Wellness Advocates Valuating Educators and Students (WAVES)

What is the WAVES Program?

Researchers in the Department of Counselor Education at FAU are proud to partner with Brevard Public Schools (BPS), the School District of Indian River County (SDIRC), the School District of Manatee County (SDMC), the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC), Polk County Public Schools (PCPS) to increase the number of mental health providers in high-poverty, high-need schools.

Who Can Apply?

The WAVES program will admit three cohorts of counselors-in-training to start their master's or Ed.S. degrees in School Counseling beginning Fall 2023, January 2024, and January 2025. To be eligible, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be employed in a partner school district.
  2. Hold a bachelor's or higher degree.
  3. Meet the admission requirements (3.0 UGPA, GRE scores) and application deadlines.

Project Team

Dr. Elizabeth Villares Sacks Dr. Elizabeth Villares Sacks
Principal Investigator
Dr. Phyllis Hannah Bowers Parker Dr. Phyllis Hannah Bowers Parker
Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor

District Partners

Brevard Public Schools (BPS)
School District of Indian River County (SDIRC)
District of Manatee County (SDMC)
School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC)
Polk County Public Schools (PCPS)

Program Instructors

  • Dr. Hannah Bowers
  • Dr. Eleanor Craft
  • Dr. Kadeem Campbell
  • Dr. Melissa Garcia
  • Dr. Michael Kane
  • Dr. Christina Ladd
  • Dr. Carmen Larson
  • Dr. Olga Rocha
  • Dr. Deirdra Sanders-Burnett
  • Dr. Ivette Urbina
  • Dr. Tiffany Vastardis
  • Dr. Elizabeth Villares Sacks

Advisory Board Members

Coming soon

How do I gather more information?

1. Upcoming Information Sessions 2. Frequently Asked Questions for Spring 2024 Cohort 3. Cohort Sequences (coming soon) a. FALL 2023 b. SPRING 2024 c. FALL 2025 Apply here button Contact form to Request more information Button Department Contact for more information

Project Goal and Outcomes

The Department of Counselor Education will train 119 diverse and culturally responsive aspiring school counselors to earn their Florida School Counselor certification to expand that pipeline of qualified school-based mental health providers.

Annual Reports

In the News Link to Press Releases

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug-free Schools and Communities – National Programs 84.184X. This webpage is operated and maintained by the Department of Counselor Education. The contents of this Web site do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education nor do they imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.