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Topic: Bruce Brand

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April 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Guest: Use other resources to free up counselors’ time

bruce

Bruce Band

Today’s young people need sophisticated skills to tackle life after high-school graduation, whether that includes college or a technical career. So what can counselors and other educators do to help them make this transition?

Some of the answer may lie in freeing counselors to mentor lagging students at all levels of school, including high school. Additional funding from the state Supreme Court’s mandate will be critical, but some creative repurposing of new and existing funds could also play a useful role.

High school counselors do help students with the college application process, but a myriad other duties limits the amount of time and energy they can put into this task. Oftentimes, this college advisement amounts to little more than impersonal classroom presentations.

Students whose families have already channeled them to higher education are the ones who get direction out of such presentations, while those who profoundly need the information tune out because they lack the framework of expectation and personal infrastructure upon which to hang what they are being told.

Outside of the family, the only really effective way to steer students toward post-secondary education is by building personal relationships with kids at each level of schooling. Unfortunately, our focus on testing has diverted considerable time from such informal tutelage, and budget cuts have further undercut that traditional role.

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