NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University is connecting counselors, teachers and administrators by hosting the Counselor Summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Education Annex, Room 127, on SFA's campus.

This free event is open to high school counselors, career and technical education teachers, and principals and superintendents in the region. Space is limited, and the first 55 participants to register online will receive reserved seats and a lunch in the Culinary Café. To register visit Door prizes will be awarded.

Three years ago, Dr. Nancy Shepherd, program coordinator for family and consumer sciences at SFA, recognized the important connection counselors and teachers have to students who need up-to-date information about college and career opportunities. This realization helped her conceptualize the Counselor Summit.

"Providing seamless connection from secondary to postsecondary education is possible with educated counselors and teachers who can match student skills and aptitudes with opportunities,"" Shepherd said.

This year's summit will begin with a greeting from Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education, and Dr. Lynda Martin, the director of the School of Human Sciences. The summit's keynote speaker is Mick Normington, a business specialist with the Texas Workforce Commission. He will discuss Working Texas Style: The Changing Jobs Market of Texas and Deep East Texas from 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Additionally, the summit will feature a panel discussion with regional employers to help participants gain a local perspective on the job market and what employers are looking for in employees. Shepherd is looking forward to the valuable insights this panel will offer summit attendees.

"Preparing our students to be successful in the workforce is vital to their career success and a community's strength and vitality,"" Shepherd said.

At noon, students in SFA's hospitality program will serve participants lunch in the Culinary Café. Dr. Steve Bullard, SFA's interim provost, and other COE program coordinators will speak during lunch.

Another program highlight will showcase COE faculty members and students discussing programs in the college to help recruit students. Dr. Karen Alexander of Achieve Texas, the college and career initiative in Texas, also will present updates concerning House Bill 5 and PrePac, a credential for high school students.

For more information, contact Shepherd at or (936) 468-1413.