Last modified: 2/16/2017 3:44:10 PM
College and Career Readiness

In today’s economy, a college education is the gateway to better lifelong opportunities. The US Department of Education noted that 86% of America’s high school students expect to attend college, but many lack the support and guidance they need to prepare for enrollment and success in college.

It is Prince George’s County Public School’s goal that all students graduate career and/or college ready.  It is through College and Career Readiness Counseling that students will become better prepared to make meaningful post-secondary choices.

What services do school counselors provide to assist students become prepared for college and/or careers? 

All counselors are actively engaged in implementing programs that will introduce career awareness, exploration and preparedness to students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
According to the CollegeBoard’s National Office of School Counselor Advocacy, there are eight main categories that drive the work counselors do to assist students in becoming better equipped in choosing their next course of action upon graduating from high school.  These categories are as follows:

  • College Aspirations
  • Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness
  • Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement
  • College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes
  • College and Career Assessments
  • College Affordability Planning
  • College and Career Admissions Processes
  • Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment

Under each category are specific activities that school counselors oversee in order to ensure students are inspired to seek options towards employment or postsecondary education that are most appropriate for them. These college and career readiness counseling components and connected activities include the following: 
                                                                                                                                     

1.  College Aspirations - School Counselors build a college-going environment in our schools focused on early college awareness by encouraging students to believe that they can succeed in college despite challenges they face along the way. 

For example, school counselors:

  • Assist students in completing a Personal Education Plan (PEP)
  • Ensure students participate in CollegeEd and Advisories
  • Introduce careers through classroom guidance lessons

2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness – School Counselors  ensure students’ planning, preparation, participation and performance in a rigorous academic program that connects to their college and career aspirations and goals.

For example, school counselors:

  • Encourage students to participate in orientations and summer bridge programs
  • Advise students to enroll in career academies of their interest
  • Advise students to enroll in all career completer elective courses
  • Encourage students enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses
  • Encourage students to complete Algebra I & II and Foreign Languages
  • Ensure students needing support are referred to the school instructional team (SIT) to reduce school failure and discourage dropout

3.  Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement – School Counselors ensure students’ equal exposure to wide ranges of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities that build leadership, nurture talents and interests, and increase engagement with school.

 For example, school counselors:

  • Connect students to fulfilling job shadowing opportunities
  • Inform students of upcoming internship opportunities
  • Inform students of appropriate service learning activities towards graduation
  • Encourage students to participate in school and community organizations
  • Connect students with mentors when needed
  • Push students to engage in programs that will grow their talents and abilities

4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes – School Counselors provide early and ongoing exposure to experiences and information necessary to make informed decisions when selecting a college or career that connects to academic preparation and future aspirations.

For example, school counselors:

  • Organize career fairs at school or organize field trips to introduce career fields or employment opportunities
  • Coordinate college tours and field trips to college fairs
  • Refer students to programs that teach students strategies on how to be prepared for enrolling and completing college like GearUp, Upward Bound and Talent Search
  • Provide students with handbooks, websites and directories for college search

5. College and Career Assessments – School counselors promote preparation, participation and performance in college and career assessments.

 For example, school counselors:

  • Ensure students take college entrance exams such as the PSAT, SAT and ACT tests
  • Make available to students programs aimed at test prep for college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT
  • Assist students in completing a career assessment
  • Expose and provide students access to free Online college planning tools

6. College Affordability Planning   - School Counselors provide students and families with comprehensive information about college costs, options for paying for college, and the financial aid and scholarship processes and eligibility requirements, so they are able to plan for and afford a college education.

For example, school counselors:

  • Hold sessions with families to encourage early college savings
  • Provide information on workshops that will assist families in completing the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA)
  • Provide scholarship information to students and encourage their application
  • Ensure students are aware of college credit given when scoring a 3 or better on Advanced Placement (AP) exams

7. College and Career Admission ProcessesSchool Counselors ensure that students and families have an early and ongoing understanding of the college and career application and admission processes so they can find the postsecondary options that are the best fit with their aspirations and interests by:

For example, school counselors:

  • Ensure students are familiar with the college admission process
  • Assist students applying to 2- or 4- year colleges
  • Coordinate with English staff to help students produce Admissions Essays
  • Help students develop electronic portfolio
  • Notify students of apprentice-ships
  • Provide academic advisement to students interested in trade certifications

8. Transition from High School Graduation to College EnrollmentSchool Counselors connect students to school and community resources to help the students overcome barriers and ensure the successful transition from high school to college.

For example, school counselors:

  • Inform students of all avenues for passing the required HSA
  • Monitor student academic progress to assist students are graduating
  • Assist students in methods towards being accepted into post-secondary
  • Provide information and assist students in obtaining employment

These activities are just examples of how counselors work with students in introducing them to college and careers, helping them explore avenues that may be of interest for them and planning towards meeting those goals.  For more information, you may contact your School Counselor or the Office of School Counseling at 301-567-8669. Additionally, for more information on colleges and careers, please see the College and Career Readiness & Innovative Programs.