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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.  

Upcoming Events


 Financial Aid Basics - Navigating the Process

 February 27 - Sioux City
 March 15 - Ankeny (rescheduled from February 20)

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.

 Day on the Hill
 February 28
 Forte Banquet and Conference Center - Des Moines 

School counselors, students, and admission professionals are invited to make your opinions heard on issues facing K-12 and higher education at this FREE event! Breakout sessions with advocacy training for issues critical to the interests of students transitioning from high school to college. Then on to the State Capitol to meet with your elected officials! (Travel scholarship available, too!)

Learn more


Nurtured Heart Approach
March 5 & March 11- Sumner-Fredericksburg Middle School Library - Fredericksburg

Setting Children for Success - Providing Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments
Is your goal as a parent/caregiver/educator to provide the best opportunities for children? Whether you feel you are already a champion for children or someone that is striving to be a great adult in a supportive role, this workshop will give you the unique opportunity to achieve greatness for your children, your classroom, your family, yourself, and your workplace.
This approach is extremely effective in working with the intense and difficult children. It is also effective with the less intense child as it works for ALL children.

Attend a two night class and learn a proven approach that captivates the positives in all settings and situations. Do you want to feel energized and at peace with your child an others? Learning the Three Stands and four tools of Nurtured Heart is transforming and creates daily successes for you and others. Learn how to build Inner Wealth with Trainers Gaylene Vickers and Shelley Smith.

Free Workshop Registration email bullermanr@sfcougars.k12.ia.us
or call 563-237-5334.

 2019 Iowa ACT State Organization Conference
 March 6 - Cedar Rapids

This year’s conference, “Breaking Down Barriers…Equity and Access for ALL,” features sessions that will inform and inspire attendees to implement new ideas and best practices for helping all individuals prepare for education and workplace success.

Learn more

Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference - March 10-11

Columbus, Ohio - Click here to view the invitation and here to view the conference flyer
This conference provides school counselors with critical information about successful practice, evaluation, and relevant research to create dynamic and powerful school counseling programs. It will be held this year in Columbus, Ohio. 

 The White Privilege Conference
 March 20 - Cedar Rapids

Join a selection of Haverford delegates this spring at the 20th annual White Privilege Conference. The conference is sponsored by the White Privilege Organization, with its self-stated mission to "examine challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world"

 2019 Governor's Conference on LGBTQ Youth
April 1 - Iowa Events Center - Des Moines  

All students deserve a safe and supportive place in which to learn including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ).  For many LGBTQ youth, school can be a terrifying place due to bullying, harassment, and discrimination.  In order to eliminate bullying in Iowa schools and create leadership opportunities for LGBTQ youth, Iowa Safe Schools founded the Annual Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth.

Visit website

2019 L.E.A.P. Conference
April 24 - DMACC Building 5 Conference Center - Ankeny

The Iowa Association for College Admission Counseling’s Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee is proud to announce that registration for the 4th annual L.E.A.P. Conference is open! L.E.A.P. will empower underrepresented students to understand the life-long rewards that come from leadership, good decision-making, and academic success. Participants will attend breakout sessions designed to encourage and equip students for life beyond high school.

Learn more


Counselor Academy

School counselors from across Iowa take part in Counselor Academy at Heartland AEA.



School counselors network and share experiences during the Level Sharing Session at ISCA.

ASCA Annual Conference - July 29-July 2
Sheraton Boston Hotel - Boston, Mass - Learn more.

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.

Save the Date

7th Annual Midwest School Mental Health Conference - August 8

Iowa Events Center - Des Moines - Follow Facebook Event.

Ongoing Opportunities

 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.

Check out the current list of scheduled webinars 

 Counselor Academy

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.

Contact 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.

Visit ASCA to learn more

 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.

Learn more.

 ISEA Academy

 Offers courses for Iowa License Renewal and Graduate credit on cycles that are related to mental health for Iowa educators.

 Topics include:

      • School Mental Health Literacy
      • Helping Students Overcome Depression & Anxiety
      • Helping Traumatized Children Learn
      • It Takes a Village: Building School, Family and Community Partnerships
      • ACE’s: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences
      • Providing Support, Caring for Students – Suicide Prevention for Educators
      • Substance Abuse and Abuse: Supporting Students in Making Healthy Choices

 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).

Click here

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.

Learn more

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.

Contact  Us
Office: (515) 282-8192
Email iowaschoolcounselors@gmail.com
Address:
6919 Vista Drive
West Des Moines, IA 50266
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