Are School Counselors the Weakest Link?

I heard from some high school counselors yesterday, who were furious with me. I wrote a post for my other college blog at CBSMoneyWatch about a new study that suggests that plenty of school counselors would flunk out if they were graded like their students.

In the Public Agenda survey, which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the majority of young Americans, ages 22 to 30, gave their school counselor poor or fair grades.  For instance, 67% of those surveyed said their counselors did a fair or poor job of helping them decide what school was right for them.

You might assume that I was just the messenger of this bleak assessment of high school counseling, but I felt compelled to add my own two cents. This is a subject I feel very strongly about.

High school counselors do have huge loads, but I think the problem goes far beyond that.  What I find truly bizarre is that high school counselors aren’t even trained to provide college advice!!

You can read more about my take on this national scandal, as well as the comments that I received from school counselors, here.

Read more:

Why High School Counselors Don’t Know Much About College

10 Things About College That High School Counselors Don’t Know

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller. Follow her of  Twitter.

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4 Responses to Are School Counselors the Weakest Link?

  1. Johnny August 27, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Lynn, the report makes it clear that there is a problem, but to highlight only what’s wrong with the guidance counseling delivery system in our high schools is ” Outside Looking in Journalism” and is unfair.

    I can only speak for myself, but it is very disheartening when the very people you have sought to help turn around and heap criticism on you. I am willing to bet that if the Public Agenda Foundation had shared the students-to-counselor ratios with the respondents prior to giving the survey they would have tempered their answers.

    My guess is that many of them had no idea that they were participating in a system that by its very design prevents the high school counselor from devoting to them the attention they deserved.

    I share more of my opinion at:



  2. Mega March 18, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    interesting approach.

  3. Polina March 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    A lot of college counselors in high school are pretty incompetent… NYT recently wrote an article about it too:

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