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School Counselors Cannot Do It All

Since 1965, ASCA has recommended a student-to-school counselor ratio of 250:1. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, the 2021–2022 national student-to-school-counselor ratio was 408:1(lower in high schools). In Texas the state average student-to-school counselor ratio is 390:1. Riddle me this. How is a high school counselor support 390 students’ social and emotional needs and academic outcomes and college/career readiness? Additionally, take on extra duties including substitute teaching, administrative work, COVID-19 contact tracing, coordinating student tests, and lunch duty. The short and sad answer is some students will fall through the cracks of this system, which impacts post-secondary decisions (College, Military, Certifications, Workforce). Here are some tips for parents and guardians.

  • Be your child's advocate. Meet and talk with high school counselors regularly. Become their partner in assisting with their child's academic, social, and emotional needs.

  • Share success stories or updates with counselors. It truly brightens their day.

  • Hire a college readiness coach or find a college readiness program.

Here are a couple of tips for high school counselors.

  • Partner with resources at your school such as TRIO, AVID, and all of the college readiness programs at your high school.

  • Provide college prep development for entire development and parents.

  • Continue to advocate with American School Counselors Association to lower the student-to-school counselor ratio in your state.

Data source: American School Counselors Association

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