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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 19, 2006

School Counselor Programs Net Regional Award For Gifted Education Emphasis

The North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NCACES) recently gave the University of Iowa College of Education's counselor education programs its Innovative Counselor Education Program Award.

The award, recognizing the program's new emphasis on gifted education, will be formally presented during the NCACES fall conference in Kansas City, Mo. on Friday, Oct. 20. According to the institution's website the award honors "an outstanding, innovative, and/or unique counseling or counselor education program at an institution in the NCACES Region."

Tarrell Portman, coordinator of the UI School Counseling and Counselor Education and Supervision Programs in the UI College of Education, said the award serves as a point of distinction for the programs within a 13-state region. NCACES is comprised of counselor educators in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

"The award recognizes not only our U.S.News and World Report rankings as 13th best in the country, but serves as an acknowledgement from peer institutions across the Midwest region," Portman said.

The school counseling master's program, the specific recipient of the award, is the first program in the nation to embrace the need for counseling skills targeting gifted and talented students. The innovative vision of inclusiveness in school counseling preparation was the basis for the award.

The School Counseling program has joined in partnership with The Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted and Talented Education to offer a school counseling degree with an emphasis in gifted and talented education.

UI School Counseling Program faculty say school counseling professionals are responsible for nurturing K-12 students to reach their full potential in the areas of academic, career and personal-social development regardless of their ability level. The program strives to prepare school counselors to be fully cognizant of all exceptionalities, particularly gifted and talented students.

The school counseling program is accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs as meeting national standards for counselor preparation programs and by the State of Iowa as an approved program leading to K-8 and 5-12 school counselor licensure in Iowa.

School counselors work with students in a variety of settings, including individual and small group counseling, classroom guidance, educational/career planning, and as consultants to teachers, parents, families and other professionals. Students in the school counseling program experience a variety of educational opportunities to learn and practice skills in these areas.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen J. Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,; Writer: Colin Burke.