Magazine article District Administration

School Counselors Underutilized, Survey Says

Magazine article District Administration

School Counselors Underutilized, Survey Says

Article excerpt

Although school counselors play an important role in students' college and career readiness, a lack of training and focus on this task often impedes their work, according to the 2012 National Survey of School Counselors. This can directly impact student success, the survey found, since students in schools where counselors are trained and held accountable for college-related activities are more likely to go to college.

Virtually all counselors and administrators agreed that the mission of schools should be "to ensure that all students, regardless of background, have equal access to a high-quality education," the survey found. Yet counselors, whose job is to help fulfill this goal, are often called on to be substitute teachers and test coordinators, positions which often do not require a degree. Nearly 70 percent say they are tasked with administrative and clerical duties.

"Counselors' work with college and career readiness is incredibly needed," says Mary Bruce, an education policy analyst with Civic Enterprises and co-author of the report. "Right now in many districts, they are being pulled away from being able to do the job they are ready and willing to do." The survey, which covers a nationally representative sample of 806 middle school and 2,084 high school counselors, was conducted by the College Board, a nonprofit organization that administers the SAT exam and oversees the AP program. …

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