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College NOT for Everyone

December 27, 2014

Earlier this week the NYTimes ran an article lamenting the lack of guidance counselors in public schools, noting that the shortage of counselors makes it difficult for students to get their college application materials filed on time and creating a huge workload for counselors at this time of year. Here’s a comment I posted in response to this article, which overlooks the need for counselors for NON-college bound students:

This article focuses on only one role of counseling, which is helping students prepare for college. As one who worked for nearly two decades in school districts where a majority of students did not go to college I believe that we neglect the needs of students who are NOT going on to post-secondary schools and, as a result, we have many young adults who find it difficult to transition into the workforce. As much as NYTimes readers and politicians want to believe otherwise, college is NOT for everyone and the HS students who do not want to continue their education need as much help as those seeking entry into elite colleges.

Several years ago a monograph titled The Forgotten Half described the way the non-college-bond students feel in school…. invisible, neglected, and left out. If we want to make high school relevant and meaningful for all students we should take some steps to celebrate the accomplishments of NON-college bound students, pay more attention to their needs, and make certain every high school includes activities that makes them feel included.

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