Don't Let Your Teen Be "Just Another Face"; Study Finds Students Fail Guidance Counselors

Are guidance counselors in our high schools doing the job?

Our young people say, "No," according to a study by Public Agenda.

In fact, 6 out of every 10 teens who went on to higher education gave their guidance counselors poor marks. And, half of teens said they felt like "just a face in the crowd."

What's the impact of this? Not good.

"Many young people who go onto college believe that the advice of their high school guidance counselors was inadequate and often impersonal and perfunctory," according to the authors.

When teens have this experience, the study found, they're less likely to go to college or have a successful career. Bad experience with counselors equals bad feelings, in other words. No direction, no motivation... no future. At least not one that we'd call a "SuperFuture."

Are we surprised? Not at all. We've heard from students about the shortfall in schools - and it's no surprise with massive budget cuts. In fact, the study found that in many cases, California especially, schools have just one counselor per 1,000 students. Arizona, Minnesota, Utah and the District of Columbia have 700 to 1. The ideal ratio, according to the American School Counselor Association, is 100 to 1.

How can they get the personalized help they need? SuperFutures recently announced "Discover Your Future" seminars to help these kids get direction and motivation. They'll hear from a Google guy about the real-world plus get help from a great career coach.

They won't just leave knowing that planning for their futures starts now. They'll leave with their own Career Action Plan.

When you think about the risk parents make in sending kids off to college or the real world - sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars - just a small investment today can make a big difference.

These events take place in the New York area, but stay tuned, because virtual versions will be available soon to kids nationwide. To stay in the loop, be sure to sign-up for alerts to these and other programs or text SUPER to 84280.

Jennifer Openshaw

Columnist, Dow Jones' MarketWatch

Author, The Millionaire Zone


Find me on Facebook and Twitter @jopenshaw



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