Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A call for more educational counselors and improvements to pre-service training and professional development

Educational counseling is poorly funded in California and receives little attention to the important role that this job plays in the lives of students.

This is an area of employment in the school systems that seems to be thought of as dispensable, and easily replaced by "guidance technicians". Recent evidence to this effect lies in the short-lived increase in categorical funds, money that among other things pays for educational counseling in California schools (K-12, community colleges, and 4 year colleges). 

While the recommended ratio of students to counselor is 1 to 200, and the national average is above 1-400, the ratio in the California school system is 1 to 1000.  This is especially true of schools serving low socioeconomic areas, further compounding the many impediments already faced by populations in these communities with regard to access to education.

The attention to educational counseling at the national level this week is overdue. President and Mrs. Obama gathered university presidents to discuss the importance of this role in lives of disadvantage students.  Important issues discussed include pre-service training and professional development.

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