The education industry in the United States is in a frightening place. Recently, schools have been struggling to find qualified educators for their classrooms. We’re seeing vacancies being filled with under-qualified staff and schools cutting positions in order to adhere to strict budgets. Perhaps this issue is best exemplified when we take a look at its impacts on guidance counseling in American schools.
Time addressed the noticeable problem:
[Schools are] trying to counteract a vexing but largely unseen problem facing public schools across the country: There is a shortage of competent counselors at a time when getting into college is more expensive, more confusing and more important than ever.
Hear & Now calls the problem a “massive crisis” and notes that across America, counselors are assigned to an average of 500 students each. In California, the ratio leaps to 800 students per counselor, and some schools in the US are currently operating with no guidance counselors.
Essential to quality education is professional, passionate guidance counseling that’s accessible to all students – especially at the high school level. Students rely on guidance counseling in order to responsibly handle life challenges and decisions that impact their futures, such as career and college counseling. Effective counseling is dependent on the time and resources that allow counselors to engage in regular one-on-one sessions with students. With understaffed school counselors offices, we are seeing a glaring lack of student engagement as well as rising numbers of high school dropouts. Hear & Now attributes these dropouts directly to a void where guidance counselling used to be.
A reconfiguration to the way guidance counseling and education in general are delivered have been suggested on a number of occasions. Perhaps a system more reflective of society – including its technological aspects – is a way to alter guidance counseling and lower the number of students dropping out of high school in the United States.
We considered this, as well as the tools Skooli has at our disposal, and decided to extend the bounds of our dynamic online classroom to provide a space for guidance counselors to meet with students. Using the Skooli classroom eliminates the factor of distance and allows the best guidance counselors to service students in need. Rather than resorting to hiring under-qualified staff, schools can now partner with Skooli to connect their students with incredible guidance counselors located anywhere.
Skooli is happy to contribute to the revival of healthy guidance counseling at schools in the United States.