SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Recently announcing the recipients of the  Comprehensive School Counseling Grant, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has awarded a total of 5 million in funding to be allotted to various schools in southern Indiana, including Sullivan County.

Out of the 26 school districts receiving the grant, the Southwest School Corporation in Sullivan County will be receiving a portion of the total funding that is designed to progress and develop student achievement, college and career readiness, and general well-being through improved school counseling services and resources. The SWSC’s current comprehensive counseling team consists of Dave Lisman, Katie Couch, Krista Wells, and Dani Hamilton.

According to a release from the SWSC, the school district has decided to provide an outline as to how the funding will be applied. These plans are designed to benefit students through counseling-related resources. The following various programs, initiatives, and efforts will be applied to SWSC through the Comprehensive School Counseling Grant:

● Hiring a licensed school counselor for Carlisle Elementary and Middle Schools
● Hiring a career coach to fill gaps in college and career readiness for grades K-12
● Purchasing programs and curriculum that will help ensure all students have access to Tier
I supports for social-emotional and college and career topics
● Providing professional development that will support staff in both the implementation of
the above programs as well as their own mental health needs
● Providing opportunities for school counselors to participate in professional learning
● Transportation funds for student college and career experiences

The successful school districts, charter schools, and community partners that applied for the grant also had to specify how the funding would be used to improve the counselor-to-student ratios and continue to support partnerships in local communities.

“School counselors are uniquely positioned to provide students with a number of important services, including guidance in completing all necessary courses and other graduation requirements, encouraging exploration of career and postsecondary opportunities and overall well-being support,” Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education said. “The recipients of this grant understand the importance of comprehensive school counseling and the range of support our students need in order to reach their full potential. With this additional funding, they will be better equipped to support the needs of their community, and ultimately, move the needle for their students.”

The IDOE has identified three specific goals to further strengthen their support of student well-being, achievement, and college and career readiness.

  • Expand the number of Indiana schools providing a comprehensive school counseling program
  • Explicitly define the role of a school counselor in improving student outcomes as it pertains to the five student characteristics of Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed.
  • Create a network of progress monitoring to assess the effectiveness and identify areas in need of additional local support and guidance.

Allocated as a part of Indiana’s federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief plan, the Comprehensive School Counseling Grant will benefit over 117,000 students throughout 17 counties in Indiana.

For more information, check out Indiana’s Model for Comprehensive School Counseling, or click here to see the complete list of recipients of the Comprehensive School Counseling Grant.