All posts by Beth Gilfillan

Op-Ed: The Necessity of College Counseling Training


I was in over my head. I was a new school counselor for a high school’s inaugural senior class. From my first day, I was inundated with questions from my seniors.

“This school is asking for my non-custodial parent info, but my mom and I haven’t spoken to my dad since we came to the US years ago — does this mean I can’t apply?”

“My favorite school won’t accept the fee waiver you told me about — why not?”

“My parents want me to start at the community college, but I really want to start at U of I — what should I do?”

And most often, something to the tune of, “My parents didn’t go to college  how do I do all this?!”

We made it through that first year, but not without a lot of questions and mistakes along the way. That crash course in college counseling was something I will never forget, but it didn’t have to be so difficult.

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