Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr., today announced that 15 school districts have been selected to develop and implement model guidance and counseling programs. The districts will participate in the New Jersey School Counseling Initiative, a major statewide initiative designed to assist local efforts to provide students with opportunities for career awareness and career exploration.
"Through the New Jersey School Counseling Initiative, we recognize the critical role that school counselors perform for students of all ages," Commissioner Gagliardi said. The pilot school districts will lay the foundation for our commitment to ensure that students will benefit from guidance and counseling programs."
The following school districts were selected to launch the initiative:
Egg Harbor Township
Greater Egg Harbor Regional
Lower Cape May Regional
Upper Pittsgrove Township
The New Jersey School Counseling Initiative evolved from state regulations adopted in April 2000 that require all districts to develop and implement a comprehensive guidance and counseling system providing for career awareness and exploration for all students. The first phase of the initiative consisted of seven regional training sessions to educate, inform and assist districts in the development of strategic plans. The selection of the 15 pilot districts begins the second phase of the project. The selected districts will each receive a $5,000 stipend as well as training and support as they develop their programs over the next school year.
Comprehensive developmental counseling programs take into consideration the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. These programs will help students make and carry out informed educational and occupational choices; increase student awareness of the relationship between personal qualities, education, training and the world of work; and acquaint students with the relationship between achieving academic standards and the attainment of career goals.
The final phases of the initiative will involve establishment of a statewide support network and assessments to make technical adjustments to the support program.
For more information about the New Jersey School Counseling Initiative, contact Marie Barry, 609-984-5969.