In fact, the odds are high that your high school counselor’s knowledge about college admission strategies, standardized testing and scholarships, and financial aid is limited. Ironically, during this period of increasing college costs, financial aid is often the subject that high school counselors know the least about.
Many high school counselors are unfortunately overwhelmed with the work and student caseloads of more than 500 students to 1 counselor. But it’s not just the crazy schedules and large high schools that explain why high school counselors aren’t equipped with the knowledge and training to help families through the process. Here’s the real reason :Before school counselors can begin working in a public high school, they must earn a Master’s degree in counseling. The graduate school programs, however, rarely offer even ONE class in college planning. So through no fault of their own, the majority of counselors arrive at high schools simply unaware of critical college admission issues.
Without formal training, new high school counselors rely on colleagues at their schools to show them the ropes. It usually takes 4-5 years before counselors feel comfortable guiding families through the college and financial aid processes. Many parents would be shocked to learn that most high school counselors are not college authorities. Many parents believe that high school counselors would be able to answer all their questions if they could only get some precious face time with them.
Parents and students need counselors with the knowledge and tools to assist them through this difficult process, and high school counselors need that knowledge and the correct tools to do so!
A Need for College Guidance Training for High School Counselors
College and career guidance and counseling programs aim to help students make more informed and better educational and career choices. Among other things, these programs offer information on high school course offerings, career options, the type of academic and occupational training needed to succeed in the workplace, and post-secondary opportunities that are associated with their field of interest. Programs also often provide teachers, administrators, and parents with information they can use to support students’ career exploration and post-secondary educational opportunities.
Brand College Consulting offers varied presentations, workshops and seminars to assist educators, counselors, and parents understand more about college counseling and career guidance. These programs typically include training on how to:
- Advise students and parents on high school programs and academic curriculum, preparing them for college application and admission, including dual/concurrent enrollment and Advanced Placement credits to prepare college-bound students for the rigor of college.
- Plan and prepare for college admissions tests, SAT and ACT, including suggested timelines that vary by student and family goals.
- Inform parents and students about college financing applications and options that can be used to support advanced education and training.
- Assist students in developing career portfolios and student resumes, which include test and grades results, examples of student work, letters of recommendation, and cover letters to prospective employers.
- Arranging job shadowing, work placements, and community-based learning programs to allow students to directly experience workplace situations.
- Navigate educational technology to assist counselors, teachers and families, including tools and websites from Naviance, Parchment, College Navigator, US News College Rankings, College Cost Navigator, and College Board.
- Special presentations that focus on job skills and personal development.
- Provide specialized counseling and intervention services to provide students with individualized attention, such as college learning communities for students with learning disabilities, college athlete recruiting, vocational students, and pregnant/parenting students
Recognizing the importance of career guidance and counseling programs for student’s post-secondary success, Brand College Consulting hopes to play a key role in supporting school’s efforts to build and implement these programs through school presentations, workshops and training. All presentations can be tailored to specific audience goals, size and topics.
Please contact Jolyn Brand directly to inquire about scheduling a presentation for your school, district, graduate program, or workshop.
Jolyn Brand and Brand College Consulting are approved as a Continuing Education Provider for the State of Texas.