New School Counselor Professional Learning Legislation

New legislation that goes into effect on February 6, 2020 will greatly impact the work of school counselors across the state. The lack of professional development opportunities specific to them will be a pressing concern.

The criteria of MCL 380.1233 (7-9) will require all stakeholders with a school counselor license (SCL) or a teaching certificate with the school counselor (NT) endorsement to attain 50 hours of professional development specific to college and career readiness.

Of those fifty hours of professional development, 25 hours need to be focused on college preparation and selection, and the other 25 hours need to be around career consultation (with 5 of those hours focused on exploration of military career options).

The College and Career Readiness department at Kent ISD is aware of our area counselors’ concerns around the lack of professional learning specific to their work. We are working hard to clearly identify and promote opportunities to assist school counselors in the renewal of their certificates. A combination of programs already offered by Kent ISD, in addition to newer planned opportunities, will help facilitate the professional learning counselors throughout Kent ISD are yearning for.

Current programs offered by Kent ISD Career Readiness staff, such as the “Teachers in Industry” program, already offer SCECH hours for participants and fit naturally within the requirements of the new law.

We are working on ways to offer SCECH hours for our “Talk & Tour” series, as well as the “Fall Update” and “Spring Enrollment Breakfasts” hosted at Kent Career Technical Center. These programs already work to fill the bucket of needs counselors have in meaningful ways to support their students.

The Career Readiness department is also in the process of developing additional learning opportunities. This could include education development plans (EDPs), Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) training, talent transcripts, and other college, career, and military options for counselors through both in-person and online formats. Kent ISD has heard the needs of our hard working counselors and is working to get ahead of the curve in leading their learning while satisfying the requirements of the new legislation.

If you would like to see upcoming courses that are offered for this credit, click here. Please continue to check back for additional offerings to be added in the new year!

This blog post was written by Gerry Verwey, Career Readiness Consultant at Kent ISD and edited by Amanda Walma, Professional Learning Coordinator for Kent ISD.

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