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Journalism as a viable career choice: What guidance counselors are telling students
Unformatted Document Text:  10 In 2009, the Public Agenda for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a study on high school guidance counselors and their impact on students’ college aspirations. The survey, consisting of 614 young adults who had begun some form of higher education after high school, found that 48% of the students said that they had access to good counseling in high school (Johnson, Rochkind, Ott, & DuPont 2009). Furthermore, students who received good counseling as opposed to those who said they received poor counseling were more likely to go to college straight out of high school (Johnson, Rochkind & Ott, 2010). Unfortunately, most students in this survey said that their guidance counselors did not provide them with any meaningful advice (Chen, 2010). The Role of Guidance Counselors: The Bad While guidance counselors may play an important role in high school students’ lives, studies have shown that they do not necessarily spend most of their time advising students (McDonough, 2004a, 2004b; U.S. department of Education, 2004). They are torn among other daily tasks such as discipline and scheduling issues, as well as overseeing attendance, testing programs and even lunch duty (Johnson, Rochkind & Ott, 2010). This severely impacts the amount of time and quality of advising available to students. In addition, most counselors have more students than recommended by The American School Counselor Association. The guidelines presented by this association recommend a student-counselor ratio of 100 to 1, but states the average ratio in public schools as closer to 265 to 1. This leaves little time for counselors to devote to professional training on various majors and career options, something that students appear to be craving. According to the Public Agenda survey, 72% of the students said that “the opportunity to talk with advisers who know all about the different college and

Authors: Rentner, Terry., Oyer, Seth. and Flynn, Mark.
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10
In 2009, the Public Agenda for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a 
study on high school guidance counselors and their impact on students’ college 
aspirations. The survey, consisting of 614 young adults who had begun some form of 
higher education after high school, found that 48% of the students said that they had 
access to good counseling in high school (Johnson, Rochkind, Ott, & DuPont 2009). 
Furthermore, students who received good counseling as opposed to those who said they 
received poor counseling were more likely to go to college straight out of high school 
(Johnson, Rochkind & Ott, 2010). Unfortunately, most students in this survey said that 
their guidance counselors did not provide them with any meaningful advice (Chen, 2010).
The Role of Guidance Counselors: The Bad
While guidance counselors may play an important role in high school students’ 
lives, studies have shown that they do not necessarily spend most of their time advising 
students (McDonough, 2004a, 2004b; U.S. department of Education, 2004). They are 
torn among other daily tasks such as discipline and scheduling issues, as well as 
overseeing attendance, testing programs and even lunch duty (Johnson, Rochkind & Ott, 
2010).  This severely impacts the amount of time and quality of advising available to 
students.  In addition, most counselors have more students than recommended by The 
American School Counselor Association. The guidelines presented by this association 
recommend a student-counselor ratio of 100 to 1, but states the average ratio in public 
schools as closer to 265 to 1. This leaves little time for counselors to devote to 
professional training on various majors and career options, something that students 
appear to be craving.  According to the Public Agenda survey, 72% of the students said 
that “the opportunity to talk with advisers who know all about the different college and 


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