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School Counseling Positive Impact Award

The Clemson University School Counseling Positive Impact Award (PI Award) seeks to recognize school counselors who make a difference in their schools and who collect and disseminate data to demonstrate their effectiveness. Our students learn about the importance of accountability and we like to be able to show them examples of school counselors using data effectively.

Congratulations to the 2015-16 PI Award Recipient Michelle Batson-Curd!

Michelle Batson-Curd 2015-16 PI Award Recipient

(2015-16 School Counseling PI Award Recipient Michelle Batson-Curd, school counselor at Hughes Academy for Science and Technology in Greenville County and 2010 graduate of Clemson’s school counseling program)

Rock On!
To help decrease disciplinary referrals among 7th graders at Hughes Academy, school counselor Michelle Batson-Curd was part of the team that developed the ROCK Card - standing for Respect, Order, Communication, and Kindness. The card offers school staff members a system for documenting positive student behaviors as well as behavioral infractions. The ROCK card, which students carry each day, is coupled with interventions focused on reinforcing positive behaviors and counseling students regarding inappropriate behaviors. The ROCK card offers students the opportunity to make mistakes and correct their behavior along the way with appropriate support.

Michelle collected outcome data regarding the number of disciplinary referrals at the beginning of the year and at the end of the 3rd quarter. She also collected perception data via student feedback surveys.

Although results did not show an overall decrease in disciplinary referrals, as hoped, Michelle did find that the percentage of disciplinary referrals that were related to violence dropped from 11% in the 2014-15 school year to 3% in the 2015-16 school year. She also found a reduction in the number of students who reached 3 referrals.

Figure 1. The percentage of students receiving referrals, by academic year.

Michelle plans to meet with her school behavioral management task force to discuss these results further and identify additional ways to impact students, with a goal of decreasing disciplinary referrals. Congratulations for making a Positive Impact in your school!

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  • 2014-15 PI Award Recipient

    Congratulations to the 2014-15 PI Award Recipient – Ginger Phillips!

    Ginger Phillips

    2014-15 School Counseling PI Award Recipient Ginger Phillips, school counselor at Mabry Middle School in Spartanburg District 1 and 2009 graduate of Clemson’s school counseling program

    I Can Go To College!
    To help increase college knowledge and awareness among students at Mabry Middle School, school counselor Ginger Phillips led the “I Can Go To College!” initiative targeting 8th grade students. She taught classroom lessons on college topics and coordinated a number of special events such as College Colors Day, a college pep rally, and the Wall of Honor, which highlighted the colleges attended by Mabry faculty and staff.

    Ginger conducted a pre- and post-test to assess students’ interest in attending college as well as their knowledge about in-state and out-of-state colleges, scholarships, college admissions requirements, and high school graduation requirements. She was able to gather data from 170 8th grade students and found that her efforts led to increased knowledge (see Table below).

    Question Pretest Posttest Change

    Do you plan to attend college?

    89% Yes

    94% Yes


    Can you list 3 SC scholarships that are available to all students?

    0% got correct answer

    74% got correct answer


    Can you list 5 South Carolina colleges?

    23% correctly listed five

    59% correctly listed five


    Can you list 5 out-of-state colleges?

    14% correctly listed five

    44% correctly listed five


    How many credits are required to graduate from high school?




    List 3 things you think colleges look for when determining admissions.




    Based on the results, Ginger plans to add college readiness classroom lessons to the 7th grade curriculum and place more emphasis on content related to in-state and out-of-state colleges as well as admissions requirements. She has been able to share her successful program with other school counselors throughout the state. Congratulations for making a Positive Impact in your school!

  • 2013-14 PI Award Recipients

    Congratulations to the 2013-14 PI Award Recipients!

    Alumni recipient Carrie McCain from Hughes Academy, and Site Supervisor (also Clemson alumni) recipient Claire Barnett from Blythe Academy, both in the Greenville County School District.Alumni recipient Carrie McCain from Hughes Academy, and Site Supervisor (also Clemson alumni) recipient Claire Barnett from Blythe Academy, both in the Greenville County School District.

    Chart of Hughes Academy project dataCarrie McCain led a mentoring program at Hughes Academy, coordinating mentoring activities for 78 students who were matched with adult mentors. By comparing data from the 2012-13 academic year to data from the 2013-14 academic year for all 78 participating students, they found that the program helped decrease disciplinary referrals (from 1.7 per student down to 1.2 per student) as well as improve academic performance (more classes passed), as demonstrated in the graph pictured here. Please read the Hughes Academy project summary for more details.


    Claire Barnett led a Soaring to Success study skills group at Blythe Academy for 5 students, meeting weekly for 45 minutes during the first semester and bi-weekly after that. She incorporated creative approaches to teach the students organizational skills, test-taking skills, and general study skills. Data she gathered revealed improvements in MAP reading and math test scores (see table below) as well as varying improvements in course grades. Please read the Blythe Academy project summary for more details.

    Table of data from Blythe Academy project

  • Future Awards

    Pending available funding, one award recipient will be selected each year. The recipient will receive a plaque and a $200 gift card for his/her school counseling program. Check back in August for more information.

  • How to Apply

    Applicants must follow the PI Award Application Guidelines and use the PI Award Initial Application. The PI Award Permission to Disseminate form must be signed and submitted with the summary materials. This information will be available in August.

  • Questions?

    Contact Dr. Amy Milsom, School Counseling Program Coordinator

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