90% of students report that they didn’t get the individualized attention they needed for college and career decisions (Gallup Poll). According to the American School Counselor Association, across the USA, fewer than 18 percent of school districts meet the student-to-counselor ratio recommended, which is 250 to 1. The national average is 482 students per counselor.
Unfortunately, guidance counselors, teachers, and administration staff are often overburdened with excessive caseloads of students and aren’t able to provide the personal guidance students need, as much as they would love to. High school teachers usually have upwards of 150-200 students on their class roster, their days often occupied with teaching classes and other supervisory duties. They often have little down time to even plan their lessons or grade, much less consult with individual students on their future. Guidance counselors, who should ideally have no more than 100 high school students on their caseload at any given time, typically have a caseload of at least 400 students per counselor. Their time is restricted to scheduling and basic admissions paperwork. Many are also burdened with the role of helping students with social and emotional issues, which, while very important, leave them little time for more in-depth guidance about college admissions, majors, career guidance, and other crucial aspects of a student’s future.
Even once you enter college, student advisers, career advisers, and professors have similar caseloads and often don’t have to hold themselves accountable for your progress. Especially in larger universities, students are often just a number. It’s easier to find financial aid advisers, academic tutors, and even admissions consultants- but it’s not as easy to find someone who takes care of the rest.
Amy Quinde is the owner and founder of Head & Heart International, a unique educational consulting & curriculum company with an overarching goal of preparing students successfully and authentically for their future. They aim to enhance students’ social-emotional, life, & language skills through creative and purpose development endeavors with a cross-cultural emphasis. In doing so, they strive to fill the many gaps left by our traditional education system. Head & Heart International currently offers enrichment curriculum programming for K-12 schools as well as consulting services focused on career and college readiness for high school students and their families.