School Counseling

In an effort to reduce the wait time for school personnel to report suspected allegations of child abuse and/or neglect, the Department of Children's Services has issued a toll-free hotline number for school personnel only:


A free online training about how to report child abuse and neglect in Tennessee is available via the University of Tennessee College of Social Work.

School counseling programs in Tennessee have always played an important role in the educational process for students. School counselors work with students, families, communities, faculties and staff to address issues that have a substantial impact on student academic, personal/social and career development. Wherever counselors serve, be it in rural, urban or suburban areas, they strive to meet the needs of all students.

To learn more about school counseling see resources below. For additional information, please contact Leigh Bagwell, Coordinator of School Counseling Services.


Revised School Counselor Model & Standards Policy

The department is very pleased to announce the State Board of Education approved a full revision of the Comprehensive School Counseling Model of Practice and Student Standards. This comprehensive framework and standards will govern the day-to-day activities of all professional school counselors working with students from kindergarten to 12th grade. This revision includes alignment to national standards as well as the input of hundreds of practicing Tennessee school counselors. This revised model and standards will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.

Following the state board’s recent approval of the revised model and standards, the department has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document (here) to guide school leaders and counselors as they begin planning for implementation.

The department will also release additional guidance documents to provide additional support to schools and districts, including an Implementation Guide and Resource Guide, in the coming months. Trainings for school counselors and administrators will be announced in the spring in advance of implementation during the 2017-18 school year.

Implementation Exemplars Program
ACT Fee Waivers for Exam Retake

Eleventh and twelfth grade students who meet an indicator of economic need, such as qualifying for free or reduced priced lunches, are eligible to retake the ACT up to two separate times, using an ACT Fee Waivers. This fee waiver allows a qualified student to retake the ACT on a national testing date separate from our statewide testing date, April 19, without paying the exam fee.

Eligible students can also receive free test preparation resources.

If your district would like to order fee waivers, please contact ACT Student Services at (319) 337-1270. Additional information regarding student eligibility, ordering fee waivers, and submitting forms can be found here. If you have general questions about the ACT process in Tennessee, please email

FAFSA Completion Resources

The deadline for Tennessee Promise students to file the FAFSA is Feb. 15. Filling out the FAFSA gives students access to scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs administered by the federal government. The FAFSA can also help students receive school-based financial aid.

The Federal Student Aid’s Financial Aid Toolkit is available to assist students, families, and schools. Additionally, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) has resources available that counselors can share with their students. Students must create a FSA ID before completing the FAFSA. For more information contact your TSAC Outreach Specialist or

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Training

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a 7.5 hour program that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. YMHFA training is designed for all youth-serving adults, including teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, extended learning directors and school staff.

To learn more about YMHFA, visit . For additional information or to schedule a YMHFA training, email

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