Adams State’s Allen advocates for counseling students

ALAMOSA — Adams State University Courtney Allen, Ph.D., associate professor of counselor education, has testified before state legislature which helped pass laws to improve education policies for professionals in public school counseling and in the classroom. Advocacy is her passion.

Most recently her testimony helped pass HB 22-1220 Removing Barriers to Educator Preparation Act. The bill will help address the current Colorado school counselor and teacher shortage by providing financial assistance to qualified educators-in-training. “My voice is amplified when joined with other voices to support college students who want to pursue careers in school counseling and classroom educators,” Allen said.

Adams State University School of Education and School of Counselor Education will receive $1,211,613 to implement the Educator Stipend Program and the Student Educator Test Stipend Program. The amount includes $59,838 to be used by the program or institution for program administration, $1,089,000 for educator stipends, and $62,775 for test stipends.

“My passion for the field of school counseling and my love for training mental health and school counselors guides my actions to advocate for laws and policies to support them while they pursue their professional goals,” Allen added.

According to Allen, the state and the nation continue to see a need for highly qualified professionals in the field of school counseling.

“We continue to see an increase in suicide ideation and mental health concerns in our public schools,” Allen said. “This can have a great impact on the socioemotional growth and development of K12 students and affect academic success. Removing obstacles for school counselors to enter the profession is vitally important.”

Colorado School Counselor Association (CSCA) Executive Director Matthew McClain appreciates Allen’s continued dedication to her profession and students.

“There have been several times where we have leaned on Dr. Allen's experience with graduate students and her knowledge of the field to provide testimony for the Colorado Legislature,” he said.

Allen provided immense support and guidance to CSCA when creating a school counselor induction course for licensed mental health providers entering the school counseling field through an alternative pathway.

“Her lens of academia and the counseling field continues to provide us with expert perspective time and again,” McClain said. “In the recent legislative session, she provided testimony on a bill providing educators, teachers and counselors, a stipend for practicum and internship. These monies will be lifesavers for many school counselors in preparation to enter the field.”