Loyola’s School Counseling program creates new site supervisor training program for Baltimore City Public Schools
Clinical assistant professors, Kharod France, Ph.D. and Gayle Cicero, Ed.D., from Loyola University Maryland’s Master’s in School Counseling program have created a new training program, BCPSS SSTARR, for school counselors—also known as site supervisors—in Baltimore City Public Schools who are interested in training school counseling interns. BCPSS SSTAR stands for “Baltimore City Public School System Site Supervisor Training and Readiness.”
During the Master’s in School Counseling program at Loyola, students are required to complete a supervised in-school internship and practicum experience. School Counseling interns are placed in schools throughout the Baltimore community and are assigned a site supervisor. Site supervisors are current school counselors who support, observe, provide feedback, help identify students for interns to work with, and meet with interns on a regular basis.
The training program is delivered over Zoom and consists of eight one-hour intervals of professional development over the fall and spring semesters. It is intended for past, present, and future school counselors who are interested in supervising school counseling interns. The trainings are an opportunity to brainstorm, engage, and discuss various topics and techniques with other school counselors and facilitators.
Site supervisors also learn supervision techniques, revisit best practices in school counseling, explore the tenets of highly effective practices of site supervisors, and exchange and share ideas and experiences. Participants receive eight National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) clock hours that count towards their certification requirement and a certificate at the end of the program.
France designed, structured, and implemented the program with the first cohort, who actively supervise as they’re completing the program. “Working with the site supervisors has been rewarding and enriching. I’ve enjoyed the rich discussions and exchange of ideas and information,” said France. “I’ve received feedback that the program is very helpful and helps the school counselors to be more intentional. My hope is to eventually expand the training program to other districts and recruit more site supervisors through word of mouth.”
The pandemic created a greater need for additional training and support for school counselors, so they can more effectively address students’ needs. Before this training, there was no official training provided for site supervisors and this program provides an opportunity to better serve students. “The value of this training stems beyond just professional development, it gives facilitators and participants an opportunity to “pour into the cup” and work together to lead, serve, and advocate for our young people,” said Cicero.
To learn more about Loyola’s Master’s in School Counseling programs, the internship experience, or how to be a site supervisor, visit loyola.edu/schoolcounseling.