February 22, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Hosts Winnersville Classic Counselor Collaborative Spring Conference

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University recently welcomed 45 school counselors and five school counseling interns from the Valdosta City School System and Lowndes County School System to the 2017 Winnersville Classic Counselor Collaborative Spring Conference.

Now in its third year, the Counselor Collaborative offers local school counselors a variety of learning opportunities. Included this year was a session on the American School Counselor Association’s new standards, presentations from community mental health organizations, supervision techniques, and discussions of specialized counseling interventions for students experiencing trauma and ADHD. Presenters were Dr. Lee Grimes, an assistant professor in VSU’s Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy; Lauren Clarke from Choices for Life; Danielle Montgomery from Greenleaf; Claire Walton from Girls on the Run; Dr. Serey Bright, an assistant professor in VSU’s Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy; Dr. Jennifer Branscome, an associate professor in VSU’s Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy; and Dr. Teddi Cunningham, a professor in VSU’s Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy.

On behalf of the Valdosta City Council, Vivian Miller-Cody of District 1 presented the school counselors with a proclamation from the mayor’s office.

The Winnersville Classic Counselor Collaborative is held annually during National School Counseling Week. This annual celebration recognizes school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents; working in partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social, personal, educational, and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic, and optimistic aspirations for themselves.

Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, National School Counseling Week helps to focus public attention on the unique contributions of professional school counselors — particularly the impact they have on a student’s ability to achieve immediate and future success.

VSU’s School Counseling Program is committed to educating professionals who will be leaders in the school environment and who accept responsibility for removing barriers and offering equal access to services for all students. Operated by the Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy, it is open to students who hold a bachelor’s degree — in any major — from an accredited institution of higher education and who meet admission requirements.

Successful School Counseling Program graduates earn a Master of Education degree and leave VSU ready to develop and implement comprehensive developmental school counseling programs that will assess and meet the academic, career, and psychosocial needs of all students; develop community partnerships that provide support to their school counseling program; facilitate communication between students, family, school professionals, and the community through teaming and collaboration; serve as leaders and role models for students as a means of promoting positive student contributions to the school and community; and work with teachers and other school personnel to create a learning environment that will provide students with the skills necessary for academic, career, and personal success in a rapidly changing and diverse society.

Contact Dr. Lee Grimes at legrimes@valdosta.edu or (229) 245-6541 to learn more.

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