A national organization says Indiana is a leader for comprehensive school counselor programming and services, and several Hoosier schools earned special recognition from the group.
Jill Cook, assistant director of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), says the Indiana school counseling scene is strong compared to other states.
“Indiana has been a great leader in showing the possibilities of collaboration with the state association and with the state department of education,” she says.
She says that collaboration is one reason why this year 69 Indiana schools earned praise for comprehensive, data-driven counseling programs.
ASCA recognizes schools nationwide for counseling programs based on its national model. Schools maintain their status as a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) school for five years before having to re-submit an application.
Indiana schools made up nearly half of the 140 schools from across the country recognized for their counseling plans this year. Cook says the state’s own school counseling recognition program, known as Gold Star Schools, contributes to its reputation.
“The fact that other states are picking up on what Indiana has done I think speaks volumes about the work that has been done up to this point,” she says.
But Cook says Indiana still has work to do by reducing the school counselor to student ratio. She says it’s critical, due to the expanding role counselors have in every student’s wellbeing.