Five Must-Attend Conferences for School Counselors

Updated April 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Must-Attend Conferences for School Counselors

  • National Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference
  • ASCA Annual Conference
  • National Conference on School Discipline
  • Reaching the Wounded Student
  • International School Counselor Association Conference

School counseling is a necessary part of the education system, particularly in America. As students’ anxiety about success grows, it falls to school counselors to mitigate that anxiety and provide a strong support system for the students in their care. In order to do that, they need continuing education. Here are the five must-attend conferences for school counselors, all which are geared to providing excellent counseling within an academic context.

1. National Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference

One of the most recent must-attend conferences for school counselors is the National Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference, which has taken place in the spring for the last four years. This conference focuses on new research in the field of school counseling and produces workshops and speaking events for counselors to learn more about programs and initiatives that could help elevate education throughout the country. It is also a massive networking opportunity for counselors who are interested in connecting with other professionals who may be able to help them solve problems in their own school districts.

2. ASCA Annual Conference

A regularly attended conference for school counselors continues to be the American School Counselor Association’s annual event, which is the largest event on this list for American professionals. With over 3,000 professionals attending every year, it’s no wonder that it’s considered nearly mandatory for those in the field. This conference runs for three days and covers the most important issues in school counseling, including mental health issues, the rising cost of education, and academic counseling for students who are underperforming.

3. National Conference on School Discipline

A must-attend conference for all student counselors is the National Conference on School Discipline, which is held annually in different parts of the country during the summer. It focuses on school disciplinary policies and introduces new methodologies; disciplinary philosophy is also debated among international experts in the field. While the agenda changes every year to keep up with the needs of the school system, there is always a focus on reinforcing positive behavior in students while minimizing destructive behavior patterns.

4. Reaching the Wounded Student

School counselors are aware of a small group of students that are labeled as beyond “at risk,” and understand the need to advocate for this under-represented group. That’s why one of the must-attend conferences for this professional includes Reaching the Wounded Student, which takes place in Orlando, Florida. The conference, which is sponsored by the National Dropout Prevention Network, focuses on identifying the core reasons a student would leave school and how to mitigate those circumstances so that a student continues to educate themselves. The themes of this conference vary but generally focus on what school counselors can do to ensure that a student remains within the educational system.

5. International School Counselor Association Conference

The International School Counselor Association Conference is a must-attend conference for school counselors that can travel during their summer break. With over 30 countries represented at this annual event, it is one of the best weekend-long conferences for school counselors to network with their counterparts in other countries as well as learn new methods to incorporate into their own work within the United States school system. The conference generally focuses on mindfulness in counseling,

School counselors have the task of providing support for students who may not be supported at home. That’s why a continuing education on the research and methodologies they use in their work is so important. With theses five must-attend conferences for school counselors, these professionals will be in a position to not only help the students in their care but elevate their academic performance, making it more important than ever to require conference attendance.

Related Resource: The 20 Best Online Masters in School Counseling Programs

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