Thanks to Skyview Middle School Guidance Counselor Natalie Kant, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and Alaska now have representation in the American School Counselor Association RAMP award, a recognition that affirms the school is committed to delivering a comprehensive guidance counseling program.
“The ASCA has guidelines for counselors just like there are for teachers,” Kant said. “Guidelines of what a counseling program should implement.”
As the guidance counselor at Skyview Middle School, Kant decided to apply for the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP), which recognizes individual schools for meeting the association’s models, according to the association’s website.
Alaska had been one of seven states without ASCA recognition, making Skyview Middle School the first in Alaska to become recognized.
“(RAMP) gives you the confidence that your program aligns with a nationally accepted and recognized model,” the website states.
Going through the application process is a a tedious, but worthwhile experience Kant said. The end product was a 27 page application with 102 supporting documents.
“It took me a year to put it together,” Kant said. “But for me it was a seven year process… It’s not something you do in a year. You work towards it and realize that you need to do it, think about how you can get there and learn who can help you get there.”
The application requires counselors to show that they meet requirements within the 12 different components of the program including mindsets and behaviors for student success and closing-the-gap result reports.
“As you go through the process, you realize that you’re not doing this or that and start implementing more of the twele programs you’re being critiqued on,” Kant said.
“There’s lots of learning as you go through,” she said. “Which just makes you a better counselor.”
Kant and Skyview Middle School will retain their RAMP recognition for five years and then have to start the whole process again, but Kant isn’t shying away from the work.
“I’m looking forward to having other counselors in the state come on board,” Kant said. “I’m happy to help any of the counselors get there.”
Reach Kat Sorensen at firstname.lastname@example.org