Friday, May 29, 2009

Going the Extra Mile

May 29, 2009- I sometimes tell the story of my own experience at my high school guidance office. It’s not an unusual story. It’s not a shocker. There’s no punchline. And for people my age or older, it’s pretty much a common experience.

Here we are, years later and the role of college counseling has taken a new form. Higher credentials, enhanced training, and professional resources have all helped counselors become better prepared for a career in school counseling. The career path to the guidance office is much more prescribed than it had been only a few short decades ago. The close-to-retired teacher burned out from the classroom isn’t getting the desk job any more.

Unfortunately, the caseload for a guidance counselor continues to escalate as more students are placed on a college-bound path, especially as college planning now starts with freshman in some districts. Fortunately, technology, like the platforms provided by ConnectEDU, is designed to help counselors better manage the volume of students they are assigned. It gets them out of the paperwork business and back into the counseling business. That has been our shared goal since day one.

Progressive counselors are putting in the extra effort to take full advantage of what technology can do to make their job more manageable. Counselors at Lisbon High School in Maine, Del Valle High School in Texas, and Midland High School in Michigan are just a few of our 2,000+ high schools making a difference with their students by fully implementing ConnectEDU’s technology. The adoption of our platforms is just one indicator of how high schools are changing their approach to helping students transition to college and careers.

Even more evident to how far college counseling has come, we need just look to David Coates, another counselor in our national network who is dedicated to his students’ success. From Kenmore East High School in Tonawanda, New York, David not only provides the extra effort in the office to help kids, he’s challenging himself outside the office. David is riding his bicycle from Buffalo to New York City for the annual State Conference for the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC). David has already raised $10,000 for one of the organization's flagship programs, Camp College. Camp College is a three-day weekend residential campus experience for traditionally underserved students who are first generation college-bound, and/or students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The program provides additional advice and guidance to students beginning the college process.

ConnectEDU salutes David and his colleagues and wishes his team best of luck as they go the extra mile, literally, to help students realize their dreams.

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