Report Cites Need for More College Readiness Training for Counselors
Achieving the national goal of increasing postsecondary education access and success will require improved college readiness counseling programs, according to a report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
The paper addresses the absence of pre-service training in college readiness counseling -- a key shortcoming in school counselor preparation programs at institutions of higher education.
"Public high school counselors are required to have a master’s degree in school counseling, while their private high school counselors may arrive in their positions through a variety of paths," NACAC CEO Joyce Smith said in a statement. "In both cases, there is no formal process by which school counselors are prepared to counsel students for postsecondary access and success."
Smith noted the lack of a widely accepted "curriculum" for pre-training or in-service training for college admission counseling professionals.
The NACAC paper proposes a set of core competencies that should form the basis of pre-service college readiness counselor training. These include:
- Psychological processes that support college going
- Sociological concepts about context and relationships that transmit social capital necessary for college access and success
- Microeconomics, especially related to human capital needs
- Educational reform policies designed to support college readiness
- Higher education and related research
- Family engagement models
"We hope this paper will serve as the catalyst for further conversation on this issue," Smith said. "We recognize that other scholars, practitioners, and institutions of higher education will have ideas to contribute, and we hope to facilitate the exchange of ideas about this topic through NACAC."