Preliminary findings from a survey administered by AASA: The School Superintendents Association show that many school districts plan to use funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program to improve school counseling.
Nearly one-third of college-bound high school graduates don’t arrive at any college campus the following fall.
This pervasive problem is known as summer melt and Patrick O’Connor, a former NACAC president and current school counselor ambassador fellow at the US Department of Education, has some advice for combating it.
The new staff members are expected to take over standardized testing duties and oversee services for students with disabilities. The hope is that these new counselors will make it possible for existing counselors on staff to spend more time focusing on the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.
About 40 percent of undergraduates at four-year institutions do not complete a degree within six years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And the number is even higher for low-income students.
One charter school system wants to change that statistic for their alumni. They have retooled their college counseling program and instead of focusing solely on getting into college, they now address what it takes to graduate from college.
School counselors in US public schools currently serve an average of 482 students, a caseload nearly twice the recommended maximum of 250.
That finding is highlighted in a new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) showing that the average student-to-school counselor ratio has increased by 1 percent over the past decade.
Editor’s Note: National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, is always celebrated the first full week in February. Learn more about this year’s celebration and use the comment section below to let us know why you love being a school counselor.
When asked what I like most about my job, I always respond with: “Life is lived in my office.” My work days are filled with the highs, and occasionally the lows, of teenagers navigating high school, reflecting on their experiences, and planning for the future. As students share their lives with me, often with laughter yet sometimes through a few tears, it is inspiring. If anyone doubts we will soon find a nation filled with creative, diligent, and altruistic leaders, then they should spend a day with me. And here’s why:
It just figures that National School Counseling Week starts the day after the Super Bowl. The country gorges on guacamole-covered chicken wings on Sunday, and when America’s most misunderstood group of educators asks for three nacho chips and a high-five on Monday, the country is too tired to party.
In some ways, we don’t mind. The last time we made headlines, most people surveyed felt that school counselors were more of a hindrance than a help in applying to college. Before that, we were the punch line of a car ad — “Your guidance counselor drives a minivan” — or we were known as the washed-up teachers who were given offices close to the principal so he could keep an eye on us.