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San Diego State University

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    San Diego White House Convening

    SD White House Convening Report


    In partnership with the White House’s College Opportunity Agenda and the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative, San Diego State University will convene an invitation only gathering of committed leaders and commitment makers focused on improving school counseling preparation, programs, and practices with the goal of increasing college access for all students. This convening will take place November 17-18, 2014 in San Diego, CA on the SDSU campus. 

    Several historic milestones have proceeded this west coast event, including:

    • In January 2014, the White House sponsored a Summit during which President Barack Obama called for “an ambitious new agenda aimed at improving college value, removing barriers to innovation and competition, and ensuring that student debt remains affordable.” 
    • Following this Summit, First Lady Michelle Obama continued the call for action through the Reach Higher initiative which aims to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university
    • In May 2014, senior White House staff convened a listening and learning session on school counseling with experts from higher education, nonprofit, and professional organizations. This session examined the challenges and opportunities for school counselors to support students’ college aspirations. 
    • On July 28, 2014 a special White House convening at Harvard University focused on maximizing school counselors’ impact and influence on college enrollment. Attendees were encouraged to inventory existing partnerships, and create new commitments that require establishing collaborative relationships with local school districts, higher education institutions, college access groups, and non-profit organizations with a specific charge to increase college opportunity for all students.

    The purpose, and specific focus, for the SDSU “invitation only” convening of committed leaders and commitment makers is to support those taking steps necessary to create systemic change within the school counseling profession in several specific areas:

    • Designing, changing, revising the School Counselor preparation at Higher Ed to ensure certain non-negotiable preparation standards for school counselors (SC) in College and Career Readiness (CCR) 
    • Developing, improving, and sustaining partnerships between university training programs and K-12 school districts to ensure appropriate field site placements and activities during fieldwork training and training for site supervisors and administrators with new school counselor requirements in CCR during placement 
    • Supporting and ensuring professional development in districts for existing SC in CCR and ensuring collaborative scaffold roles partnering with college access partners
    • Creating policies, practices and procedures for hiring and placement of SC prepared to work in CCR 
    • Providing opportunities to create strategic partnerships with donors and funders interested in supporting any or all of this work supporting and promoting new systemic change models and excellence in implementation and outcomes for SC, and the students we serve 

    20 Universities  ~  20 Districts  ~ 20 Partnerships

    Supporting the Presidents 2020 Goals

    Outcomes of this event include: 

    • 20+ University/K-12/Community Partnerships meeting 80% or more of the aforementioned criteria 
    • 20+ Solidified Working Groups of Strategic Collaborative Partners
    • 20+ Formalized and Finalized Strategic Action Plans 
    • Announcements of High Impactful Partnerships (Funders, Tools, etc.) 
    • Commitments for Future Opportunities to Link Successful Partnerships with Those Seeking Mentoring to Create them 
    • Mechanisms to Create, Consult and Contribute Action Plans, supporting documents, policies, outcomes and research designed to assist Strategic Partners in meeting the goals and outcomes stated above over the next two years and beyond.

    Reminder: THIS event is NOT a one shot event – the work will continue after the event. 

    The San Diego convening will provide a unique opportunity for those ready, to commit to and take a deep look at training and professional development practices and policies that best prepare and support school counselors to advance college opportunities for all students.   











    Jack McGrory



    Rod Dammeyer 




    White House Convening 2014 (YouTube Videos)

    Monday, November 17

    8:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 

    TRISH HATCH & LAURA OWEN, School Counseling Program, SDSU
    Dean, College of Education, SDSU


    ERIC WALDO, Executive Director, Reach Higher, Office of the First Lady


    8:30 a.m. Historical Review: Then and Now 

    PAM PAISLEY, Professor, University of Georgia 

    CAROLYN STONE, Professor, University of North Florida


    8:45 a.m. Data Use Networks 

    LINDSAY PAGE, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Pittsburgh

    PATTY DIAZ-ANDRADE, Director of Education and Outreach, Center for Education Policy Research, Harvard University 

    RENEE FOOSE, Superintendent, Howard County Schools

    E. GRACE CHESNEY, Chief Accountability Officer, Howard County Schools

    LISA BOARMAN, Coordinator of School Counseling, Howard County Schools


    10:00 a.m. Strategic Action Plans 

    JOYCE BROWN, District Manager, Chicago Public Schools (retired)

    PATRICIA MARTIN, Educational Consultant, Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University

    JASMINE MCLEOD, Instructional Systems Specialist, School Counseling and Psychology, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)

    PATRICIA MCDONOUGH, Professor, UCLA, Graduate School of Education and Information Systems





    GREG DARNIEDER, US Dept. of Education, Senior Advisor, College Access Initiative

    PATRICIA MARTIN, Educational Consultant, Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University

    CHERYL HOLCOMB-MCCOY, Vice Provost and Professor, Johns Hopkins University


    Panel Participants

    ALICE ANNE BAILEY, Director Go Alliance, Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)

    CAROL BOBBY, President and CEO, Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

    JILL COOK, Assistant Director, American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

    KIM COOK, Executive Director, National College Access Network (NCAN)

    DAVID HAWKINS, Director of Public Policy and Research, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

    RICHARD YEP, Chief Executive Officer, American Counseling Association (ACA)


    5:00 p.m. Call to Action, Montezuma Hall 

    ERIC WALDO, Executive Director, Reach Higher, Office of the First Lady

    Tuesday, November 18 

    8:00 a.m. Welcome, Montezuma Hall 
    School Counseling Program, SDSU

    NOLA BUTLER-BYRD, Chair, Counseling and School Psychology, SDSU  


    8:15 a.m. Igniting the Vision 

    TRISH HATCH & LAURA OWEN, School Counseling Program, SDSU

    JOHN BARGE, State School Superintendent, Georgia Department of Education 

    CATALINA CIFUENTES, School Counselor/AVID Coordinator, Riverside County Office of Education

    12:30 p.m. Lunch, Montezuma Hall 


    GREG DARNIEDER, US Dept. of Education, Senior Advisor, College Access Initiative