School Counselor Education Students Attend USCA Educator Day on the Hill
Dr. Jessie Koltz, director of the School Counselor Education master’s program at Utah State University, recently participated in the Utah School Counselor Association Educator Day on the Hill along with several students currently enrolled in our school counselor education MEd program.
Held in conjunction with Utah’s annual legislative session, Educator Day on the Hill is an opportunity for educators and other interested parties to meet with representatives, share information and concerns regarding education, and gain a deeper understanding of how bills and policies are passed. The event also supports school counselors, students, and parents by presenting valuable information about bills and policies that will affect school communities and stakeholders. This opportunity helps our future school counselors become more equipped to advocate for the profession as they gain a deeper understanding of Utah’s legislative process.
Students were encouraged to attend presentations to learn about the bills that were being voted on in the Senate and the House and to try to meet with representatives one on one. Hollie Quintanilla, a current school counseling MEd student, was able to attend several different committee presentations during this year’s Educator Day on the Hill and was particularly impressed by a presentation addressing mental health issues in higher education settings. “The presenters did an excellent job making the crisis clear, showing what has helped and what more is needed to make an even bigger impact,” she said -“I hope in the future it can be addressed in the same way for K-12 [education].”
Quintanilla shared that her experience was a positive one, inspiring her to become more involved in politics and policy within her field. “For me, the main impact of this event has been to spark a desire in myself to be more politically knowledgeable and active in communicating to my own representatives directly and encouraging others to do the same,” she said.
Koltz, who is a member of the Utah School Counselor Association Legislative Committee, expressed her passion for helping students in school counseling get involved in these types of events. “Our students are the leaders of tomorrow and should be involved in the understanding of the legislative session, especially when it comes to educational bills and policies,” she said. “They can advocate for the profession of school counseling.”
Educator Day on the Hill allows future school counselors to learn how they can make a difference and see how important it is for their voices to be heard.