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.
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.