Counseling and Advising: Critical Student Support Services
Counseling and advising are two of the most critical elements of ensuring that Linked Learning pathways meet the needs of individual students and enable them to achieve their potential. Below are perspectives on these and related student support services, followed by useful web sites for creating anytime/anyplace advising and counseling for students.
Student Support Services
In Linked Learning, district leaders and college outreach representatives collaborate to ensure that, early in their high school years, all students are aware of postsecondary options and associated enrollment processes. The district assigns a counselor and/or student support services professional to assist students in applying to community colleges and 4-year universities and in completing through their matriculation. The latter involves helping students with admissions, financial aid, enrollment, placement, registration, and orientation. The district has develops a joint plan with local colleges to minimize the number of students needing remedial or developmental education courses upon matriculation.
Personalized Student Support
Every pathway student is supported by pathway staff, partners, and families. The pathway community of practice tailors learning experiences to students’ individual developmental needs, skills, strengths, interests, and aspirations. Pathway staff, in consultation with families and service providers, identify and address the academic, personal, and social-emotional needs of every student so that she or he makes progress toward achieving personalized college and career goals and pathway student learning outcomes. District leaders ensure that all pathway students have equitable and appropriate access to high-quality supplementary learning opportunities, both within and beyond the regular school day and classroom, in order to accelerate and sustain student progress toward pathway learning outcomes. District and site leaders support and expect pathway teachers to routinely design rigorous and relevant learning activities and projects that reflect and respond to the diversity of student interests, strengths, cultural assets, and ways of learning.
Student Equity, Access, and Choice
District leaders set the expectation that available pathways, by design, will appeal to, engage, and successfully serve any student regardless of his or her prior academic achievement, language proficiency, or postsecondary aspirations. No matter what pathway areas of focus and delivery models have been established, students in the district have equal access to any pathway based on interest alone. District leaders expect administrators and teachers to support students in making an informed pathway choice by assuring that students have been exposed to career opportunities in a variety of industry sectors and know their high school pathway options. As important, students are academically prepared to succeed in rigorous pathway programs of study and are assisted in making the transition from middle school to high school pathways. Through the use of portfolios, multi-year college and career success plans, or some other appropriate tool, district leaders and school administrators and teachers expect students to reflect upon and synthesize results of career exploration activities, as well as those of formalized interest and career assessments, to inform the pathway selection process and students’ postsecondary plans.
Web Resources for Advising and Counseling
College Readiness: Online Resources
The organization behind the SAT is dedicated to getting students into higher education and offers great educational resources.
Not every student can afford to travel the country visiting schools. For the cash-strapped and college bound, there’s CampusTours which allows for a much cheaper virtual alternative to visiting a number of universities.
Student Aid on the Web
Source for free information from the U.S Department of Education on preparing for and funding education beyond high school.
Why Go To College?
Planning resources and reasons for applying to college.
Know How 2 Go
Interactive website that prepares students, at different grade levels, plan for college.