Conference and Professional Development
Ongoing professional development is critical to the success of Iowa school counselors and ISCA is committed to bringing opportunities to its members. From the annual ISCA conference, to webinars, seminars, and topic-specific conferences, check back often to find out about new and exciting opportunities around the state.
FAFSA: A Scenario-Based Training by ICAN
FAFSA: A Scenario-Based Training provides participants the opportunity to learn about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and gain understanding of how to assist in the completion of the form. Participants will work with other professionals in the field to understand common issues and misconceptions that arise when assisting students in navigating the financial aid process. Training will take place:
Financial Aid Basics - Navigating the Process
Take an in-depth look at the financial aid process from a foundational level. Ideal for school counselors and novice admissions and financial aid professionals, this training starts at square one with basic terminology and breaks down the financial aid process into easy-to-understand segments including:
This training will also cover how to talk to students and parents about college costs, outline a school counselor’s role in the financial aid process for students with difficult or unique home situations, and review recommendations for engaging students and families in preparing for college financing.
While this training will touch on the FAFSA form as part of the process, this is NOT FAFSA training and will not delve into the form in detail. Training will take place:
IASFAA Community Outreach Series: How to Avoid Common Mistakes on the FAFSA
September 24 - 10-11 am
This webinar will discuss best practices for the FSA ID and filing the FAFSA. Learn about common errors and how to help parents and students avoid these missteps in order to get the most from their FAFSA.
Iowa ACAC Colleges to Counselors
September 26 - 9 am - 2 pm - St. Ambrose University (Davenport)
C2C is an opportunity for high school counselors to learn about different colleges and universities! We will provide you with a booklet that lists all details such as admissions requirements, scholarships, popular majors, etc. on each participating college and university. C2C is FREE to high school counselors! Please register at iowaacac.org. The registration deadline is September 24th!
PBIS: Supporting Our Most Vulnerable Children & Youth
October 3-4, 2019 - Chicago
This two-day forum for school, state, district, and regional leadership teams and other professionals has been designed to help increase the effectiveness of PBIS implementation.
ASCA National Model - 4th Edition Workshop
October 23 - 8:30 am
Did you know there's a new edition of the ASCA National Model? This workshop will explore the changes and provide resources for aligning to the new model.
Heartland Mental Health Response and Referral
ISCA Annual Conference
November 3-5 - Prairie Meadows Conference Center - Altoona
Join school counselors from across Iowa at the premier professional development event of the year.Learn more.
Iowa ASCD Trauma-Informed Conference
November 13 - 9 am - 4 pm - DMACC Campus (Ankeny)
Join Iowa ASCD for a highly interactive learning incorporating videos, music, and discussion to increase the level of impact and application. This one-day training combines 2 three-hour workshops designed to give educators the tools needed to create effective learning environments that support the needs of traumatized students.
IASFAA Community Outreach Series: Verification
December 3 - 10 - 11 am
This webinar will talk about the Verification process, why students are selected and how to avoid mistakes.
IASFAA Community Outreach Series: Financial Aid Packages
February 5 - 10-11 am
With many student/families are just receiving their Financial Aid Packages this time of year, questions are going to arise. This webinar will go over what to look for in Financial Aid Packages and how to figure out what a bottom line cost will be for those students/families.
Central Rivers Professional School Counselor Networking
February 14 - 9 am - 3 pm
Support professional school counselors in their role of impacting student learning experiences across CRAEA and collaborate with our Central Rivers AEA and Statewide partners to ensure system coherence across the districts within our agency. Who should attend? School counselors PK-12.
School counselors from across Iowa take part in Counselor Academy at Heartland AEA.
The content of the Academy is based on the ASCA (American School Counselors Association) National Model and the Iowa Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program Model.
The Academy provides the foundation for counselors to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling services. Counselors develop comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling programs for their schools based on national and state standards and research based best practices.
2019 Statewide Counselor Academy Dates
AEA Counselor Academy Dates
ASCA Annual Conference - June 27-30, 2020
Save the Date! Join approximately 3,600 school counseling professionals for four days of inspirational keynote sessions, informative breakout sessions, in-depth looks at hot topics in the school counseling profession and networking opportunities galore.
Iowa school counselors gather at ASCA.
ISCA/ICAN Webinar Series
The Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA) and the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) partner to provide a webinar series on important topics and issues facing school counselors today.
Area Education Agency Professional Development OpportunitiesContact your AEA for more information about your local options for Counselor Academy and additional professional development opportunities.
ASCA Professional Development
ASCA provides a lot of professional development opportunities from the annual conference and webinar series, to ASCA U specialist trainings, coaching, and site- and district trainings. Some opportunities require ASCA membership.
ICAN Professional Development Series - Career and College Readiness
ICAN offers half-day and full day professional development opportunities in areas such as financial aid basics, FAFSA completion, and Career and College Readiness Curriculum. Certifications are available based on training assessments.
The ISEA Academy offers courses for Iowa License Renewal and Drake University Graduate credit. Courses are on a monthly cycle. For questions please call or email Rhonda Plimmer or Cindy Swanson at 515-471-8000. Visit https://isea.org/course/ for the current course catalog.
Courses have included:
Iowa College & Career Readiness Academy
A suite of Iowa-specific online courses for college access and success professionals.
Iowa Youth Survey Reports for 2014
The Iowa Youth Survey (IYS) district and non-public school reports are available from the 2014 survey.
Resource Recommendations from ISCA Level Vice-Presidents
Each level Vice-President takes the time to review their roles and responsibilities, as well as provide their favorite go-to resources for their programs. Brandon Drew (VP-Elementary), Amber Urbain (VP-Middle School/Junior High), Meri Edel (VP Secondary) and Shelby Bryce (VP K-12).
Join an ISCA Board Committee
There are many opportunities to get involved, including board committees. Committees such as Advocacy, Newsletter, Awards & Recognition, and many more work toward the overall success of ISCA and all Iowa Professional School Counselors. Find a committee that interests you, contact the chair and join today. You'll learn about the different aspects of committee work, gain leadership experience and help elevate the profession around the state.
Join the ISCA Board
Being an ISCA board member is the chance to become a leader in your profession, and you simply have to love your job. The ISCA board is made up of individuals from a vast array of backgrounds with a large range of talents. Together, the board works to raise awareness of school counselor issues, advocate for the profession, seek out professional development opportunities, and plans the annual conference.