School counselors are uniquely trained professionals who serve as mental health professionals in public and private PreK-12 grade schools throughout Tennessee. Through direct counseling services, consultation and collaboration, leadership, and advocacy, school counselors improve academic achievement, promote positive social/emotional development, and ensure college/career readiness for all students. They are change agents who make a measurable difference for students, schools, and communities.
The Tennessee School Counselor Association (TSCA) is the state professional association for practicing school counselors, graduate students in school counseling, school counselor educators, and interested others. Your membership in TSCA supports advocacy for the school counseling profession across the state and contributes to your own professional growth through professional development, networking opportunities, and exclusive consultation services.
TSCA is proud to partner with you on this professional journey. Thank you for the work you do every day to make a difference for students and for your support of this incredible profession!
Joshua L. Stanley, EdD, NCC
2017-2018 TSCA Executive Board
2017-18 TSCA Executive Committee
President: Dr. Joshua Stanley
President-Elect: Dr. Chloe Lancaster
Past President: Lauren Baker
Treasurer: Patricia King
ASCA Model/RAMP Chair: Meri Kock
Bylaws Chair: Vacant
Ethics Chair: Johnathan Williams
Membership Co-Chairs: Carla Christian, Toni Smith, Nacole Steward Gwathney
Legislation / Licensure Chair: Lauren Baker
Professional Development Chair: Bethany Erb
Technology / Social Media Chair: Laura Filtness
Graduate Student Representative: Monica Coleman
TSCA has partnered with ASCA to provide a School Counselor focused newsletter to our members!
President’s Message: Remember Your “Why” Driving Forward
Addressing Career Development through Technology Literacy
Most digital natives lack the skills they’ll need with work-based tech tools and tech safety, but school counselors can help.
Crayons to Careers: A K-12 Approach to College and Career Readiness
From fifth-grade job matches to administrator training to supporting first-generation students, one district is jump-starting their students’ college and career readiness.
Promoting Success for Pregnant Teens and Teen Mothers
Group work can build college and career readiness among teens whose futures face many risks.
College and Career Readiness of Student Athletes
“Who are you without the ball?” A school counselor helps student athletes see their big picture.
Concurrent Enrollment: Linking College Dual Credit to High School Completion
How can dual credit classes support student success? Parent education is one piece of the puzzle.
Top Occupations, 2014-24
See where the jobs are headed with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Don’t miss the videos–look for the arrows in ads to click and view!
You can print pages or download PDFs (of individual pages or the whole issue) from the link.
Download Previous Newsletters
Legal & Ethical Issues in School Counseling
ASCA: Legal & Ethical – Information and supporting documents for legal & ethical issues related to School Counselors, FAQ’s, and State by State Statutes for reporting Child Abuse.
TN Dept. of Children’s Services – Child safety info.
TSCA Ethics Consult – If you are a TSCA member and would like to consult with one of our ASCA Certified Ethical Specialists please fill out the Ethics Inquiry Form.
*Disclaimer: The TSCA Ethics consult does not take the place of consulting legal services if your situation has moved to litigation. The goal of the Ethics consult is to provide support for TSCA members who are facing an ethical dilemma per the STEPS Model for School Settings (see below).
TSCA highly recommends membership in professional organizations such as ASCA and ACA. These organizations provide legal and ethical support as well as professional liability insurance.
STEPS Model for School Settings (Stone, 2013)
The STEPS (Solution for Ethical Problems in Schools) Model:
- Define the Problem Emotionally and Intellectually
- Apply the ASCA and ACA Ethical Codes and the Law
- Consider the Student’s Chronological and Developmental Levels
- Consider the Setting, Parental Rights and Minors’ Rights
- Apply the Moral Principles
- Determine Your Potential Courses of Action and Their Consequences
- Evaluate the Selected Action
- Implement the Course of Action
SB 0341/HB 0720 – Signed by Gov. Haslam on 3/24/17
Public Chapter 18 – Effective July 1, 2017
Teachers, Principals and School Personnel – As enacted, authorizes a school counselor to refer or help facilitate a referral of a parent or legal guardian’s student to a counselor or therapist for mental health assessments or services. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 49 and Title 63.
Our own Tracy Cagle, retired Knox County School Counselor, brought this bill to life after years of feeling helpless to refer students and families to mental health providers. Tracy worked with Senator Frank Niceley (R-Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson and Union Counties), Representative Antonio Parkinson (D-part of Shelby Co.) and our TCA Lobbyist, Chris Ford, to craft bi-partisan legislation that allows for proper referrals to mental health services without disrupting educational and other services in place in schools. Licensed School Counselors are now empowered to make ethical referrals (see below) for students and their families to receive additional mental health supports.
SB 0771/HB 0888 – Update: 3/22/17
After being deferred in the House Education & Administration Planning Subcommittee, the “bathroom bill” was brought back up in the Senate Education Committee. When the bill was brought up, no other committee member would second it, killing the bill on the spot. If your legislator is on the Senate Education Committee, call and thank him or her for the great insight.
Sen. Beavers and Rep. Pody have filed the “Bathroom Bill”
“Students – As introduced, requires students in public schools and public institutions of higher education to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned to persons of the same sex as that shown on the students’ birth certificates.” – Amends TCA Title 49.
TSCA will work closely with TCA and our TCA Lobbyist to bring you updates.
Please click below to read the ASCA position statement on this topic:
The 2016 Ethical Standards for School Counselors
A.6. Appropriate Referrals and Advocacy
- Collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including students, educators and parents/guardians when student assistance is needed, including the identification of early warning signs of student distress.
- Provide a list of resources for outside agencies and resources in their community to student(s) and parents/guardians when students need or request additional support. School counselors provide multiple referral options or the district’s vetted list and are careful not to indicate an endorsement or preference for one counselor or practice. School counselors encourage parents to interview outside professionals to make a personal decision regarding the best source of assistance for their student.
- Connect students with services provided through the local school district and community agencies and remain aware of state laws and local district policies related to students with special needs, including limits to confidentiality and notification to authorities as appropriate.
- Develop a plan for the transitioning of primary counseling services with minimal interruption of services. Students retain the right for the referred services to be done in coordination with the school counselor or to discontinue counseling services with the school counselor while maintaining an appropriate relationship that may include providing other school support services.
- Refrain from referring students based solely on the school counselor’s personal beliefs or values rooted in one’s religion, culture, ethnicity or personal worldview. School counselors maintain the highest respect for student diversity. School counselors should pursue additional training and supervision in areas where they are at risk of imposing their values on students, especially when the school counselor’s values are discriminatory in nature. School counselors do not impose their values on students and/or families when making referrals to outside resources for student and/or family support.
- Attempt to establish a collaborative relationship with outside service providers to best serve students. Request a release of information signed by the student and/or parents/guardians before attempting to collaborate with the student’s external provider.
- Provide internal and external service providers with accurate, objective, meaningful data necessary to adequately evaluate, counsel and assist the student.
- Ensure there is not a conflict of interest in providing referral resources. School counselors do not refer or accept a referral to counsel a student from their school if they also work in a private counseling practice.