How Do I Apply For an Open Board Seat?

Kathleen Mills of PracticeMentors.us

Note: There's an LPC Board seat opening up in Feb of 2023 that needs to be filled. Why not you?

I know what you're thinking. "Kathleen, there's an (fill in your particular license type) open Board seat coming up soon and I might be interested in applying. We've got to do something to turn this thing around or we're going to be regulated right out of our practices!"

Well, you're right, so I'm about to share with you what the governor's office is looking for and how to apply. Here we go.

What Are the Requirements?

(3) board seats open up every Feb 1st in odd-numbered years. That means your next opportunity to snag a board seat is 4 months away from this writing, and your next opportunity after that will be Feb of 2025. Act now.

Okay, I'm quoting directly from the Occupations Code Chapter 503 here, for LPC:

(a) To be qualified for appointment as a licensed professional counselor member of the board, a person must:

     (1) be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state for the 30 months preceding appointment;

     (2) have engaged in the field of counseling for at least 24 months or 2,000 hours; and

     (3) be licensed under this chapter.

(b) To be qualified for appointment as a public member of the board, a person must:

     (1) be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state for the 30 months preceding appointment; and

     (2) be at least 18 years old.

Additional Thoughts

In more practical, everyday terms that also means:

  1. You'll need to be able to articulate why you want to serve, how you view the role of board members in agencies like BHEC, and most importantly, that regardless of your personal beliefs or opinions, that he will respect the primacy of the legislature and adhere to the laws they pass. In other words, the Governor needs to  know that you are an individual who will respect the laws and limitations passed by the legislature and will not try and substitute his own views for those of duly elected officials.
  2. A negative disciplinary history with your Board is not going to help you at all. You need to know that.
  3. The governor's office prefers someone with no special interest group affiliations; independent thinkers. (The reason the boards are full of TCA and CCA members right now is because they've done a better job of putting forth candidates. Time for us second-class stakeholders to step up!).
  4. You have to be willing to serve a 6 year term.
  5. You have to be willing and able to show up at the meetings whether they're virtual, or held in-person somewhere around the state (yes, you get reimbursed for expenses).
  6. Bonus Myth Buster: I've always heard the rumor that you had to donate to the current political party in power to be considered, but I have it on the best authority that that's not true at all. Myth dispelled.

So, How Do I Apply For an Open Board Seat?

The governor's office picks and approves from an available list of prospects. Apparently there's a chronic shortage of qualified applicants so let's give them something to pick from this time!

1. Find the official application right here. Follow the directions and submit it just exactly how they tell you to do it. (remember #1 under "Additional Thoughts" above)

2. Optional: Include a letter of recommendation from an elected official.

Since whomever the incumbent governor is that's doing the selecting has his reputation on the line, having a letter of recommendation from an elected representative, senator, judge, etc is going to make his office feel more comfortable about possibly placing you in a position of authority. (see #1 under "Additional Thoughts" above)

If you know one, great. Call their office, tell them what you're doing and ask for a letter of recommendation.

If you don't know anyone, ask your friends if any of them do. Someone you know knows a rep, a senator, or a judge  and can vouch for you either in person or through a written introduction. Then ask the official for a letter.

This step is not required, it's just a really good idea to make the selectors feel more inclined to put your app in the short list and eventually pick you!

That's pretty much it. Just promise the rest of us that once you make it on to the Board that you'll remember your "why" (and the state laws, of course!) and let it drive everything you do while you hold the seat.

Summary

Every time a seat opens up on any of the 4 Boards we need to push a line of qualified candidates to the governor's office. It's going to take time to turn the tide and return our profession to sanity, but we didn't get here overnight and the fix won't be quick either.

But you, you, can make a big difference if you're willing.

Oh, and please let us know if you decide to apply so we can cheer you on. You got this!

Plan Smart. Be Safe. Serve Others.

Kathleen Mills, LPC-S, CEAP

Open Board Seat | PracticeMentors

Got An Opinion?

These posts are my beliefs based on my a) 32 years of practice as a mental health provider and b) my own research. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to leave your civil, constructive comments below. I try very hard to back up my liberty-based statements with my own experience and/or verifiable facts and I would ask you to do the same. You do not need to be logged in to leave a comment.

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About Kathleen Mills

Kathleen Mills is a fire-breathing, 30+ year veteran of the counseling world. A tireless warrior for the profession, her goal with PracticeMentors.us is to bullet-proof the counseling profession so that what happened to her doesn't happen to you!

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