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APS Counseling Manager to Sit on National Panel

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Laura Owen to Present, Answer Questions from the U.S. Dept. of Education

May 2, 2011

The director of counseling for Albuquerque Public Schools will join a panel of school counseling experts next week to present and answer questions from the U.S. Department of Education on the current state of school counseling and the role counselors play in preparing students for college and careers.

Laura Owen will join three other school counseling leaders in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 2, for a panel discussion on the importance of school counseling. They will present to about 35 top officials from the U.S. Department of Education including Martha J. Kanter, under secretary, and James H. Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement.

The presentation will look at the evolution of counseling, which has changed to meet the needs of society. According to the presentation prepared by Owen and the panel, counselors were first placed in schools more than 100 years ago as vocational advisors. Over the years, they have also served as mental health counselors and now college and career counselors.

Owen will discuss as examples of the role counselors play in schools today two programs APS has been involved with: the College Board’s Urban School Counseling Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid) completion project.

The panel will also discuss the future of school counseling, outlining several recommended goals:

  • Training on college and career readiness
  • Training on the use of data
  • Using federal funding for school counselors to help them provide services and
  • Utilizing school counselors to lead external organization in a way that results in increased graduation rates and post-secondary education for students.
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