From College of Education Year in Review
The COE has partnered with Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy in various academic endeavors, including facilitation of the Justice League.
The Justice League is an after-school educational group for Shortridge students in grades 6-9, who are interested in exploring topics relevant to the lives of adolescents. The Justice League meetings are facilitated by first-year Butler University school counseling students enrolled in ED 577 Group Procedures, and overseen by course instructor Brandie Oliver and assisted by school counseling intern Shelley Woodward.
During the group sessions, students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and engage in discussion of various topics selected by the Justice League students. Topics have included teen pregnancy, domestic abuse, GLBTQ issues, runaway prevention and appreciating diversity.
The Butler students are responsible for developing a group lesson with accompanying activities that are appropriate for the topic.
The Shortridge project fulfills the knowledge and skills standards specific to school counseling, as set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. Those skills include understanding group dynamics—including counseling, psycho-educational, task and peer helping groups – and the facilitation of teams; self-awareness, sensitivity to others, and the skills needed to relate to diverse individuals, groups, and classrooms; and experience in individual and group counseling and classroom guidance to promote the academic, career and personal/social development of students.
The collaboration between Shortridge and the Butler School Counseling Program seemed an appropriate fit. The plan definitely fulfilled the educational needs of all students involved; however, no one could predict the impact that has been permanently left with these students.
The relationships and interactions between the Butler school counseling students and Shortridge students have been powerful. The following comments from Shortridge and Butler students clearly demonstrate this has been a rewarding experience for all participants.
“It has been fun to spend time with Butler University students. I have learned a lot from them because they know a lot more about the world than we do. We talked about serious issues that affect students.” – 9th Grade Student, Shortridge
“I liked meeting all of the Butler students. I liked coming to the group because I got to do a lot of fun things, and I learned a lot about important stuff for teens.” – 6th Grade Student, Shortridge
“I like talking about injustice and things that teenagers experience. I got to do this in this group with the Butler students. I liked the information they gave us.” – 9th Grade Student, Shortridge
“This has truly been an eye-opening experience for me. I walked into the doors of the school slightly nervous, but I came out rejuvenated and excited. These students are brilliant, talented and have every reason to walk with their heads held high. I wish them the absolute best in their future endeavors.” –Marshay Allen, Butler School Counseling Student
“I was very impressed with how engaged the Shortridge students were during our weekly sessions of the Justice League. They participated with enthusiasm, care and great interest. These students have a pulse on how each of them can be successful in life, and I have every confidence that they will do just that.” – Becky Bechtel, Butler School Counseling Student
“I was deeply impressed by the thought-provoking questions the Shortridge students asked. I was also inspired by their risk-taking and bravery to put themselves out there.” – Sarah Pollack, Butler School Counseling Student