An Update on the State of Counselors and College Admission Training
By: Patrick O'Connor Ph.D
It’s been a little over two years since The Chronicle of Higher Education published a column on the lack of training counselors receive in college admission counseling. The piece concluded with a call to policy makers to determine how counselor readiness could be improved in college admission counseling, since less than 10 percent of all counselor training programs in the US offered any preparation in this area (you can see the entire article at http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/college-counseling-could-be-better-just-ask-your-school-counselor/29545).
The column has inspired a great deal of discussion and seed-planting. Informally, dozens of school counselors have reached out to the colleges that trained them and offered to teach a college counseling class as an elective. Formally, counselor educators and school counselors have joined together to create the Transforming School Counseling and College Access Interest Network. The group meets regularly online to determine how to improve training in college counseling.
At the same time, mounting evidence suggests progress could continue to be too small, and too glacial. College Board’s second survey of school counselors showed little change in counselors’ perceptions of professional readiness in college counseling. This sentiment was echoed in the recent book Top Student, Top School, where valedictorians from urban schools gave a scathing assessment of their counselors when it came to college advising.
If counselors are aware of the paucity of training, and students keenly feel the impact of this void, what can be done to make sure another two years and six million high school graduates don’t pass by without meaningful change in the availability of quality college advising? These steps would lend crucial momentum to the effort:
Two years have shown an increase in interest in more training in college advising, along with six million reminders why better training is more important than ever. It’s time for the conversations to shift into action; the opportunity is nigh, and the stakes have never been higher.
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Labels: Admissions, Counselor Training
Tuesday, February 18, 2014Top Ten Trends in College Admissions (with a few bonus references on Michigan)
By: Patrick O'Connor Ph.D
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.