ASCA and Reach Higher
ASCA is pleased to be working with the White House on the Reach Higher Initiative. The Reach Higher initiative is First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to inspire all students 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.

The Reach Higher initiative will help make sure all students understand what they need to complete their education, including:
• Exposing students to college and career opportunities
• Understanding financial aid eligibility that can make college affordability a reality
• Encouraging academic planning and summer learning opportunities
• Supporting high school counselors who can help more students get into college

In conjunction with this initiative, the First Lady spoke at the 2014 ASCA Annual Conference in Orlando. There she shared three new efforts to support and recognize school counselors across the country. (Watch the speech.)

1. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released new guidance for school superintendents and principals, encouraging them to use their budgets to create professional development units for school counselors and provided information about where school districts can find federal funding to support this effort. Read the complete letter.

2. On July 28, 2014, the White House partnered with ASCA, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and other organizations to host a special event to discuss how improvements in school counseling and college advising can bring about greater postsecondary opportunities for students. Learn more about the event and watch the webstreams. Additionally, at a November 2014 convening at San Diego State University, the national organizations in attendance developed guidelines for effective delivery of counseling and advisement for postsecondary preparation, access and success. 

3. In January 2015, the School Counselor of the Year® was honored at a ceremony at the White House, providing further recognition to the profession and the vital role school counselors play. Watch the ceremony.