School Counselor Advocacy

ISCA maintains a vigorous program of government relations and advocacy for the school counseling profession in Iowa. The association believes that students benefit when counselors successfuly advocate on state and federal legislative issues related to students and school counseling.

Advocacy is a key component to being an effective school counselor. Not only is it critical for school counselors to serve as advocates for their students, it is also important that school counselors advocate for their own profession.

Check out these things you can do to get involved this legislative session.

2019 Legislative Priorities

The ISCA Board has approved the following priorities for the 2019 Legislative session.

Addressing Funding Inequities in Iowa's Schools

ISCA supports adequate funding to allow a quality 21st century K-12 education that prepares students for their futures. Download the ISCA Position Statement.

Mental Health Access for Iowa's Students

ISCA supports increased statewide access to and funding for mental health services for youth and their families. Download the ISCA Position Statement.

The Equitable Treatment of Iowa's Students

ISCA supports the right of every student, regardless of Zip Code, to a secure, healthy, and robust educational environment so they are able to learn. Download the ISCA Position Statement.

The Role of the School Counselor in Iowa

ISCA supports promoting the unique role of the school counselor in providing access to social-emotional learning, college and career planning for post-secondary success, and academic supports for all students. Download the ISCA Position Statement.

Review the full position statements here.

Get Involved

If you are interested in becoming involved in the Advocacy Commitee email Melissa Murphy.

Legislative Updates

Download a guide to the Iowa Legislature - PDF

Contact Your Legislators today on important issues. To find out who your senators and representatives are please check out the Find Your Legislator page of the Iowa Legislature website.  


If we do not define our role as school counselors, someone else will!

Multi-Tiered System of School Counselor Advocacy (MTSA) - Three Tier Approach


Level 1

  • Be physically visible
  • Introduce yourself and use School Counselor terminology and signage everywhere
  • Develop a program brochure
  • Implement ASCA Model and Iowa School Counseling Framework - Use data!
  • Print business cards
  • Celebrate National School Counselor Week
  • Use social media to communicate
  • Bulletin boards
  • Know how you are funded
  • Consistent communication and conversations with administrators and staff
  • Advisory committee
  • Join professional organizations
  • Join ISCA and ASCA and attend conferences
  • Display ISCA/ASCA membership certificate, clothing, mug, water bottle etc
  • Nominations for SCOY and ISCA grants


Level 2

  • Yearly goal setting aligned with district goals using data
  • Develop PLC (Professional Learning Committee)
  • Management agreement
  • Time Analysis
  • Develop and share calendar
  • Presentation on program results with staff, admin, school board, and PTA
  • Use School Counselor Evaluation Tool 
  • Member of building leadership committees
  • Connections with community
  • Active in ISCA
  • Present at ISCA conference
  • Be informed about state legislative issues. Contact legislators and attend forums
  • Attend Visit the Hill Day


Level 3

  • School Counseling program is an integral part of the school and community
  • Consistently demonstrate how students are different because of the school counseling program
  • Apply for RAMP (Recognized ASCA Model Program)
  • Know what is going on at the Department of Education
  • Communicate with state legislators - invite them to your school and meetings
  • Knowledge of issues and communication at federal level


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