School of Education

School Counseling Positive Impact Award

Clemson University

School of Education - School Counseling Program

 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 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!

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.


Contact Dr. Amy Milsom, School Counseling Program Coordinator

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