School Counselor: Career planning is just part of the job description

Today’s high school counselors are doing much more than simply giving ‘guidance.’

That's why the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and 2017 school counselor of the year Terri Tchorzynski are celebrating National School Counseling Week by telling everyone that the job title ‘guidance counselor’ is old-school, today is the day of the school counselor.

“We cringe when we hear the term ‘guidance counselor.’ It's kind of that older-fashioned model from years ago, the, "I'm gonna guide you towards your college or career,” Tchorzynski recently told NPR.

Today school counselors focus on college and career planning, social and emotional issues, and academic issues.

Counselors have more on their plates than ever while also dealing with local and state budget cuts to the public education system, which has led to ever-increasing student-to-counselor ratios.

According to ASCA the average 2013-14 student-to-counselor ratio in the US was 491 students to every counselor. That ratio is 96 percent greater than the 250 students to every counselor recommendation from ASCA.

In South Carolina, where Vireo Labs and C’reer are based, the ratio is 381 students to every counselor, 52 percent greater than ASCA’s recommendation. 

“Counselors just can't offer the services that are needed for those students when they just have such large caseloads,” says Tchorzynski.

We here at C’reer completely agree with Tchorzynski. Counselors are critical to the development of our youth and we at the local and state level must support them.

Though as Tchorzynski states, being a school counselor today is so much more than career planning, but we do hope we here at C'reer are doing our part to help bridge the career planning gap.