Class of 2014
Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration / University of Missouri-Kansas City
Master of Arts, Communications / Lindenwood University
Working as a policy intern at the Foundation has been enlightening. We learned how to get our message of more need-based aid across to state legislators. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride from doing work that will be beneficial for many students in my home state.
The School Counselors’ Role in Preparing Students for Postsecondary Education
Are school counselors doing an adequate job of preparing students for collegiate life? The answer is no. However, there are reasons behind it. The first is high school counselors do not learn about the process of preparing a student for college until they are on the job. The second reason is due to the high student-to-counselor ratio, which means counselors do not get to spend enough time with students to plan effective college preparation strategies. To remedy these problems the following should be implemented: a change in required course work for counseling degree programs at Missouri universities, and lowering the student-to-counselor ratio.
Currently no universities in Missouri offer courses in college counseling to students who are seeking to become school counselors. Requiring such courses will help to ensure that counselors are prepared to offer beneficial college advice to students the moment they begin working.
Lowering the student-to-counselor ratio will decrease the caseload for counselors, which will lead to increased time that counselors can spend with students individually. The current ratio stands at 400-500:1, which only gives counselors about 30 minutes to spend with each student. More time will lead to more communication and effective college planning.
As an advocate with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, the next step is to present this information to Tim Schlimpert, Director of School Guidance with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and inquire about what steps need to be taken for these changes to be implemented.
As part of her Education Policy Internship with The Scholarship Foundation, JaMya wrote the preceding summary of her research topic.