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School Counselor Advocacy

ISCA maintains a vigorous program of government relations and advocacy for the school counseling profession in Iowa. The association believes that students benefit when counselors successfuly advocate on state and federal legislative issues related to students and school counseling.

Advocacy is a key component to being an effective school counselor. Not only is it critical for school counselors to serve as advocates for their students, it is also important that school counselors advocate for their own profession.

Check out these things you can do to get involved this legislative session.

Legislative Update

Contact Your Legislators today on important issues.

2021 Session Update

To find out who your senators and representatives are please check out the Find Your Legislator page of the Iowa Legislature website. 


      Get Involved

      If you are interested in becoming involved in the Advocacy Commitee email Melissa Murphy.

      Utilize Conversation Starters in your Advocacy

      Download a guide to the Iowa Legislature - PDF


      Virtual Visit the Hill 

      Thank you to those who were able to join us for our virtual advocacy event on February 25. 

      Keep active by contacting your representatives on issues important to you and to our profession.

      President Aimee Hospodarsky speaks with her representative at Day on the Hill.

      Past-President Aimee Hospodarsky speaks with her representative at Day on the Hill.

      2021 Legislative Priorities

      The ISCA Board has approved the following priorities for the 2021 Legislative session.

      Addressing Funding Inequities in Iowa's Schools

      Adequate funding is imperative to allow a quality 21st century K-12 education that prepares students to become productive, engaged, workforce-ready citizens. Mid-year funding cuts, even in years of economic hardship, harm students and limits access to quality educational experiences.

      Download the ISCA Position Statement

      Mental Health Access for Iowa's Students

      Youth and their families require access to and adequate funding for mental health services statewide. 

      Download the ISCA Position Statement.

      The Equitable Treatment of Iowa's Students

      Every student, regardless of zip code, has the right to a healthy, robust educational environment that is physically safe and emotionally secure, so they are able to learn. 

      Download the ISCA Position Statement.

      The Role of the School Counselor in Iowa

      School counselors are in a unique role to provide access to social emotional learning, college and career planning for postsecondary success, and academic supports for all students. School counselors are most effective when they are working within the ASCA recommended ratio of 1 school counselor for 250 students.

      Download the ISCA Position Statement.

      Local Control

      Locally elected school boards are best positioned to address the needs of students and families, staff, and the school community. Local control allows flexibility for each district to meet its own unique needs and respond quickly and appropriately to changing community circumstances due to COVID-19. 


      If we do not define our role as school counselors, someone else will!


      Multi-Tiered System of School Counselor Advocacy (MTSA) - Three Tier Approach

      Level 1

      • Be physically visible
      • Introduce yourself and use School Counselor terminology and signage everywhere
      • Develop a program brochure
      • Implement ASCA Model and Iowa School Counseling Framework - Use data!
      • Print business cards
      • Celebrate National School Counselor Week
      • Use social media to communicate
      • Bulletin boards
      • Know how you are funded
      • Consistent communication and conversations with administrators and staff
      • Advisory committee
      • Join professional organizations
      • Join ISCA and ASCA and attend conferences
      • Display ISCA/ASCA membership certificate, clothing, mug, water bottle etc
      • Nominations for SCOY and ISCA grants


      Level 2

      • Yearly goal setting aligned with district goals using data
      • Develop PLC (Professional Learning Committee)
      • Management agreement
      • Time Analysis
      • Develop and share calendar
      • Presentation on program results with staff, admin, school board, and PTA
      • Use School Counselor Evaluation Tool 
      • Member of building leadership committees
      • Connections with community
      • Active in ISCA
      • Present at ISCA conference
      • Be informed about state legislative issues. Contact legislators and attend forums
      • Attend Visit the Hill Day


      Level 3

      • School Counseling program is an integral part of the school and community
      • Consistently demonstrate how students are different because of the school counseling program
      • Apply for RAMP (Recognized ASCA Model Program)
      • Know what is going on at the Department of Education
      • Communicate with state legislators - invite them to your school and meetings
      • Knowledge of issues and communication at federal level


      Contact  Us
      Phone: (515) 282-8192
      Email: info@iaschoolcounselor.org
      Address:
      6919 Vista Drive
      West Des Moines, IA 50266
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