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  • Join Now!

    If you haven’t already joined the largest group of professional school counselors in South Carolina, isn’t it time you did?

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  • Save the Date!

    PSSCA 31st Annual Conference: January 22- January 24
    Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach – Oceanfront Resort
    9800 Queensway Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

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  • Coming Soon!

    Call for Presentation Proposals. Be thinking about a special program that you want to share with others and check back in July for the submittal process.

  • Professional Recognition

    School Counselor and Superintendent of the Year awarded at the 2014 PSSCA Conference!

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News & Information

  • balance

    Why Balance?

    Here it is – a new school year filled with new faces, new opportunities, new tasks, and new obligations. As educators, it is easy for one to become overwhelmed with the requirements of work and home life. Planning and commitment are essential to create balance among these requirements. There are several things to take in to account as you are planning. Remember your priorities. Your priorities may or may not change from year to year. Organizing your schedule to create balance among your priorities is essential. Doing so would allow you to focus on the tasks that are to be completed. Start with the most difficult or demanding task first. Once completed, you will have more time to attend to the other items on your list. Create a calendar or schedule and adhere to it. Today calendars are available in many forms. There are calendars on our desks, phones, tablets, or almost any other electronic device. As you create your calendar, be sure to carve out time to unwind. Physical fitness is essential to a balanced life. Think of reserving a few minutes out of your evening for a brisk afternoon or evening walk or run. In order to be the best in our field we must prepare. Our administration, teachers, students, parents, and staff members rely on our talent to assist in every way. Counselors are the heartbeat in the schools. If we are not prepared to handle and mold our students toward success where will they go? Who would they have? What would happen? It is our duty to be organized, committed, healthy and prepared. After all, how can we teach students about balancing their lives if we are not living examples? Falecia Dickson, M.Ed. School Counselor Conder Elementary ...

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    The Data Driven School Counselor

    The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is, and has been, pushing for school counselors to use data when considering counseling services, goals, and objectives. This includes both quantitative and qualitative data. Data helps school counselors direct their efforts in the right direction. In addition, data helps paint a portrait of what services are needed in the schools. Teachers are being held accountable for student achievement, and guess what? So are school counselors. The best and most efficient way for school counselors to show their worth is through actual numbers (data). Data shows stakeholders what we are doing, and the impact that our services have on the students. For the school counselor who dreads numbers, qualitative data is the way to go. For example, observing a classroom is an effective way to collect qualitative data. In this case, just be sure to write your observations so that you can study and revisit the observations when needed. Getting information through a survey is, in my opinion, one of the most effective ways to receive data. Creating a survey in Google Docs is stress-free. Further, a Google Doc survey does the number crunching for you, giving you charts and percentages that you can use. Gathering school related data isn’t enough; we actually have to use it. I am guilty of creating a survey, getting the data, looking at it, and for a lack of better terms, putting it on the shelf to let it collect dust. Collecting data and not using it is futile. The data must be used to drive what we do, because counseling on a hunch is not effective. Will Pickens School Counselor Spring Valley High School PSSCA Midlands Regional Chair ...

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    A Welcome from your President

    Greetings School Counselors of South Carolina! As President of the Palmetto State School Counselor Association, I want to welcome you back to a new school year. This is always a time of great excitement as we begin a new school year with our students, faculty, staff, and parents. We are very excited about our upcoming conference. We have partnered with the National Center for Youth Issues ( to manage our conference and it's shaping up to be the best one yet. The theme is Find Your Oasis: Reflect, Refresh, Recharge. It will again be held in Myrtle Beach, at the Embassy Suites. The dates for the conference are January 22-24, 2015. Please note the slight change in scheduling format. We listened to our membership, and many asked that we go to a Thursday-Saturday schedule, and that we did. Call for proposals will be sent out very soon, and everything will be electronically managed via a conference website. Please contact any of your PSSCA board members with questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding how we can best serve YOU, the school counselors of South Carolina.  Warmest Regards,  Jennifer H. Adams    PSSCA President                                                                                                                                                                           ...

  • ramp pic right

    Are you READY to RAMP?

    So, do you think you are ready to RAMP? In 2009, my colleagues and I at Lake Murray Elementary in Lexington District One decided that we were, and we became one of the first three schools, along with White Knoll Elementary and White Knoll High, in South Carolina, to receive this recognition. Since then, I've continued to serve as an ASCA RAMP reviewer, and received the RAMP designation in 2013 at my current school, Rocky Creek Elementary. I also present throughout the state and most recently in Orlando at the 2014 ASCA Conference.  So I thought I would share some words of wisdom I have learned over the years. Before you dive in, there are some questions you need to consider.   1) First have you developed and implemented a comprehensive school counseling program?  Some may ask you “Are you RAMPing this year?"    But what is critical to understand is that RAMP should not be viewed as a one-year, one-time,  process.  RAMP is a journey for you and your fellow counselors as you implement data driven practices that target and benefit all students. It may take time to get all stakeholders on board, including your own counseling team, and support is critical. If you only have some components of a comprehensive program in place, then you need to work with your team and school community to put these in place first.  Once you have full support and implementation of your program, then you can really begin to start the RAMP process.  If you aren't really sure where you are with your program, complete the ASCA National Model School Counseling Program Assessment to determine strengths and areas that need improvement within your existing program. Does your program successfully answer the question “How are students different because of what school counselors do?” If you can answer this you are ready to RAMP, but really, when you can answer this, then you have fully developed and implemented your program. 2) Have you educated yourself about the RAMP process?  There is a wealth of resources available to you through ASCA.  First and foremost you must own a copy of The ASCA National Model (3rd edition) Have you familiarized yourself with the RAMP rubric? Asca Model. When you decide you are ready to take the RAMP journey, this rubric should be your best friend, I can't say it enough....FOLLOW THE RUBRIC, FOLLOW THE RUBRIC, FOLLOW THE RUBRIC. This includes using the ASCA templates. Go ahead and begin using the templates for your action plans and reports to become familiar with the template formats. There are Articles here, and webinars, here, available to ASCA members, just to name a few of the many resources.  Use school Counselors at other RAMP schools as support. SC now has 22 schools that have received the RAMP designation since 2009. Your PSSCA is also here to support you through the process or to answer any questions as you begin your journey.  3) Do you understand your data?  One of the biggest mistakes I have seen as a RAMP reviewer is in counselors confusing the process, perception, and outcome data.   It is critical that you are able to accurately collect and analyze your data as well as share the results of your counseling activities and interventions.  Regardless of whether or not you are going through the RAMP process, a strong knowledge and accurate use of data serve as tools for advocacy and systemic change in our role as professional school counselors.  4) Are your program goals based on outcome data? Are they based on academic data such as grades, test scores, graduation rates, or enrollment in advanced course work, as well as in attendance or school safety? Are your goals based on a determined need at your school? Are your goals SMART- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound  5) Have you given yourself plenty of time?  This monthly timeline gives you a good overview of the time commitment needed prior to the October 15th deadline. Download the Monthly Checklist. If there are areas that you need to strengthen then take the time to focus on those areas first. The RAMP application process should be the culmination of the implementation of your comprehensive school counseling program.  Once this is in place, you will need AT LEAST one entire academic year to collect the data needed complete the RAMP application requirements. Sure, you could go ahead and go for it, but if you try to rush and complete a RAMP application without being fully prepared, you run the risk of doing so with a great deal of resistance from your own counseling team and other key staff within your building, and collaboration is key. You may succeed and receive the RAMP recognition, but if no one else in your school or community understands the value or significance of your school counseling program, and the impact that it has had on students, then have you really reached the level of achievement that you desire?  For more information about the many benefits of achieving RAMP status, visit their website. Remember, PSSCA is here to support you at every step of the way. Don't hesitate to contact a board member if you desire RAMP support.   Jennifer Adams PSSCA President School Counselor Rocky Creek Elementary, Lexington District One   ...

  • nbcc

    Renewing National Board Certification

    The following blog entry is about what I learned as I renewed my National Boards and passed the first time in 2013. 2013 was the first year that School Counselors could renew their National Board Certification. I was in the group who received National Board Certification the first year it was open. 8 years later, it was time to start the writing all over again. So here are the things I learned: Top 5 things to do before you even start: Don't procrastinate! Renewing is stressful enough. If you have not even reached the 8 year mark in your certification, you can still be planning ahead. Make sure you are continuing your education by taking workshops and then implementing what you learned. Document the workshops and classes you have taken. Really, I mean it! We are getting older now and memory of ALL those professional development workshops and classes are sparse. Have a file devoted to just this. Take pictures, save examples of how you have implemented what you have learned. Even a video here or there is good to have on hand when it is time to start the process. Share with colleagues! Offer to do workshops. Ask for examples of things created by others or examples of student learning due to a colleague using this information you have imparted. It can show how you have impacted learning among your colleagues and other professional groups. If you have won awards or received emails of gratitude, put them or at least a copy of them away in a special file! You will be thankful that you saved them and know exactly where they are. Where to begin?   Start with the some great resources:   National Board Renewal Candidates Page   This is where I started my journey...         Renewal at a Glance   It's brief! Profile of Professional GrowthThis is the book with all the directions!  Print it out, highlight key words.  Make sure to answer all the prompts.  Definitely read it all the way to the end.  There are suggestions on how to how to video and where to put your camera when recording.         National Board Standards for your area   This is obvious why you need it!     NBCrenewal Yahoo Group Discussion BoardI can't tell you how helpful this discussion board is!  You need to experience it for yourself.  Even if you don't think you have questions, some of the discussions are good food for thought.  Here you have fellow colleagues going through the process; as well as, those who have already been through the process and stayed on to help the new ones. In a nutshell, this is what you are required to submit: Component 1 is where you are explaining to the reader what 4 areas you have focused your professional growth in. You will write about 4 different professional growth areas or experiences.  When writing about professional growth experiences, you will write 3 pages of commentary and provide 2 pages of samples for each professional growth experience.     Component 2 is where you show how you have applied one of your PGEs in the classroom. Submit 4 pages of commentary. Submit a 10 minute video that has been created no earlier than September 1 of your eighth year. In Component 3, you will pick a second PGE to highlight. Write 4 pages of commentary. For evidence you may submit a 6 minute video OR 8 pages of sample learner work.   This component does not necessarily have to be with a class. It can highlight your work with colleagues, parents, etc. as long as you can show an impact on student learning indirectly. The video in this component could have been recorded at any time since you achieved certification.       The Reflection is your time to discuss how you have continued your professional growth, the patterns that have emerged and your plans for the future.  It can only be 3 pages.     Here's a little rubric that I used, mainly because I can be OCD at times.  This is not required, but it helped me see that I was meeting all the requirements.         Tracking the Requirements Rubric                       Lights, Camera, Action: Take Two!       I hope this blog entry helped clarify the requirements of National Board Renewal.  For more in depth information explaining the prompts, editing, and electronic distribution, you are welcome to view a power point - Lights, Camera, Action: Take Two! that I created for a workshop I presented in January of this year.   Feel free to ask questions, I will do my best to answer them.  I am also available to do workshops for large groups.      Michelle Privette National Board Renewed 2013   ...

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