A Regional Chapter of Michigan Counseling Association

May 6, 2005

Message From the President

It is May 3, there were snow flurries yesterday and the meteorologist reports that temperatures will drop below freezing by tomorrow night….but there is hope for a beautiful, sun filled, 70 degree weekend. It’s just enough to keep me going….barely.

Hope is one of those four letter words that is good to say and pass along. It is an important message that we convey to our clients when they feel the rest of the world has engulfed or abandoned them.

Somewhere along the way I read an empowering statement. It was said that if we simply tell our client’s that we have the skill and ability to help them, (even if we have no idea how we are going to do it), that it actually can move them forward enough to see the hope in their lives and they can begin to make a change. What do you hope for, personally, physically, spiritually and emotionally? Have you written these hopes and dreams down? What steps are you taking to see that your own dreams come true?

Do you want to be happy or right? That was one of the questions our speaker, Tess Marshall, challenged us with at the Spring Banquet. We all had a great time thinking about what we need to lighten up about, and reflected on the theme that we are enough, we have enough, and we are doing enough.

Did you attend the banquet? Wasn’t it inspiring to see the awards go to such deserving counseling professionals? What about the students who received scholarships from our professional organization? They shared unbelievable life experiences, filled with hope. If you missed this refreshing, professional and enriching opportunity because you were "too busy", back in your offices….you missed out. How unfortunate.

Another message Tess highlighted is to realize your personal power. Perhaps you aren’t involved with West Michigan Counseling Association because you are unaware of what we are doing and how you may benefit. Maybe you have a supervisor unaware of the professional advantages you gain by attending and won’t give you permission to leave your office. Perhaps you are busy taking care of everybody else and simply aren’t taking the time to take care or yourself and your personal or professional needs. Or, maybe you just need to take responsibility

for yourself, do something for yourself, and learn the phrase… "That’s not going to work for me!"

I urge you to commit to learning and growing with us next year. Get involved, get connected, feel supported, lighten up, pat yourself on the back, and most importantly be open to receiving and giving hope.

May you embrace the responsibility to make all of your dreams come true!


Lynda Bykerk-Rupke

President, WMCA

Six Ways to Promote and Support Student Motivation

  By Diane Heacox Up From Underachievement Program

It's true that teachers and parents can strongly influence a student's motivation or lack of motivation.  But does that mean that one or the other should be blamed for a student's failure to achieve?  In most cases, no.  Parents, teachers, and students themselves - need to be equally involved in a partnership.


Motivation is an individual's need or desire to achieve a particular goal.  It is necessary for success in the classroom, on the soccer field, in business, in personal relationships- in virtually every human endeavor.  You cannot give a child motivation; it must come from within.  But you certainly can promote it and support it.


  1. Be a model of achievement yourself.  Show what it is like to set goals, reach them, and feel good about it.


  1. Introduce the student to other adults who are achievers in his areas of interest.  Your young writer may enjoy meeting a local author. Your future pilot might relish a visit with a neighbor who served in the Air Force or works for a commercial airline.
  2. Communicate your expectations to the student. Clearly state what you want her to do. For example, it is not enough to say, "You have to study every night". Instead, you need to say, "I expect you to use 30 uninterrupted minutes for learning every night".
  3. Give the student some "how-to" help on getting motivated. Encourage him to choose school projects that match his interests. For example, Jason loves to act. When he was given a school assignment to do a biographical report, his guardian suggested that he do a video interview with a historical character—Jason himself, dressed up and playing the role. Jason cleared the idea with his teacher and turned in an excellent project.
  4. Make sure the student has time to develop and practice the skills necessary for success. Even a highly motivated child will have trouble learning if her days are consumed by music lessons, sports, chores, and other activities. Leave time each day for homework—preferably a regular time in a regular place ("the golden hour").
  5. Encourage and praise learning efforts. Recognize improvements, large and small. Hurrahs, hugs, and pats on the back can contribute significantly to a student’s motivation to learn.


Douglas Blocksma Award Recipient

The Douglas Blocksma Award is given annually to honor an individual counselor who has spent a career supporting the field of counseling and providing the highest level of service to its clients. This year'’ award at the WMCA Spring Banquet was given to honor Janet Bleke from Forest Hills Northern High School.

Jan was recommended for many reasons. As a school counselor, she has served students at all levels, elementary, middle and high school. AT each level she has continued to strive for programs that meet the ideals of the Michigan Comprehensive Guidance Model. Jan has also remained active in professional organizations and served as treasurer for WMCA from 1998-2000 and has remained an active member throughout her career. We are proud to honor Jan as an outstanding counselor in our professional midst.

WMCA Humanitarian of the Year Award

Many educators and community members can recognize Ms. Anne King who has worked in the Grand Rapids Public School system for 29 years serving as a student advocate and preventive specialist. Anne currently works at Iroquois Middle School working with classrooms and giving presentations and in-services on "Kids in Crisis" and other topics for the GRPS faculty. Anne will tell you she’s best known for her "drugs, sex and rock`n roll" information. In addition, she gives community presentations and trains school volunteers. She is a counselor who knows kids and families.

Anne grew up in Rockford, Illinois and attended Western Michigan University. She earned her bachelors degree in secondary social studies, a masters in counseling and guidance and a specialists degree in substance abuse prevention and counseling.

Anne’s daughter is a sophomore at Catholic Central High School. They enjoy traveling together, recently to Cozmel, Mexico. She also teaches, as she calls it, an aerobics class for "little old ladies."

WMCA Counselor of the Year Award

Linda Whitaker was our deserving recipient of the WMCA Counselor of the Year.  Linda is a Professional School Counselor at Kenowa Hills Intermediate School in Walker, Michigan.  Along with the regular and endless duties of a school counselor, Linda started the Boys and Girls
Matter Program with about 25- 5th and 6th graders and 8 high school leaders into a program that is built right into the curriculum.  Now, all students participate in the Girls and Boys Matter Program, and they have 26 high school students with a leadership position at the intermediate building.  Mrs. Whitaker also initiated a leadership club and maintains a comprehensive guidance program at the 5th and 6th grade level.  Linda is the sole counselor in her building with over 500 students on her caseload. She also runs a peer listeners group, and has trained conflict managers in the past.  Linda gives back to our profession regularly by taking on counseling interns, sitting on the WMCA Executive Board as Intermediate School Representative, and
participates in professional growth opportunities offered at the regional and state level.  Linda is married and has two children.  We are grateful to Linda Whitaker's contribution to our meaningful and significant profession.  Congratulations, Linda!



WMCA Spring Banquet Honors Scholarship Recipients

Did you know one of the many benefits of membership is involvement in scholarships?

At the annual banquet held April 28, 2005, WMCA announced the recipients of the annual senior high school scholarships. Two ladies were chosen by the selection committee to receive scholarships for further education at a Michigan college of $250.00 each. Danielle Cline of City High School was nominated by Susan Robinson and plans to pursue a career in pharmacy at Michigan State University. Megan Taliaferro, a senior from Kelloggsville High School, was nominated by her counselor, Nora Wade. Megan plans to pursue studies in social work and work with children . She will attend Grand Valley State University. Both students and their mothers attended our Spring Breakfast Banquet held at Forest View Hospital’s banquet room. They both send their sincere thanks for our generosity as a group to furthering their educational pursuits.

Membership News

Thank you to everyone who was a member for the 2005-2006 school year!! We had an increase in membership over last year, which is ALWAYS good to see. The energy and enthusiasm of our members keep this a dynamic, growing organization. It has been great to see all of you at events!! In this newsletter you will find a membership form for next year. I will also be sending an email with the form attached to those of you who gave me a working email address… and then actually read your email. I will also do a mass mailing in August. Feel free to send your membership in at any time…but realize the check will be held until August. If you send in your membership and then things change feel free to send me an email at wmcamembership@sbcglobal.net or call me at 616-863-6033 (work) or 616-531-5058 (home). Also feel free to make as many copies of the form as you would like and encourage your friends and co-workers to join this wonderful group. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing all of you in the fall! Deb Longuski, Membership Chair

Welcome New Board Members

Please welcome the newest additions to our board, Don Otten and Becky Turner.

This is Becky’s second year at Sparta High School and her 11th in the Catholic Diocese. She currently works one day a week at St. Jude School (K-8) and 4 days per week at Sparta where she is the 9th and 10th grade counselor. She is also the Foreign Exchange Advisor and YAC Advisor. She lives in EGR with her husband Barney, her daughters Kaitlyn (12) and Sophia (6) and her son Corey (11) and a Sheltie named Harley. She enjoys reading, tennis, spending summers at Lake Michigan, photography, and laughing…just to mention a few. She feels blessed in her work and hopes to keep doing it for a very long time.

Don is a counselor at Sparta Middle School, and will be serving on the board as one of our Middle School Representatives.  He received his education degree from the University of Wisconsin and Calvin College. He taught Adult Education for two years, and then moved to Kentwood to teach Alternative Education to high school students for five years.  By 1985, he had his Masters degree from Western Michigan University in Educational Leadership.  In 1989, Don transferred to Sparta Area Schools, and taught for another 13 years in alternative education at Englishville High School.  He completed another Masters degree from WMU in 1995 in Secondary Counseling.  He left alternative education in 2000 and became a counselor at Sparta Middle School.  Don is married to Judy, who is a special education teacher in Wyoming.  They have one son, who is a freshman at Grand Valley.


WMCA Announcement

Our executive board is pleased to congratulate elementary representative Tamara Johnston from Byron Center Public Schools on the recent birth of her daughter, Claire. Tamara leaves our executive board after two years representing elementary counselors and we support her reason for leaving our board a little early! Congratulations to her and her family!

2005 – 2006 WMCA Executive Board Meeting Dates

The 2004 – 2005 WMCA Executive board will transition to the 2005 – 2006 Executive board at the next meeting: May 12, 2005 at Kent ISD (Board Room), 2930 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Exiting and incoming board members should plan to attend.

The 2005 – 2006 Executive Board Meeting Dates are listed below. All meetings begin at 7:30 a.m. and are at Kent ISD in the Kent Room unless otherwise indicated.

*September 8, 2005 Executive Board Meeting

October 13, 2005 Fall Program Planning Meeting

*January 12, 2006 Executive Board Meeting

*March 9, 2006 Executive Board Meeting

April 27, 2006 Spring Banquet & Chapter Annual Business Meeting

*May 11, 2006 Executive Board Meeting; KISD

*Deadline for Newsletter articles/information

2005 2006 WMCA Dates to Remember

Even though it’s spring and fall is a few months away, mark your calendars today for these valuable WMCA professional development events.

July 22, 2005 Charles Jennings will lead the MCA Leadership Development Conference at Wahenaw Community Collage 8:30-4:00

October 15-18, 2005 MCA ’05 Conference—Creative Connections; Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City

November 17, 2005 Fall Program

February 28, 2006 Counselors Mini Conference at Kent ISD

April 27, 2006 Spring Banquet & Chapter Annual Business Meeting


















NCDA Career Devlopment Facilitator Training

The field of career development is growing, and so is the demand for well-trained, certified career development staff. Many individuals currently providing career assistance, including professional counselors, have not had any career services training. To be successful, career development programs require staff with current career service knowledge and skills.

Endorsed by the National Career Development Association (NCDA) the Career Development Facilitator (CDF) Training is a 120-hour instructional program designed for individuals who assist others with career development activities. It was developed to provide standards, training specifications and credentialing for individuals providing career information and services to others. The CDF Training has been an approved training since 1997 through the Center for Credentialing and Education, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors.


As a professional counselor, having the CDF certification; or having an assistant who has completed the training and certification, is good risk management. It reduces your risk of having untrained individuals providing career services. It can also help situtations where the counselor is overscheduled and still being asked to provide career services. The CDF does not have to be a licensed counselor, but must work under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

To date, over 70 individuals have completed the CDF training in West Michigan. Many are already employed in career service positions in Schools, Community Agencies, and businesses.

The CDF training is being offered in a variety of ways in West Michigan. For more information on CDF’s or CDF training program options in West Michigan contact: Liz Jones, MA, LPC, MCC, Career Development Consusltant, Kent Intermediate School District, 2930 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, 616-365-2260, lizjones@kentisd.org

A complete description of the CDF training can be accessed at the National Career Development Association (NCDA) website: www.ncda.org.


Career Website Resources

Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training www.doleta.gov Info on apprenticeships, benefits, eligibility and finding a program

Bureau of Labor and Statistics www.bls.gov/emp/home.htm Career outlooks, occupational employment projections and more

CareerInfoNet www.acinet.org Locate occupational certifications and how to acquire them; links to job corp; office of apprenticeship training; distance education and correspondence field, federal training programs, financial aid, loans, scholarships; explore occupations and what it takes; general outlook on career fields (fastest growing, most openings, largest employment, declining employment, highest paying); wages and trends; state information (state profile, labor market information); Career Tools (employability checkup, licensed occupations, employer locator, skills profiler, resume tutorial, scholarship search, financial aid advisor); links to career sites, state career resources and much more…

Career Focus 2000 Interest Inventory www.iccweb.com/careerfocus/index.asp 180 question interest inventory

The Career Interests Game www.dps.k12.il.us/dhs/counseling/884CIG.htm Based on Dr. Holland’s theory

Careerlink Inventory www.mpc.edu/cl/climain.htm This is a multipart inventory which includes assessments on interests, aptitude, temperaments, physical abilities and the conditions in which you would like to work. It also asks how much time you are willing to take in preparing for a new career.

The Career Key www.careerkey.org/english This assessment measures skills, abilities, values, personality and interests. It also identifies jobs skills and has career information.

Career Planner www.careerplanner.com Start with a career test before you begin career searching; free career planning information; career planning process, career reading room

CareerVideos www.acinet.org/acinet/library.asp?category=1.2 360 career videos showing real people doing real work. See occupations group industry areas or find which careers have similar characteristics such as: working outside; require only On-the-Job Training; for apprenticeships. Occupations are alphabetized.

College View www.collegeview.com Job profiles, salary info, job hinting, resumes, military careers, career planning, career directory

CareerZone www.nycareerzone.org Users may search by job cluster and select an occupation or search by job title to access occupational information based on the O*NET database. A guided tour, self-assessment, featured career, and additional resources are also available.

Constructions Careers in Michigan, www.miconstructioncareers.org This site provides salary stats, job offerings, and lists of apprentice school in Michigan and the surrounding areas. Online job descriptions offer info. Such as the scope of work, working conditions, apprenticeship requirements, and other contacts for more info. This site also give career descriptions for related careers such as cement masons, boilermakers and more

Engineering Net, www.jets.org Aimed at high school students curious about engineering, includes engineering job descriptions, suggestions for h.s. classes and activities, online directory of accredited schools, institutions, and associations of engineering

Engineering: Your Future , www.asee.org/precollege Created by The American Society for Engineering Education, this Web site answers common questions about choosing a major in the field and resulting career options that will become available after graduation. This site includes press releases, assessment tests, homework help, and information about choosing (and paying) for a college or university.

Major Resource Kits, University of Delaware, Career Services Center http://www.udel./edu/CSC/mrk.html Career information by academic major listed in alphabetical order. Each Major Resource Kit includes information on career paths, sample job titles, employment resources, and additional sources of information.

My Future, www.myfuture.com Designed for the high school graduate, this site describes alternatives to college, such as military opportunities, volunteering , internships, apprenticeships, or vocational school. A career page provides helpful tools such as personality and self-assessment tests, advice on resumes and cover letters, interviewing tips, and lists of hot job leads and workforce trends.

Nursing World, www.nursingworld.org This site offers a wealth of information about the field and provides links to sites that students can access information on continuing education, federal and private grant opportunities, tutorials, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Nursing Center, www.nursingcenter.com This site offers information for both nursing students and those in practice, including links to jobs, information on certification and much more.

Nursing Net, www.nursingnet.org Nursing net is a comprehensive site with general nursing information and provides a list of nursing schools

Occupation Outlook Handbook www.bls.gov/oco Provides data on more than 200 occupations. Users may find occupational info. By searching for a specific occupation, by cluster, or through the entire occupation list. Information on each includes earning potential, education, training requirements, and future employment outlook.

O*NET OnLine, United States Department of Labor http://online.onetcenter.org/ The O*NET database includes information on skills, abilities, knowledge, work activities associated with occupations. Users can connect to the O*NET Occupational Information Network Resource Center by clicking on the O*NET Resource Center icon.

PrincetonReview www.princetonreview.com Provides education and career resources. Includes information on resumes, cover letters, portfolios, interviews and internships. Take a Career Assessment Quiz and learn about college majors.

RileyGuide www.rileyguide.com Job resources, job opportunities, how to prepare for a job, salary and career information.

Schools in the USA http://www.schoolsintheUSA.com Detailed information on 1,000 careers, personality assessment test, a resume builder, budget calculator, hundreds or articles and links covering careers, job hunting, test prep, financial aid and more, state specific websites for every state with customized content on careers and colleges, application information, a compare function to view featured colleges side-by-side, searchable database of more than 3,000 accredited colleges

Talent Freeway www.talentfreeway.org On-line one-stop service for Michigan residents. Career Pathways; occupation info.; career planning.; skills assessment; education and training options; links to Michigan works (job matching system); Michigan internship center; MOIS; MI EDP; Career Education Consumer Report (lets individuals shop for education and training programs)

Wisemantech www.wisemantech.com/guidance/careerspecific.htm Links to information on Specific Careers (by major, by occupation, by classes, FBI employment, funky careers, and more)

Websites with Career, Personality, Abilities and Other Assessments: www.careerplanner.com, www.careerzone.com, www.myfuture.com, www.princetonreview.com, www.schoolsintheUSA.com, www.talentfreeway.com, www.iccweb.com/careerfocus/index.asp, www.dps.k12.il.us/dhs/counseling/884CIG.htm, www.careerkey.org/english, www.mps.edu/cl/climain.htm

Websites giving Career Outlooks: www.bls.gov, www.acinet.org, www.onlinonetcenter.org

Websites with Alternatives to College: www.doleta.org, www.michiganconstructioncareers.org, www.myfuture.com, www.bls.gov/oco, www.onlinenetcenter.org, www.acinet.org, www.bls.gov/emp/hom.htm, www.acinet.org, www.collegeview.com

College Planning Websites: www.plansforme.com/offtocollege/index.html, www.collegeprep.okstate.edu, www.ne-eps.com, www.schoolsintheUSA.com, www.talentfreeway.com, www.ccoach.vwh.net/ccoach/workshops/d/resources/, www.collegeconfidential.com, www.wiredscholar.com, www.mapping-your-future.org

Websites that Search for Schools by Major: www.udel.ed/csc/mrk.html, www.wisemantech.com/guidance/careerspecific.htm, www.makingcollegecount.com, www.mymajors.com, www.petersons.com, www.studysearies.com/mod-bin/PUB/index.cgl, www.uscollegesearch.org, www.usnews.com, www.wiredscholar.com, www.edonline.com/collegecompass/collegeprogram.com, www.collegeboard.com

ACT Websites: www.powerprep.com, www.aessuccess.org/indec.shtm, www.pertersons.com, www.princetonreview.com, www.schoolsintheUSA.com, www.wiredscholar.com, www.aboutcollegeadmissions.com, www.edonline.com/collegecompass/

Websites to Help with Writing Essays: www.ccoach.vwh.net/ccoach/workships/d/resources, www.essayedge.com/samples.shtm, www.petersons.com, www.essaywizard.net







West Michigan Counseling Association

A Regional Chapter of the Michigan Counseling Association

Membership Application

September 1, 2005 through August 31, 2006

Dues are $20.00 per year


p New Member p Returning Member Date__________________

Name _______________________________________________________

Mailing Address ________________________________________________


Phone ______________________ Fax Number ______________________

Email Address _________________________________________________

District/Agency ________________________________________________

Building _________________________________ Grade(s) _____________

Please indicate all of the following that apply to you:

Work Position Clientele Work Setting

p Counselor p Preschool p Public School

p Administrator p Elementary p Private School

p Social Worker p Middle School p College

p Psychologist p High School p Agency

p Consultant p College p Community Ed

p Student p Adults p Private Practice

Would you be willing to help with any WMCA programs and projects?


The above information will be published in our directory if this is received by November 1. Please send this completed application and a check or money order for $20.00 (made out to WMCA) to Deb Longuski, Membership Chair, 4123 Crooked Tree Road SW #7, Wyoming, MI, 49519.

Call for Volunteers



Please review the list of West Michigan’s Counseling Association committees and indicate any and all that you would be interested in serving on. Signing this form does not obligate you to serve on a committee.

Name _________________________School _________________________________

E-mail ________________________ Phone__________________________________

Fax _______________________________________

Please return to Danielle Ralston fax: 493-8714 or by courier to Forest Hills Central High School









Two Helpful Web Sites that Offer a Number of Quality Links to Enhance Your School Counseling Web Resources

Shawn Bultsma, South Christian High School Counselor



This online resource offers a safe, school-focused online learning tool. While virtually all schools in the U.S. are now wired for the Internet, studies clearly indicate that educators are not certain how best to make use of the medium's vast educational resources.

AOL@SCHOOL applies America Online's hallmark focus on convenience and ease-of-use to this dilemma, providing a variety of age-appropriate educational content. School counselors in the lower levels might find the Study Kits most helpful while high school counselors might appreciate the college & career section.

Available Free to Schools Nationwide
The AOL@SCHOOL software is available free to schools by calling 888-339-0767. The AOL@SCHOOL portals can also be accessed over the Internet at http://aolatschool.com/, so that students, teachers, administrators and parents can use the content included as part of this learning tool from home.

Age-Appropriate Learning Portals - Best Content Available
The heart of the AOL@SCHOOL system is a series of six online learning portals designed for grades K-2, 3-5, middle school, high school, teachers and administrators. The student portals provide an easy-to-navigate environment in which students can access Web sites that have been chosen by educators as the best educational content for that grade level. Additionally, the student portals provide a suite of functional online tools such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, a calculator and many other research and collaboration tools. The specially designed portals for teachers and administrators provide professional development and administrative help and resources, as well as the ability to search for subject and age-specific lesson plans.

Safety and Communications Features With Local Control
The AOL@SCHOOL software that you can order using the contact information provided above also comes with a version of AOL's special "parental controls" to help ensure a safe, secure, age-appropriate experience. In addition, school officials decide if, and when, students are ready to constructively use popular communications features such as e-mail, chat and instant messaging -- all controlled by local school officials.


Lesson Plans for School Counselors Available on the World Wide Web

In the Spring of 2002, Russ Sabella was invited to Macomb County Michigan to present to a group of school counselors about technology in counseling and career development. Part of the presentation focused on the role of the internet and other computer/networking applications in classroom guidance. Afterwards, much interest was generated among audience participants and Tom Powers, the district consultant, to further help Macomb counselors to use technology in classroom guidance. Of particular interest was how to recognize helpful lessons and resources on the world wide web among the millions of websites making up this vast electronic terrain. Included in this guide are selected websites resulting from their intensive search for useful and practical curricula.