Want college counseling help? Well, some guidance counselors are better than others. Shocker, we know this. According to the College Board’s “2011 National Survey of School Counselors,” many guidance counselors or high school college counselors just don’t have that much faith in their college advising knowledge and skill-set based on a lack of training. In fact, it’s the minority of high school counselors who express full confidence in their own abilities! According to the survey, “Only a small minority feel very well trained for their jobs (only 16 percent rate their training as a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale).”
Does that surprise you? If you’ve been reading our blog over the years, it shouldn’t. And, most of the time, it’s not the fault of high school counselors. Expertise in college admissions counseling doesn’t come via osmosis. Where do high school counselors receive training in college admissions counseling? They don’t usually! Are they trained in helping students suffering from depression? Maybe. In dealing with an ailing parent? Maybe. In a student coming out of the closet? Maybe. But not necessarily in college counseling…much less highly selective college counseling!
According to the survey, “The majority of counselors have a master’s degree (73 percent) and important prior work experience (58 percent were teachers or administrators)…Nearly three in 10 (28 percent) believe their training did not prepare them well for their job and more than half (56 percent) feel only somewhat well trained.” And a master’s degree in counseling, by the way, doesn’t typically entail a whole lot of training in college counseling. So even the majority of the 73% aren’t necessarily helpful…through no fault of their own! Are there exceptions? Of course! There are some fantastic high school counselors out there who know the ins and outs of the college admissions process.