(INDIANAPOLIS) — In the ongoing effort to enhance college and career readiness for high school graduates, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s latest research highlights effective school counseling approaches.

Recognizing Promising Models of School Counseling for Indiana was produced by the Indiana Chamber Foundation in collaboration with the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis with support from Lilly Endowment Inc.

The report follows up on the Indiana Chamber’s May 2014 release of the Indiana School Counseling Research Review. That study identified factors that prevent schools and counselors from adequately meeting student needs.

The new research includes the results of site visits and interviews with school leaders from a variety of districts in Indiana and out of state. Researchers focused on the delivery of counseling services, professional development and training for counselors, and counselor evaluations.

“We’re pleased to provide this additional study of counseling best practices,” states Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “Our Foundation team and partners at CELL have been sharing these findings with key stakeholders as those groups continue to work together to seek improvements for the benefit of all students.”

Among the promising practices identified:

  • Including counselors in school leadership teams
  • Pursuing grant funds and utilization of interns and specialists
  • Engaging business leaders to serve on active career pathways councils
  • Removing non-counseling roles from counseling departments
  • Using online support programs consistently to prepare students for post-secondary opportunities

One of the goals under the Outstanding Talent driver of the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Vision 2025 plan calls for increasing to 90% the proportion of Hoosier students who graduate from high school ready for college and/or career training.

Brinegar says Indiana businesses simply want to be part of the solution in improving student outcomes and addressing the growing workforce preparation gap.

“All of our young people deserve the absolute best possible guidance they can receive as they move on from their secondary education. We stated in 2014 that Indiana has a counseling (not a counselor) problem. It will take many groups working together to move past the current challenges.”

The Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA) is among those on board. ISCA believes the practices and programs noted in this new report can open the door to innovative strategies and systems of support that will result in positive student outcomes, offers Dr. Brandie Oliver, ISCA past-president.

“This provides a great opportunity to engage in critical dialogue in hopes to clearly define the role and responsibilities that are best matched with the training and expertise of the school counselors in our state.

“Specifically, the research helps emphasize the need that school counseling programs have dedicated time and resources to advance the academic, career and social/emotional development of all students by the implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs.”

The Recognizing Promising Models of School Counseling for Indiana report is available at www.indianachamber.com/education.

The Indiana Chamber Foundation, CELL and additional partners will pursue further funding and opportunities to assist schools with implementing exceptional counseling programs.


The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”