P.O. BOX 2120



June 30, 2006



Division Superintendents



Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction



Two Regional Professional Development Workshops for School Counselors This Fall


The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to be partnering with the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) Foundation to sponsor two regional professional development workshops for school counselors this fall. The professional development will use ECMC Foundations Realizing the College Dream training module, which supports school counselors in their work to increase the expectations of attending college for low income and first-generation college attendees, i.e., students who are the first in their family to attend college.


The lessons in the workshop provide school counselors with a variety of tools to help students think of themselves as future college students and see higher education as a tangible and attainable goal. Counselors can use the tools provided in this workshop in a variety of settings including counseling programs, classrooms, after-school and Saturday programs, and community programs. This professional development is designed to help counselors:

        educate families and students about the social and financial benefits of a college education;

        expose high school students to the world of college through a focus on career options and understanding college entrance requirements; and

        provide interactive instructional strategies with content and skills aligned to high school curricula.


Each school division is invited to send one school counselor from each high school in the division. Registration, program notebooks, training activities, and lunch and breaks will be provided at no cost to participants for this professional development opportunity. In addition, overnight lodging will be provided for those counselors traveling more than 70 miles to the meeting site. The two workshop sites (with links to hotel information and directions) are scheduled as follows:

        October 10, 2006 - Richmond, Sheraton Park South

        October 12, 2006 - Blacksburg, Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center


Participation will be limited to the first 125 registrants at each of the two locations. The school division application to register for this training is attached. The completed application with the names of participants from your school division must be faxed to Dr. Willie Stroble, school counseling specialist, at (804) 786-1597, so that it is received no later than 3 p.m., September 1, 2006.


Participants traveling more than 70 miles and needing lodging on the night prior to the session will be provided lodging at the hotel. Only those officially registered for the program may make reservations at the hotel. Individuals will need to make their own reservations with the appropriate hotel on or before September 1, 2006. When making reservations, please indicate you are an ECMC Foundation-Virginia Department of Education Realizing the College Dream participant. Where appropriate, school division participants are requested to share lodging rooms, two to a room, if possible.


For more information on this ECMC Foundation professional development opportunity, please contact Dr. Willie Stroble, school counseling specialist, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at, or by telephone at 804-786-9377.