Counseling High School
Counseling High School – This Start-Up Wants to help Every Teen Go to College
Counseling High School -Imagine a high school basketball team that only practices 38 minutes each season — and just how disoriented they’d play come game time. Such unpreparedness doesn’t happen with sports, but statistically it does with college prep. The average public student spends just 38 minutes of his or her entire career talking about college with a school counselor, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
“That’s an avoidable failure of the educational system with predictable consequences for students,” says Jose Hernandez, who often makes this basketball analogy to drive home the point. He’s the co-founder of Guided Education, a digital platform that hopes to level the path to college by offering one-on-one support to students at an affordable cost.
The idea is that, just like with sports, students who get more time with an engaged college counselor will face less frustration, self-doubt and financial illiteracy when it comes to possibly entering higher education. Hernandez and his childhood best friend Geia Reyes launched the startup in March of 2015. They’ve since worked to create an online presence and client base, securing their largest contract nine months later with a Bronx, N.Y.-based high school.
Hernandez says the college counseling problem isn’t based on counselor personality; instead, it’s anumbers issue. An NACAC study shows that 35 percent of public schools reported counselor caseloads between 350 to more than 450 students per year; yet, at private schools, only 2 percent of counselors had caseloads this size.
With Guided Education, nationally accredited college counselors are paired with no more than 100 students. This not only falls below the reported median caseload for college counselors at private schools, but it allows these counselors to work a 40-hour week while dedicating 90 minutes to each student. Unlike their counterparts in high schools, the startup’s counselors spend more time with students, Hernandez says, because they don’t deal with administrative tasks or disciplinary problems.
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