5 Ways to Maximize the Impact of Student Support Personnel

September 19, 2023

All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success. 

All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success. 

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All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success. 

All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success. 

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All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success. 

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All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success. 

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All school districts, regardless of size, face many of the same needs and requisite tasks to ensure their students are ready for their postsecondary next steps. All students need a counselor to monitor that they are taking classes that meet the requirements for graduation. They need to have exposure to potential career options and pathways. They need support for resume-building, essay-writing, and overall guidance on the college application process. Many students and families require assistance understanding and applying for financial aid. And nearly all students benefit from opportunities for work-based learning experiences to develop relevant skills and to explore fields of interest. 

Small schools and districts often have the benefit of a more familiar community where educators and counselors know students and families well. Because of this, educators, counselors, and other members of the support staff are able to more deeply understand the unique needs, strengths, and circumstances of each student. 

However, these small schools and districts often have fewer individuals to support these many needs. School counselors and other members of the school support staff in these communities wear many hats; they can be pulled in a variety of directions on any given day, must balance a broad diversity of student needs, and often serve several different roles within a school building. The constraints of time coupled with an often overwhelming workload means they are forced to focus on the most pressing needs or emergent crises with other ambitions and hopes for supporting students getting pushed aside. 

Counselors and other members of the support staff can use these tips to expand the breadth of supports, opportunities, and College and Career Readiness (CCR) experiences for their students. 

  1. Create a multidisciplinary approach to CCR. By working with colleagues across disciplines, counselors can share the work of supporting students in developing CCR skills. Important tasks–such as drafting or reviewing essays, creating a resume, or completing applications–can be embedded into relevant subjects. And CCR-related events can be hosted by a team of educators. This approach to student support also increases opportunities for educators to share and collaborate about specific student needs, providing insights and allowing for strategic planning on how to best work together to help students overcome obstacles. 
  1. Use data to determine most pressing needs and identify programs that work. With ever growing caseloads, access to data can help counselors to better understand who needs support and which types of programs, interventions, and opportunities are working best to meet the needs of their students. This evidence-based practice allows counselors to respond effectively to students’ needs and put their energy into increasing usage in offerings and experiences that have high utilization rates and are supportive of student growth and development. 
  1. Unleash the power of technology to expand opportunities and reach. Sophisticated tools and platforms designed for CCR can help counselors more efficiently complete administrative tasks, track student progress, increase communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and provide students with resources that allow them to explore, set goals, and plan on their own. When counselors can streamline the tasks they need to do, they have more time to do the important work of meeting with students. And, when students are empowered to do their own research and planning about work-based learning opportunities, future careers, colleges, and scholarships, they are able to make informed decisions and take ownership over their postsecondary goals. 
  1. Engage the community. College and career readiness impacts entire communities; many businesses rely on effective workforce development efforts at schools to ensure they can find high-quality employees. Because of this, local businesses are often happy and willing to support CCR efforts. Counselors can partner with local businesses and organizations to expand resources and opportunities for students for work-based learning experiences. When counselors and administrators spend time and energy forging connections within the community, it expands the team of stakeholders working to ensure students are ready for life beyond graduation. 
  1. Join a professional learning network. Joining a professional learning network and collaborating with colleagues–from other schools, districts, communities, or even states–can provide much-needed emotional support, exposure to best practices and research, and a bank of shared resources that can enrich what a counselor is able to do. The practice of utilizing and building on effective strategies and lessons learned from others allows counselors to put in place refined practices and better meet students’ needs. Having a community for a counselor to contribute to the broader conversation can also be professionally fulfilling and morale-building, helping to sustain counselors in their very meaningful, yet challenging work.

A Collective Approach to CCR

The work of school counselors is hard and often all-consuming. And most counselors try to do it all on their own; they do not naturally or readily ask others for help. The result of this is the high rates of educator burnout and turnover and students not always getting the full support they need. 

Counselors and students are better off when the critical task of ensuring students are ready for life after high school is shared and embedded within a community. By strategically planning, collaborating with other educators, and finding ways to empower students and families with resources and tools, counselors can create a more robust and comprehensive CCR culture within their communities. And students, families, educators, and counselors, themselves, can feel proud of their contributions and shared success.