Between my years as a high school counselor and current role as a school counselor specialist for the Arizona Department of Education, I’ve become familiar with the changes and challenges that school counselors across the U.S. are facing.

The 2018 Condition of College & Career Readiness found that college readiness levels remained dismal for underserved learners. This indicates a gap that we need to bridge. It’s imperative that schools provide students with resources and support for future readiness.

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According to former Jobs for the Future program manager Tobie Baker Wright, “good career exploration today is working to develop things in young people — the ability to work as part of a team, the ability to communicate effectively, personal responsibility — that help them have agency in making decisions about careers.”

I agree – when it comes to career exploration, the earlier the better. Unfortunately, a national shortage of school counselors has made it difficult to ensure that students have full support, and has resulted in unequal access for districts with a high student-to-counselor ratio.

About the Author:

Amanda Nolasco is a school counselor specialist at the Arizona Department of Education

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