AMERICAN SCHOOL COUNSELOR ASSOCIATION
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) seeks a dynamic Executive Director with strong leadership skills and a commitment to ASCA’s vision to be the foundation that expands the image and influence of school counselors through advocacy, leadership, collaboration and systemic change.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, career and social/emotional development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. With a membership of over 36,000 school counseling professionals from around the world, ASCA provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to school counselors around the globe.
Founded in 1952, ASCA works to ensure it meets the needs of all school counselors, regardless of setting, experience level or needs. ASCA’s mission is to represent school counselors and promote professionalism and ethical practices. ASCA empowers school counselors with the knowledge, skills, linkages and resources to promote student success in the school, the home, the community and the world.
Since its formation, ASCA has helped establish a unified identity for school counselors, a framework for a data-informed school counseling program and other tools to support the profession. Essential programs and services include:
- Publications: ASCA provides a range of publications to its members, such as ASCA School Counselor magazine, Professional School Counseling journal as well as sample lesson plans, checklists, and back to school handouts.
- ASCA National Model and RAMP: The ASCA National Model, a framework for a data- informed school counseling program, created a unified identity for the school counseling profession. Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) acknowledges schools that have implemented ASCA’s model successfully.
- School Counselor of the Year highlights exemplary professionals, with former First Lady, Michelle Obama, serving as the featured guest in the 2018 ceremony and Dr. Jill Biden as the featured guest in 2019.
- Professional Standards and Education: ASCA has elevated the ethical and professional standards for school counselors and implements a wide range of professional development, including webinars, online courses, training, and coaching. In 2019, ASCA’s annual conference attracted over 3,000 attendees.
Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, ASCA is governed by a 9-member Board of Directors and follows the Carver Policy Governance model. The organization has an annual budget of $7M, funded primarily through program services, and employs 13 staff. ASCA’s current Executive Director, Dr. Richard Wong, will be retiring in the Fall of 2020 after twenty years of service to the organization. For more information, please visit www.schoolcounselor.org.
Reporting to the ASCA Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides overall leadership to the organization, managing the staff’s efforts to implement the programs, services, and other activities that result in the organization’s fulfillment of Board defined priorities and policies.
LEADERSHIP OUTLOOK AND NEAR-TERM PRIORITIES
The Executive Director provides leadership both inside and outside the organization, continually increasing ASCA’s impact.
As ASCA looks to the future, the Board has identified the following strategic directions as part of the 3- to 5-Year Vision:
- Further develop ASCA’s brand as the “home” or go-to source for school counselors that sets the standards in the field.
- Preserve and advance ASCA’s work to build the school counselor identity as an essential role in the education platform and the school counselor voice at the national, state, local, and district levels in influencing the impact school counselors have on the whole student and students’ outcomes.
- Provide school-based programs and initiatives based on research, models, and other sources that generate results in terms of student outcomes within the three domains (academic, career, and social/emotional development) defined by ASCA.
- Strengthen ASCA’s focus on equity, access, diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence throughout its membership and in its leadership.
- Continue to build external relationships with coalitions, politicians, and education organizations to broaden ASCA’s reach.
The new Executive Director’s priorities for the first 12-18 months include:
- School Counselor Profession & Membership: Learning and understanding the different roles and culture across the association and how they contribute to ASCA – including the robust membership and different needs across the school counseling profession, and blending these needs to support school counselors in best serving their communities.
- Partnerships & External Relationships: Strengthening relationships and building trust with ASCA’s partners and other organizations in the field of education across the country; engaging stakeholders in conversations about how associations can collaboratively educate individuals and groups about school counselors and their role in the education system.
- Culture & Governance: Building effective relationships with staff and board, and understanding the Carver Policy Governance Model and how it contributes to strong internal relationships with the staff and board.
- Understanding Current Issues & Initiatives: Identifying and determining key priorities for the association to focus on, such as COVID-19’s impact on the education system, new initiatives in process, key activities for 2021, etc.
The Executive Director will provide leadership to the organization and manage its day-to-day affairs. Primary responsibilities include:
- Seek innovative, effective ways to implement activities that drive the association toward the vision and outcomes set by the board.
- Provide national leadership for school counselors and promote public understanding and appreciation of school counselors as educators.
- Represent ASCA and act as a spokesperson for the organization.
- Facilitate partnerships with stakeholders across all levels.
- Oversee the day-to-day administration of the organization.
- Manage the operating budget and ensure compliance.
- Oversee all aspects of staffing, including recruitment, training, retention, and evaluation.
- Foster an effective relationship with the Board and the three standing committees to develop, implement, and evaluate progress toward policies, programs, and strategic and long-term plans for ASCA.
- Empower the Board to fulfill their obligation of accountability for the organization’s achievement of outcomes, per the Carver Policy Governance model, by monitoring the organization’s progress and providing board members with timely, effective information and reports that support the Board’s ability to measure achievement of outcomes.
EXPERIENCE AND ATTRIBUTES
Candidates for this position will share a commitment to ASCA’s mission and core values and will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to the organization, including:
- Passion for, knowledge of and willingness to learn about school counseling, its role in the education paradigm, and how it differs from other forms of counseling.
- Experience managing non-profit organizations, especially national associations; history of success leading an association in the education field a plus.
- Motivation and energy to preserve and support the framework ASCA has established to be a leader in school counseling.
- Strategic vision, willingness to embrace a 360-degree view of school counseling, and forward-thinking mindset to grow an organization/profession.
- Charisma, strong public speaking and listening skills; effective communications skills.
- Ability to serve as the as the face of an organization.
- Excellent interpersonal skills to forge relationships with leadership in key stakeholder organizations as well as public officials and to collaborate with key constituencies in the sector to advance the organization’s work.
- Financial acumen to operate an association budget; analytical, operational and organization skills.
- Ability to attract, inspire, trust and value staff, board, and members across the organization;
- Commitment to advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across an organization.
- Ability to navigate adversity and make decisions effectively and ethically; persistence to face obstacles with integrity and transparency, giving members and the board “unrestrained confidence in the leadership” through creativity and ability to think outside the box.
- Willingness to explore new initiatives, ability to generate innovation, and foster an environment that encourages innovation from members, staff and other stakeholders.
- Master’s degree required.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
ASCA provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.