Oregon School Counselor Association, Inc
Promoting Excellence in Professional School Counseling Since 1967

Getting Involved with OSCA: What to Expect

There are many ways to get involved with OSCA.  You can be a member of a committee or the governing board.

When you decide to join a committee, start by selecting a topic that interests you. That will probably influence your decision to commit more than how often you meet. After all, when you are doing something you enjoy the time goes by quickly as you get filled up with laughter or energy towards your profession. Here are some of the committees that are available and what it might look like for you to join one or two.

Membership: Works to keep our current members engaged, satisfied, and energized. Attend membership committee meetings (in person or via computer) to discuss ways you can increase membership to support the mission of OSCA to help school counselors across the state.

Education: Coordinates and provides opportunities for members to enhance their education. For example, Carol Dahir was hosted by OSCA and she presented a session on working with your principal in an effective manner. Attend education committee meetings (in person or via computer) to discuss the needs and desires of members to establish some education goals for OSCA members.

Professional Interest Network: Advocates for the school counselor’s role in relation to other school wide initiatives. For example, you may collaborate with the American Red Cross to offer training in Disaster situations. You may meet quarterly via the phone to determine how to serve the professional needs of OSCA members.

Graduate School Liaison: Connects with school counseling students to identify unified needs for entering the profession. This is an excellent opportunity to get connected with students across the state and to take a small step into seeing what a leadership role might look like. This is a chair position on the OSCA board, expected to attend board meetings (in person or via computer) to talk about what is going well, and what some of the challenges of being a student in this economy might bring.

Advocacy/Public Policy and Legislative Action: Discusses and identifies strategies for how this committee can work to meet the larger goals of OSCA. This may include networking to establish connections between OSCA members and school districts and discussing current legislative issues. Attend Advocacy Committee meetings (in person or via computer) to discuss policy issues or just for camaraderie to continue spreading the word for quality, comprehensive school counseling programs.

Conference: Establishes when our annual conferences will be, where they will be located, and who the guest speakers will be. You may decide which educational conference submissions will be accepted and how to organize the details of the event. This committee can have intense work time periods, under real deadlines, coupled with relaxed times when you are not meeting. Many meeting can be accomplished via the phone and email.

As a chair, you guide the committee meetings and make sure you are working to meet the goals established by OSCA and its Board Members. This can take a bit more organization and time as you need to stay focused on the bigger picture and how each committee plays its part in the overall mission of OSCA. You write quarterly summaries of what you have accomplished and make plans for future deadlines. For example, board members on occasion have the opportunity to attend a regional or national training. Past training's have included discussion of current legislative issues and meeting independently met with our legislators and senators to advocate for school counseling issues across the state of Oregon.

After serving on a committee or as a chair, you may want to consider running for an elected Governing Board position. These positions are voted on by our members and typically last for one year. Trainings are provided by OSCA and ASCA to prepare you for the roles and responsibilities of these positions. We meet across the state, depending on the geographic location of our Governing Board members, to try to meet the needs of everyone involved. You write quarterly summaries of the work you have done, establish the annual objectives for OSCA, and actively work to accomplish its mission. Every quarter we meet face-to-face, get a lot of work done, and enjoy companionship, laughter, and good food. This is an extremely dedicated board that is also open to new energy and voices; it has a great balance of wisdom and flexibility. 

Remember that often times what you get out of joining committees will depend on what you put into them. It can be one thing to attend a quarterly phone call but quite another to actively seek out opportunities to contact your legislator or find new OSCA members. As you consider what level of leadership fits you, consider contacting a representative listed on this newsletter about joining the committee. Perhaps you can determine when you meet next and what you would like to accomplish. Go for it!

Feel free to contact any board member for more information. 


The Oregon School Counselor Association, Inc. is a chartered member of the American School Counselor Association.

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