It’s not the fault of high school college counselors. Most don’t even go by this title. Most, like Connie Britton’s character on critical darling “Friday Night Lights” go by guidance counselor. College counseling is just one of the many duties of these hard working individuals who received master’s degrees in counseling that just didn’t cover the highly selective college admissions process. Instead, counseling degrees cover mental health counseling and this lack of college counseling training invariably creates a knowledge gap.
According to the blog “College Solution,” “This lack of training on the graduate level is ‘pretty scary,’ suggests Bob Bardwell, a public high school counselor in Massachusetts and a vice president at the American School Counselor Association. A few years ago, Bardwell was a member of a task force that experienced limited success in encouraging graduate schools to add even a single college planning class to their curriculum. While there are hundreds of these graduate programs across the country, Bardwell estimates that only two dozen or so offer a college counseling class.”
In our recent newsletter on private college counselors, we delineated other reasons why high school counselors, despite their best intentions, may not be the most valuable resource to you as you navigate the highly competitive college admissions process. The knowledge gap, lack of personal attention, and non-college counseling responsibilities are a few of the reasons why many students and parents turn to private college counselors. It is, however, always important to turn to the right private college counselor. There are a sea of bad ones out there, and only a select few good ones.