Lansing, MI — More than 85 percent of school counselors surveyed nationally — and 82 percent of Michigan school counselors surveyed — reported that a top mission of schools should be ensuring that all students complete 12th grade ready to succeed in college and careers, yet only 30 percent of all school counselors surveyed saw this as closely fitting their school’s mission in reality. These same counselors — the majority of whom have master’s degrees — reported that they lacked adequate preparation when they began their careers, possibly limiting their ability to effectively aid the students they serve.
These are just some of the findings of the Annual Survey of School Counselors — commissionedby the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center’s National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) in collaboration with Civic Enterprises and Hart Research Associates. The study was made possible with the help of a generous grant from the Kresge Foundation. With more than 5,308 middle and high school counselors participating, over 250 in Michigan alone, it is the largest and broadest national survey of these key education professionals.
“We simply must put in place solid strategic plans to address the loss of valuable human potential
of students who are not making it through high school,” said Patricia Martin, Assistant Vice President, NOSCA. Now is the time for us to deploy and better utilize every tool in our arsenal, and most especially our school counselors, to make a tangible difference in the negative trajectory of thousands of students who need the guidance and support to not only finish high school, but to successfully transition to two and four year institutions and/or substantial careers of their choice after grade 12. The welfare of the nation depends on our success in this endeavor.”
According to the most recent data available, one in four students in Michigan do not graduate
high school on time, with the graduation rate inching up from 72.9 percent in 2002 to 75.3 percent in 2009. If counselors in Michigan helped to accelerate high school graduation rates to the national 90 percent graduation goal, their work would have tremendous positive effects on students, schools, communities and the state economy. These low high school graduation rates are linked to low college completion rates. Michigan currently stands at 32 in college completion nationally.
“School counselors are on the front lines in our schools and are high-value resources for
students,” said Patrick O’Connor, Director College Counseling at the Roeper School. “They have a unique viewpoint to offer and take a holistic approach to guiding our students toward college and career readiness.”
Other Key Findings:
- Counselors in Michigan report a larger gap than counselors nationally between the ideal mission of the school counseling profession and its reality. When asked to reflect on the ideal and reality for the mission of the school counseling profession to make students college and career ready, Michigan counselors expressed a larger gap (47 points) than counselors nationally (38 points). Fewer counselors from Michigan (38 percent) say that ensuring students graduate from high school, college and career ready is the mission of counselors in their school in reality, compared to counselors nationally (46 percent).
- Michigan’s counselors not only face more challenges ensuring students are college and career ready, they also struggle to get students to make it to graduation. Fewer than three in 10 Michigan counselors (28 percent), reported by a rating of 9 or 10 on a zero-to-10 scale, say that “to address student problems so students stay in school through graduation” fits the reality for counselors in their schools, compared to 44 percent nationally. This amounts to a gap of 57percent between the ideal and reality for Michigan’s school counselors, compared to the national gap of 41 percent.
- Similar to counselors across the country, counselor in Michigan endorse a college and career readiness agenda. Counselors were asked to assess the College Board National Office for School Counselor Advocacy’s (NOSCA) “Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling,” a counseling system that focuses on ensuring all students graduate from the 12th grade, college and career ready. Nearly all counselors can see themselves committing to this approach (93 percent of all counselors, and 92 percent of counselors in Michigan rated this a 6 or higher on a 10-point scale).
- Michigan counselors are less likely to think their schools are successful in this regard or that they have the resources necessary to accomplish each component. While 30 percent of counselors nationally believe their school is extremely successful (giving a rating of 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) at connecting college and career to academic preparations and aspirations, only 24 percent of Michigan counselors agreed. Only 21 percent of Michigan counselors thought their school was successful at ensuring families had an early understanding of the academic process compared to 30 percent nationally. Counselors in Michigan are also less likely to believe that it’s possible to accomplish each component in their schools, with only 19 percent saying the statement “you have the administration support, and the resources needed, to be successful in each of these items” is completely true, compared to 27 percent nationally.
The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help transform education in America. Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. Critical connections between policy, research and real-world practice are made to develop innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in education today. Drawing from the experience of the College Board’s active membership consisting of education professionals from more than 6,000 institutions, priorities include: College Preparation & Access, College Affordability & Financial Aid, and College Admission & Completion.
If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Carly Lindauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-713-8052.