponsored by the College of Education and the Office of Admissions, provided additional professional development for counselors as well as showcased what Indiana State has to offer.

“The better portion of the day is professional development for the counselors,” said Rebecca Libler, associate dean of the College of Education. “There are practical classes for people out in the field and research from faculty and doctoral students.”

Peggy Hines, director of the National Center for Transforming School Counseling at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C., spoke to the counselors about changes in counseling and the counselor’s role in ensuring college and career success for every student.

Counselors need to be involved in school reform efforts, Hines said.

“You have knowledge that few others in the building have,” she said. “You know who the effective and ineffective teachers are.”

That is combined with changes in the American School Counselor Association ethical standards, Hines said.

“It’s changed in a way that really raised the bar for us,” she said. “The focus is now on making sure counselors pay attention to and are advocates for those who are underserved.”

Counselors also attended sessions to learn more about graduation requirements and new legislation, as well as changes to the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress • Plus (ISTEP+) and Graduation Qualifying Exam tests. They also attended sessions that discussed parent engagement and recognizing students with oppositional disorder or conduct disorder.

“The sessions have been extremely well received,” Libler said. “People have been very engaged, especially in the state Legislature and updates sessions.”

Monica Tener-Smith, an elementary school counselor with the Vigo County School Corp., said it was good to exchange ideas in the disorder session.

“I can take those and use them so I don’t reinvent the wheel,” she said.

Also, she said, she can take information back to elementary students about high school and college.

“We need something to hook them, to keep them going and thinking I can graduate, I can do that,” she said.

Nancy Block, a counselor at Western Boone Junior/Senior High School in Thorntown, said it was good to meet with other counselors and obtain professional development. But she also saw a benefit for Indiana State, where she earned her master’s degree.

“Indiana State is being exposed to school counselors, who are getting students ready for college,” she said.

It was part of that exposure that sent counselors to the financial trading lab, visualization room and the motorsports experience. After listening to Randy Peters, motorsports coordinator, counselors received a bit of hands-on experience • and faced off against each other to see who had the best starting-line reaction times.

While Barrett said he attended the day-long conference to find out the latest information of what is happening in counseling, he also described the motorsports experience as exciting.

“It brought back my youth,” he said.

Davis, who had the fastest reaction time, plans to share her experience with her high school’s students.

“I like to see what new things are going on at the university,” Davis said, “so I can take it back to my students.”

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Contact: Rebecca Libler, Indiana State University, College of Education associate dean, at 812-237-2899 or rlibler@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or jsicking@isugw.indstate.edu

Photo: http://ISUphoto.smugmug.com/photos/261973718_C7gCo-D.jpg

Cutline: Peggy Hines, director of the National Center for Transforming School Counseling at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C., spoke to the counselors about changes in counseling and the counselor’s role in ensuring college and career success for every student. ISU/Photo by Tony Campbell

Photo: http://ISUphoto.smugmug.com/photos/262268821_fzApj-D.jpg

Cutline: Dennis Barrett, a counselor at Austin High School, watches while Jenna Lydick, of Terra Haute and an ISU graduate student in the educational and school psychology program, competes against Marci Davis, a counselor at Greenwood High School, to see who had the best starting-line reaction times. ISU/Photo by Marjorie Loomis

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Story Highlights

Counselor Day, sponsored by the College of Education and the Office of Admissions, provided additional professional development for counselors as well as showcased what Indiana State has to offer.

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