Bylaws of the Palmetto State School Counselor Association
Article I. Name and Affiliation
Section 1. Name
The name of this association shall be Palmetto State School Counselor Association.
Section 2. Affiliation
The Palmetto State School Counselor Association (PSSCA) is the chartered state division of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).
Article II. Objectives
A. To foster a closer professional and personal relationship among professional school counselors in order to realize more fully the objectives of school counseling programs through membership and active involvement in the association.
B. To actively participate in and cooperate with the study and improvement of school counseling programs on the local, state, national, and international levels.
C. To promote a greater awareness of the role of school counseling programs in the more effective attainment of the goals of education.
D. To serve as a state association concerned with the needs of professional school counselors in South Carolina including exemplary school counselor preparation, certification, licensure, and continuing educational development.
E. To encourage public interest and support of school counseling programs in the schools of South Carolina.
Article III. Limitations
This educational association shall be nonpartisan, nonprofit, and nonsectarian in its purpose and activities.
Article IV. Membership
Section 1. Types of Membership
There shall be five (5) classes of membership in the Palmetto State School Counselor Association.
A. Professional – Professional membership shall be granted to professional school counselors who hold a Master’s degree or higher in school counseling or the substantial equivalent and are employed as a school counselor, supervisor of school counselors, or counselor educator in a graduate program that prepares school counselors.
Section 2. Severance of Membership
A. A member may lose membership not for cause/for cause which includes conduct that tends to injure the association or to affect adversely its reputation, or that is contrary to or destructive of its objectives according to the Bylaws and Code of Ethics of the association and to the American School Counselor Association.
B. A member shall lose membership for nonpayment of dues.
Article V. Officers
A. Names – The officers of this association shall be president, president-elect, secretary, treasurer, treasurer-elect, immediate past president, and four vice presidents (vice president for elementary, middle, secondary, and postsecondary). These officers, along with the Executive Director, comprise the Executive Committee of the association.
B. Officers shall be members in good standing in the Palmetto State School Counselor Association and hold a professional or retired membership in the American School Counselor Association.
Article VI. Governing Board
Section 1. The Governing Board shall be the agency through which the general administration and executive functions of the association shall be carried out. The president of the association shall be the chairperson of the Governing Board.
Section 2. The Governing Board shall be the officers, Executive Director, appointed committee and regional chairpersons, and liaisons. The parliamentarian, appointed by the president, shall be a non-voting member.
Section 3. All Governing Board members will be employed in or retired from the State of South Carolina as a certified school counselor, supervisor of counselors, or counselor educator in a graduate program that prepares school counselors or must have been employed in one of those areas in South Carolina within the last five years of being elected.
Section 4. The Governing Board shall conduct and manage the business of the association.
Section 5: The Executive Director: The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The director is responsible for the management of the operations of the association unless otherwise specified by these by-laws and by Policies and Procedures. The Executive Director will be an ex-officio member of all committees and will work closely with these committees providing guidance and assistance. The Executive Director shall have voice but will be a nonvoting member. The term of office for the Executive Director shall be two years with an annual review. An application process for the Executive Director position will be outlined in the Policies and Procedures.
Section 6. All previous past Board Chairs will serve as mentors for current board chair positions.
Section 7. For governing board appointments, the President will ensure board members reflect a diverse population to include representatives from all regions of the state. No one PSSCA region, as defined by PSSCA, will hold more than 30% of the board appointed seats.
Article VII. Finances
Section 1. Due’s - The Governing Board shall set the amount of dues subject to approval by the membership.
Section 2. Fiscal Year - The fiscal year shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30 of the following year.
Section 3. Budget - The Governing Board shall approve an annual budget.
Section 4. Expenditures - Upon adoption of a budget, the treasurer shall pay all accounts payable, being duly approved by the president.
Section 5. Debt - No member of this association shall contract, or cause to be made in the name of the association, any debt of any nature whatsoever without the proper authorization of the Governing Board.
Section 6. Audit - The Governing Board may cause the account of each officer or employee handling funds of the association to be audited at any time designated by the Board.
Section 7. Salaried Officers - No officer of the association or the Executive Director may be a salaried employee of the association.
Section 8. The association shall bond the treasurer.
Article VIII. Meetings
Section 1. Annual Business Meeting - The association shall hold an Annual Business Meeting at such time and place as determined by the Governing Board in accordance with association policy. A quorum shall consist of the members present.
Section 2. Governing Board - The Governing Board shall meet at such times and places as directed by the president or upon call by a majority of its members.
Section 3. Quorum for Governing Board Meetings - A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Governing Board members present.
Article IX. Nominations and Elections
A. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates for each office from the results of the nominations ballot.
B. Members shall elect the following officers: president-elect, treasurer-elect, secretary, elementary vice president, middle vice president, secondary vice president and postsecondary vice president.
C. The association shall conduct an election by secret ballot on a schedule which will allow sufficient time for members to complete balloting and the chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee to receive ballots as established in procedures.
D. The Election Committee shall count the ballots no later than thirty days after the conclusion of balloting. The Committee shall declare elected the candidates receiving a plurality vote and candidates will be notified by the Nominations and Elections chairperson.
E. If a write in candidate is elected, but deemed ineligible to assume office according to PSSCA Policies and Procedures and/or By-Laws, a special election between the remaining candidates will be held within 30 days of the determination of ineligibility.
F. The president shall appoint the remaining Governing Board members.
Article X. Terms of Office and Unexpired Terms
Section 1. Terms of Office
A. Officers shall assume office on July 1. The office of president-elect is a six-year term (president-elect, president, and immediate past president). The office of treasurer is a four-year term (two years as treasurer-elect and two years as treasurer). All level vice presidents and the secretary are two-year terms.
B. Appointed members of the Governing Board shall begin their duties on July 1 and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are chosen.
Section 2. Unexpired Terms
A. The president may fill by appointment the unexpired term of a Governing Board member in the event of inability to complete term of office. The president must fill the unexpired term of officers.
B. The Governing Board shall approve the appointment.
C. In the event the president must resign, the president-elect shall complete the president's term of office and his/her elected term.
D. In the event the treasurer must resign, the treasurer-elect shall complete the treasurer's term of office and his/her elected term.
Article XI. Committees and Other Governing Board Members
Section 1. Standing Committees
A. The standing committees shall consist of the Executive Committee, Nominations and Elections, By-Laws, Finance, Membership Development, Leadership and Program Development, Annual Conference, Communications, Awards, and Professional Development.
B. Except for the Executive Committee, the standing committees shall consist of at least two Governing Board members and three members of the association. Chairs will automatically be members of the Governing Board. Each committee will elect its own vice chair and recording secretary. The primary purpose of the committee is to carry out the work of the board. A committee quorum is the majority of the committee members present. Meetings may be conducted in person, via email or webinar. Each standing committee shall make reports to the Governing Board and for the annual membership meeting. Recommendations may be made in reference to their areas of responsibility.
C. The Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall consist of the president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary, treasurer, treasurer-elect, elementary vice president, middle vice president, secondary vice president, post-secondary vice president and the Executive Director. The Executive Committee shall have the power to act for the association in the absence of the full Governing Board.
D. Nominations and Elections Committee: The Nominations and Elections Committee shall solicit nominations from the membership for each of the elected offices. The president elect shall serve as chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee and shall inform the Board of the names of the committee members.
E. By-Laws Committee: The By-Laws Committee shall be responsible for maintaining the by-laws and preparing any revisions or amendments when needed and submit the changes to the Governing Board for approval. Additionally, the By-Laws Committee shall be responsible for recommending and maintaining any board policies and board job descriptions. At the Governing Board’s direction, this committee may prepare any board or association procedures as directed. The chair will be appointed by the board president.
F. Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will be responsible for the safekeeping and accounting for all association funds, developing an annual budget for Governing Board approval, recommending fund raising projects and grants, and administering any scholarships. The treasurer shall be the chair of this committee.
G. Membership Development Committee: The Membership Development Committee is responsible for maintaining a list of all association members, recommending membership fees, administering any membership benefits, and recruiting new members. The chair will be appointed by the board president.
H. Leadership and Program Development Committee: The Leadership and Program Development Committee shall be responsible for recommending board and membership leadership development, identifying emerging leaders, and providing school counseling program suggestions and recommendations which may include the State Department of Education, other state agencies, and school districts. The chair will be appointed by the board president.
I. Communications Committee: The Communications Committee is responsible for communicating information, meetings, activities, and events to the membership on behalf of the Governing Board. The chair will be appointed by the board president.
J. Professional Development Committee: The Professional Development Committee shall be responsible for researching, organizing, and advertising (ICW the Communications Committee) relevant professional development opportunities for school counselors. The chair will be appointed by the board president.
K. Annual Conference Committee: The Annual Conference Committee shall be responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the association’s annual conference in addition to planning future conference locations at least two to five years in advance. The chair will be the immediate past president and will provide mentorship to the committee.
L. Awards Committee: The Awards Committee shall be responsible for the school counselors of the year and advocate of the year award process. The chair will be appointed by the board president.
Section 2. Other Governing Board Members
A. Regional Chairs: The Regional Chairs shall represent and advocate for the school counseling needs in the following areas of the state of South Carolina: Piedmont, Midlands, Pee Dee, and Coastal. The Regional Chairs will be appointed by the board president.
B. District School Counselor Director/Coordinator Liaison: The District School Counselor Director/Coordinator Liaison shall be responsible for facilitating communication with the state’s counselor directors/coordinators and providing the board with current information regarding the status and effectiveness of school counseling in the state. The Director/Liaison will be a voting member appointed by the board president.
C. Non-Traditional School Counseling Liaison: The Non-Traditional School Counseling Liaison shall be responsible for facilitating communication with the state’s Non-Traditional school counselors, advocating for the needs of Non-Traditional school counselors, and providing information to the board regarding the status of Non-Traditional school counseling in the state. The Liaison shall have voice and be a voting member appointed by the board president.
D. South Carolina State Department of Education (SC SDE) Liaison: The South Carolina State Department of Education Liaison shall be responsible for advocating for the needs of school counselors in South Carolina within SC SDE channels and providing information to the board regarding any SC SDE proposals and policies impacting school counseling in the state. The Liaison shall have voice, but will be a non-voting member appointed by the board president.
Section 3. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad Hoc Committee: The president and/or Governing Board shall have the ability to appoint a special ad hoc committee to serve a specific purpose or function on behalf of the president and/or board. This committee is not considered a standing committee for the association. The committee serves until its appointed purpose has been completed and should be no more than one year. The chair will be appointed by the president. The chair shall not be a member of the Governing Board unless already a member as established by these by-laws.
Article XII. External Representation
A. The president and/or designee(s) shall serve as representatives and alternates to the American School Counselor Association Delegate Assembly and Leadership Development Institute (LDI).
B. The president /or the president’s designee(s) shall represent PSSCA on committees or boards of affiliate or partnership groups or organizations.
Article XIII. Indemnification
A. The association shall indemnify each member of the Governing Board and each of its officers for the defense of civil or criminal actions or proceedings as hereinafter provided and, notwithstanding any provision in the Bylaws, in a manner and to the extent permitted by applicable law.
B. The association shall indemnify each of its officers from and against any and all judgments, fines, amounts paid in settlement, and reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, actually and necessarily incurred or imposed as a result of such action or proceedings or an appeal therein, imposed upon or asserted against him/her by reason of being or having been such an officer and acting within the scope of his/her official duties, but only when the determination shall have been made judicially or in the manner hereinafter provided that he/she reasonably believed to be in the Palmetto State School Counselor Association’s best interests and, in the case of criminal action or proceeding, in addition, had no reasonable cause to believe that his/her conduct was unlawful. This indemnification shall be made only if the association shall be advised by its Governing Board acting 1) by quorum consisting of Governing Board members who are not parties to such section or proceedings upon a finding that, or 2) if a quorum under (1) is not obtainable with due diligence, upon the opinion in writing of independent legal counsel that, the Governing Board or officer has met the foregoing applicable standard of conduct. If the undergoing determination is to be made by the Governing Board, it may rely as to all questions of law on the advice of independent legal counsel.
C. Every reference herein to a member of the Governing Board or officer of the association shall include every member and officer thereof or former member and officer thereof. This indemnification shall apply to all judgments, fines, amounts in settlement, and reasonable expenses described above whenever arising allowable as above stated. The right of indemnification herein provided shall be in addition to any and all rights to which any Palmetto State School Counselor Association member or officer might be entitled and the provisions hereof shall neither impair nor adversely affect such rights.
Article XIV. Parliamentary Authority
Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall be the parliamentary authority of the Association.
Article XV. Conflict of Interest Statement
A. The association members, its officers, and Governing Board and committee members shall avoid any conflict of interest between their own respective personal, professional or business interest and the interest of the association in any and all actions taken by them on behalf of the association in their respective capacities.
B. If a person identifies a conflict, the person shall give written and/or verbal notice of such conflict of interest or relationship and shall thereafter refrain from discussing or voting on the particular transaction in which the person has a conflict of interest or otherwise attempting to exert any influence on the association or Governing Board to affect a decision or participate or not participate in such transaction.
C. The PSSCA Governing Board shall support all PSSCA members in conducting research to further advance the school counseling profession. However, such research cannot be for personal gain and PSSCA will not endorse any specific research endeavor. All research requests must be in compliance with these by-laws as well as all requirements listed in the association’s policies.
Article XVI. Amendments and Revisions
Majority vote of the cast ballots may amend these Bylaws. The association will distribute to the members the ballots explaining the proposed changes for voting. The procedure will be as follows:
A. The By-Laws Committee makes recommendations to the Governing Board.
B. The Governing Board approves recommendations at a regularly held meeting at least thirty days prior to the Annual Business Meeting. The membership will discuss the proposed changes at the Annual Business Meeting and receive ballots for approval of these changes.*
C. The Executive Committee shall determine if action upon proposed amendment(s) is imperative before the next Annual and/or Business Meeting of the Membership. The Governing Board shall discuss such proposed amendment(s), and if approved by the Governing Board, such proposed amendment(s) shall be distributed to the membership at least thirty days prior to the issuing of ballots for voting.*
*Note: Any reference to balloting is intended as postal, email or other electronic means.
Latest revision approved: February 2020