The proper growth and development of a child from the point they are born to when they start their own families relies on many things. During some stages of their life, such as high school, they are more susceptible to being swayed by peer pressure and global trends, among other things. This way, it is critical for them to have the right guidance during this stage for them to excel in high school and attend college to pursue their desired career path.
High school counselors are also referred to as guidance counselors, are assumed to be the “nice” people who are invited to talk to trouble makers in school. Well, regardless of how you wish to define them, you cannot get away from the fact that they are critical to a child’s education and outcome when they finish high school. Studies have proved that their effectiveness has a direct impact on whether a student graduates from high school and gets enrolled in college. This has been seen to be particularly evident with low-income students.
With the apparent benefits of counselors in school highlighted, it is undisputed that not all of them are effective. We have seen numerous cases of students still making bad choices even when they have counselors guiding them. Two vital aspects that are tied to the effectiveness could be the racial origin of the counselor and the number of students assigned to each of them. The racial issue is a tough topic to handle due to the obvious concerns, but studies show that most of the low achievers benefit by having a counselor of the same race. The logic behind this is that students believe that a counselor who might have gone through the experiences they are going through is better placed to offer them guidance and advise them on the best choices to make. With the racial differences, a student can quickly feel that there is a disconnect, thus reducing the effectiveness of this counselor. Take a case where a white counselor is counseling a non-white student. If the student has been discriminated in the past, they will think of the counselor as a villain and won’t heed what they say. This way, it is crucial for institutions to consider hiring more non-white counselors if a significant fraction of the students is not white.
One of the most significant benefits of a competent school counselor is that they help to prepare students for academic, career, and social challenges in life. They try to do this by connecting their school success with the potential of career school. This helps to dispense the notion by students that school is prison where they are forced to study and get grades by their parents. They begin to understand that their present success goes a long way in determining their life success, and this way, they need to start stepping up in their studies. The counselor should help them to learn the world situation and explore what is around them in a bid to figure out what they might want to do in the future. They help to supplement the work done by teachers by helping students to develop a classroom plan and group activities that will aid in their quest to achieve the set academic goals.
In a nutshell, counselors play an essential role in a student’s life, and schools should move to hire more of them. The number of counselors is not the only factor to be considered, as they should be effective and know how to trigger this improvement in students. For instance, counselors’ impact is mostly connected to their ability to give students information and assistance rather than improving their cognitive skills. The latter is mainly attributed to the teachers. These effects are needed by the low achieving students as some of them need this ‘bump-up’ as a way of stepping up and giving their best in school. Others might be inherently bright but face challenges away from school that hinder them from giving their best. This way, boosting counselor effectiveness can go a long way in improving the impact of the school if you look at it from a broader perspective. The quantity and quality of these counselors are significant, and schools can leverage this opportunity to make students better people all-round rather than just having good grades when they graduate.