Supporting School Counselors through Evidence-Based Practices

Materials photoMCAN, along with several state partners, recently participated in the third Reach Higher convening hosted by the White House. It has been exciting to participate in the three convenings to see the growth of not only the Reach Higher initiative at a national level, but also the growth at the state level over time. MCAN worked alongside representatives from Central Michigan University's School Counseling Program, Kent Intermediate School District, Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan School Counselor Association, Michigan State Board of Education, and Western Michigan University's School Counseling Program to talk about how Michigan organizations can better work together together. The Michigan collaborative is working to set priorities and implement evidence-based practices that support school counselors and college access professionals in helping all students prepare for and pursue education beyond high school.

In addition to team planning time, the convening included a great group of national and statewide leaders in this work. The event highlighted national speakers Eric Waldo, executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative; Joe Garcia, lieutenant governor of Colorado; Danette Gerald Howard, vice president for policy and mobilization at Lumina Foundatio; Johan E. Uvin, acting assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education in the U. S. Department of Education; and Madeline M. Pumariega, chancellor of the Florida College System.

Michigan was asked to lead a breakout session focused on collaboration and mobilization. The session was led by John Austin from the State Board of Education, Patrick O'Connor from MACAC, and Jamie Jacobs from MCAN and focused on Michigan's collaboration and mobilization strategies to support the development of a state policy agenda, policy recommendations to support and strengthen school counseling and college advising, and the impact of creating collaborative structures and systems to drive policy changes to impact measurable student level outcomes.

First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative has been an inspiration to Michigan organizations and individuals working to support school counselors and college advisers as we work tirelessly to ensure all students are prepared for and pursue education after high school. The Michigan Reach Higher Collaborative has been formalized and is excited to release their strategic framework and priorities in early 2016. Keep an eye out for an update in the new year!

team photo

Authors: Jamie Jacobs, director of professional development at MCAN, and Patrick O'Connor, MCAN board of directors and MACAC representative.
Posted: November 30, 2015

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