Columbia University's College Advising Program Aims to Better Prepare School Counselors

COUNSELOR'S COURSE: For every school advisor in the U.S., there are 491 students. That ratio grows to even more concerning levels when you zero in on states like California, where the student-to-school counselor ratio is 1,016 to 1, according to the College Advising Corps. But a new program at Columbia University’s Teachers College aims to address this country’s shortage of college counselors, who work with students on elements of their college experience, from admissions to course selection.

The College Advising Program (CAP), which launched its first pilot cohort in February, is a 15-week course focusing on best practices for school counselors and college access professionals. More specifically, the program covers various topics, including:

  • cultural competence
  • college entrance exams and applications
  • financial aid
  • servings specific populations, including undocumented students and first generation students.

Funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the course currently has 180 students and will be offered again in Fall 2017.

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