So much is expected to prepare today's students for success-academic achievement, career and college readiness, emotional and social competency, just to name a few. At least one in 5 children in the United States has some mental disorder, but few schools have the infrastucture in place to help these children. School counselors can make an enormous positive difference in children's lives. Yet, school counseling programs are in crisis because of undefined roles, skyrocketing student-counselor ratios, and decreasing budgets.
Leaders and counselors must move away from outdated roles and embrace school counseling programs that ensure readiness for ALL students. In a succinct question and answer format, the authors provide affordable solutions to the increasingly complex systemic issues facing K-12 schools, students, and school counseling programs.
Stuart F. Chen-Hayes, Ph.D., is Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Counselor Education/School Counseling at Lehman College of the City University of New York. He is also a part-time dissertation chair for Oregon State University's Counselor Education/School Counseling Ph.D. program. Stuart has middle school, college student affairs, sexuality, family and couple, community mental health, and addictions counseling experience, and he is an equity-focused school counseling program consultant in K-12 school districts. Stuart also taught at National-Louis University in Chicago and at National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan. He is a co-founder and past-president of Counselors for Social Justice, a past-president of the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors (NARACES), a past-president of the Illinois Counseling Association, and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling, the Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, and the Journal of International Counselor Education. Stuart has written and/or co-authored 50 refereed publications and 3 streaming videos including "Equity-focused school counseling: Career and college readiness for every K-12 student" (2009), and "Counseling LBGT youth in schools and families, Vols. 1, 2" (2000). He is a mentor for the Counselor Educator Transforming School Counseling Coalition and co-chairs a monthly Association for Counselor Education & Supervision (ACES) Transformed School Counseling/College Access Interest Network (TSCCAIN). Stuart has delivered 225+ school counseling and social justice education presentations. He received his Counseling and Human Development Services Ph.D. from Kent State University and Counseling and Counselor Education M.S.Ed. from Indiana University. Melissa S. Ockerman, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Program at DePaul University. A proud Buckeye, she graduated with a M.A. in School Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University. Dr. Ockerman has established a strong research agenda focusing on school counselor leadership, the efficacy of school counseling interventions and systemic anti-bullying and school safety strategies. She appeared before the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC to discuss bipartisan anti-violence policies. She is a frequent presenter at local, state, and national conferences. In 2012, she was named the Illinois Counselor Educator of the Year. Dr. Ockerman currently holds executive positions in national and state professional organizations, including Co-Chair of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Transformed School Counseling/College Access Interest Network, and Vice President, Counselor Education, for the Illinois School Counseling Association (ISCA). Additionally, Dr. Ockerman is Chair of the School Counseling committee for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, a National Center for Transforming School Counseling (NCTSC) Counselor Educator Coalition fellow, and an Advisory Council member for the Evidence-Based Practice in School Counseling conference. Her passion for educating the next generation of transformed school counselors is matched only by her strong desire to dismantle the pervasive achievement gap in schools through innovative and effective evidence-based school counseling interventions. Erin Mason, Ph.D., is a career-long advocate for the School Counseling profession. Erin's accomplishments and contributions to the field derive from her 13 years of experience as a Middle School Counselor in her home state of Georgia. A proponent for modeling and supporting professional involvement and productivity, Erin fuels her passion for School Counseling through state and national leadership opportunities. Erin served in multiple positions for the Georgia School Counselor Association (GSCA), including being the Government Relations co-chair for several consecutive years, and she was the 2012-2013 President of the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA). At the National level, Erin serves as a Lead RAMP Reviewer for the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), as one of four mentors for the Transforming School Counseling (TSC) Counselor Educator Coalition and as an Advisory Council member for the Evidence-Based School Counseling conference. As a presenter, scholar, trainer and consultant, Erin's particular interests in School Counseling lie in the areas of technology use, comprehensive program implementation and the professional identity development of School Counselors. Erin is an Assistant Professor at DePaul University in Chicago and received her M.Ed., Ed.S. and Ph.D. from Georgia State University.