Honoring the Impact of School Counselors

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On the walls of school offices and halls across the country, fresh posters are heralding “National School Counseling Week” in hot pink letters. The Education Trust salutes the hard-working school counselors of America who, at their best, put our most vulnerable students on a path to success in college and career. As shown in our recent report, “Poised to Lead,” school counselors can play an indispensable role in preparing all students, especially those most often underserved, for a productive future. Take, for instance, the graduates of the school counseling program at DePaul University in Chicago.

Just under a year ago, DePaul became the first university in Illinois, and the 24th in the nation, to join Ed Trust’s National Center for Transforming School Counseling Initiative. Today, it is training its students to serve as change agents. DePaul now requires its school counseling interns to carry out advocacy projects and boost the academic achievement levels of students. One recent intern partnered with students, teachers, and parents to significantly raise the number of low-income Hispanic students who applied and won acceptance to the most selective public high schools in Chicago.

This represents one of many concrete ways in which school counselors can make a lifelong difference for students. So, a big hat tip — this week and year-round — to those counselors who conscientiously get their students ready for success beyond high school.

— Paula Amann