5 Conferences for School Counselors in 2016

One of the many perks of being a school counselor is the wealth of national and international conferences available to educators. These events allow counselors to travel and meet people from all over the world while earning educational credits and improving their craft. Below are the five of the most anticipated conferences for school counselors in 2016.

The American School Counselor’s Association Annual Conference

The theme of the 2016 ASCA Annual Conference is “The Recipe for Success,” and the three keynote presenters will focus on using lessons from the past to educate the future generation. Among them will be Cheryl Brown Henderson, a former counselor who also happens to be a daughter of Rev. Oliver L. Brown, a plaintiff in the historic Brown v. Board of Education case that ended racial segregation. Her talk is entitled “Brown v.s. Board of Education: The Legacy Continues.” This year’s event takes place in New Orleans on July 9-12. Attendees can choose from over 150 professional development workshops including Red Cross mental health volunteer training. Networking receptions present opportunities to meet and share ideas with school counselors from across the nation. The weekend concludes with an awards gala to honor counselors who affect positive change in their schools.

The Palmetto State School Counselor Association Conference

From January 21-23, counselors from all over the country are invited to Myrtle Beach for workshops and presentations focusing on the theme “Jazz Up Your School Counseling Program.” Attendees will learn about and share experiences of implementing new initiatives in their school’s counseling programs. In a talk entitled “Applying the Latest Brain Research to Our Youth,” keynote speaker Tara Brown will discuss the impact of emotional states on learning. Pre-conference Learning Sessions include “Suicide and Non-suicidal Self Injury: Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention.”

The Dallas School Counselor Conference

Every winter, nearly 2,000 educators attend this annual event in Dallas, which boasts more than 60 professional development workshops and an exhibit featuring 40 professional and commercial vendors. Examples of this year’s workshop offerings are “Addressing Anxiety in Students using CBT Therapeutic Fables” and “Best Practices for School Counselors working with Transgender Youth.” Keynote speaker Julia Cook will present strategies for teaching children about Internet safety and using technology to enhance rather distract from learning.

The National Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference

This fourth annual event is set to take place in Athens, GA, during the last two days of February. The conference showcases the newest research in the the field of school counseling. Workshop sessions will focus on implementing that research to achieve a number of school-wide goals including closing achievement gaps, writing grants for program initiatives and measuring school counseling outcomes. The School Counselor Preparation Conference will be going on concurrently in the same building, so this year’s attendees will have an abundance of networking opportunities.

The International School Counselor Association Conference

One of the best ways to get new perspectives is to meet with teachers from other countries. The ISCA conference, which will be held in Portugal this year, will bring together hundreds of counselors representing more then 30 countries. Workshops and presentations will center around incorporating mindfulness into counseling practices. After two days of learning and meditating, the weekend ends with a dance party.

Great guidance counselors don’t stay cooped up in their offices; they actively strive to make their schools better by taking advantage of every professional development opportunity they can. School counselors are obviously too busy to attend every annual conference, so they never run out new chances to learn, network and see the world.