School counselor training bill gets preliminary approval in Senate

By Morgan Jacobsen | Posted - Mar. 5, 2015 at 4:16 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah senators gave preliminary approval Thursday to an initiative that would provide training for school counselors to bring them up to date on today's college and career environment.

HB198 would direct $440,000 from the education fund to create an online certification program for counselor professional development in helping students take the necessary steps to prepare for college or a job after high school.

The grant would be enough to enroll about 600 counselors, and the Legislature may appropriate additional funds next year if demand for the program is high, according to bill sponsor Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek.

The bill would require the Utah State Office of Education to partner with the Utah State Board of Regents and regional businesses to develop the 120-hour voluntary training program for working counselors.

"This is an important bill to align our educational offerings with the marketplace," said floor sponsor Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George.

The bill awaits another vote in the Senate before going before the governor for his signature.

— Morgan Jacobsen

Morgan Jacobsen

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