The North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA) promotes professionalism and ethical practices in school counseling while providing resources, knowledge and networking opportunities to leading to student success in school, home and the community. The mission of NCSCA is to promote excellence in the profession of school counseling and through/in practice, the academic, career, and social emotional learning development of all students.
The NCSCA was established in 1960 as a division of the North Carolina Counseling Association (NCCA) with the election of the first president, Judy Barrett. The late Dr. Roy Anderson is credited as the person who assisted in getting the organization moving. In 1967, NCSCA became a chartered division of the American School Counselor Association [ASCA] when Bill Tucker received the charter in Dallas, Texas. In 2007, NCSCA celebrated its 40th anniversary as a division of ASCA. NCSCA soon became the largest division of NCCA until 2005, when NCSCA became independently incorporated. NCSCA became independent of NCCA in 2007. However, in 2007-2008 a dialogue was opened between the leadership by Dr. Renee Evans to create a new collaborative relationship that received final approval of both boards in 2009.
NCSCA struggled financially in the early years. Julia Morris, secretary of NCPGA (now NCCA), encouraged the organization to grow and develop a balanced budget. Dr. Cheryl Posner-Cahill’s administration served as a catalyst for reform in the financial arena. She worked for increased membership, improved programs, increased exhibitors and keeping good financial records.
Many NCSCA Board members have assumed leadership roles in ASCA, ACA and NCCA [to name a few] as a result of their experience on the Board. Dr. Betty Knox served as the first full-time President of ASCA and later was elected to the position of President of ACA. Dr. Cynthia Terres also served as ASCA president, and Barbara Potts served as ASCA Elementary Vice President. These are but a few of the NCSCA Board members who served on ASCA and/or ACA boards.
Leadership improvement became the focus of the presidencies of Neomi TePaske and Ruth McSwain. They held training sessions for leaders, brought into the organization new leaders and new ideas, and always kept every section of the state involved. Kenneth Simington, Nina Cassidy and Sam Almond and their boards worked to make NCSCA financially stable, legislatively active, and technologically sophisticated. In 1998 NCSCA started a website and in 1999 in cooperation with Dr. Pat Partin of Gardner-Webb University, NCSCA launched a listserv. Liz Conroy, Audrey Thomasson and Eric Sparks emphasized advocacy. Their boards led the establishment of a legislative agenda and Legislative Day, the hiring of a lobbyist, and the work of promoting school counselors’ issues in the NC Legislature. In 2006, under the leadership of Tara Bissett an association management company was hired to bring greater efficiency to running the business of our growing state association. Further inclusion of Policy Governance, as prescribed by ASCA, became keystones of the administrations of Marrius Pettiford  and Renee Evans . In 2008 the Emerging Leaders program, a recruitment and mentoring program, was introduced by Dr. Edward Wierzalis to encourage and build leadership in NCSCA.
In 2008, NCSCA reached its highest membership number with 1500 members and a record conference attendance in Fall 2008 by 1400 school counselors. In 2008, the NCSCA board presented to membership at the business meeting, a re- organizational structure that added eight (8) Regional Vice Presidents and moved the elementary, middle, and secondary vice president positions to chair positions. The purpose in this re-organization is to represent all school counselors equitably across the state with a future vision of charters for each regional area as outlined in our bylaws.
The NCSCA Executive Board is composed of elected officers, appointed chairpersons, liaisons, a parliamentarian and association administrator. Executive Board Meetings are held at least four times per year in different locations across the state. The Board and trained volunteers provide ASCA National Model Training for school counselors, administrators and school districts at both beginners and advanced levels. In addition, Board members represent North Carolina’s school counselors at local, state and national level educational meetings and conferences as well as serving on a variety of statewide committees.
The NCSCA hosts an annual Legislative Day, where school counselors have the opportunity to advocate for bills of specific interest to school counselors. The NCSCA Board communicates regularly with the legislators about pressing issues facing our states professional school counselors. NCSCA is the only professional organization in North Carolina to have a professional lobbyist representing school counselors and their professional concerns and needs to the state legislature.
The NCSCA holds an annual conference to provide school counselors the opportunity for continued professional development. The conference includes pre-conference learning institutes, keynote speakers, special interest speakers, and numerous breakout sessions covering topics of interest to all school counselors. A large number of exhibitors offer complementary and for sale items of interest to school counselors and college and university representatives are also on hand to answer any questions. The annual conference is one of the largest attended State School Counselor conferences in the US.
NCSCA affords North Carolina school counselors the opportunity for personal and professional growth, one of its prime reasons for existence since its inception in 1960. This is a dynamic professional organization, examining and adjusting its structure and goals over the years, while maintaining its focus on the needs of school counselors and students of North Carolina. Members of North Carolina School Counselor Association join with the Executive Board in making a commitment to support the mission, goals and future of school counselors in North Carolina.