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ERIC Number: ED527896
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
School Counselors: Literature and Landscape Review. The State of School Counseling in America
Bridgeland, John; Bruce, Mary
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
Across the country, large numbers of young people are dreaming about and planning on attending college. A poll released in 2005 showed that 87 percent of all young people want to go to college. Often, however, parents' and students' dreams for the future are not being realized. Many young people never enroll in a postsecondary institution, and of those who do enroll in college, few graduate. A labor market skills gap accompanies this crisis in high school and college completion. Unlike a generation ago, the majority of job openings in the next decade will require at least some postsecondary education. Experts estimate that American businesses are in need of 97 million middle and highly skilled workers, yet only 45 million Americans currently possess the necessary education and skills to qualify for these positions. This skills gap illustrates the importance of today's postsecondary credentials and sheds light on why postsecondary planning is increasingly an essential component of high-quality school counseling. Counselors are uniquely positioned to address these key gaps in education and workforce development. As such, the purpose of this document is threefold: first, to provide a review of the available research on this under-researched and under-leveraged element of the education system; second, to create a resource that is useful to practitioners and to the public; and third, to inform a report that will both incorporate the findings of a nationally representative survey of school counselors, sponsored by the College Board and conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, and make recommendations for paths forward. Despite the limited and often uneven research, it is apparent that in the best cases, counselors create dynamic systems that support student success in school and in life. However, there is a linkage missing between what individuals know counselors can do and what they are enabled to do on a broad scale. The research presented in this literature and landscape review reveals that counselors have the potential to place themselves at the crossroads of two key challenges facing the nation. First, the high school and college completion crisis means that there is a chasm between the hopes of many students and the futures they likely face. Second, the gap between 21st-century labor-market needs and current student preparedness means the nation's economic reality is lagging behind its potential. The services that counselors provide could potentially address both of these gaps. Counselors have the potential to place themselves in the center of the education reform movement as an important and highly leveraged player. The decision to step into this space could impact education research, policy, and funding, including counselor accountability in schools. Because of their unique role, counselors ultimately have the potential to significantly impact not just the future livelihood of students but also that of the nation. A bibliography is included. (Contains 1 table and 229 footnotes.)
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023. Tel: 212-713-8165; Fax: 212-713-8143; e-mail:; email:; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Kresge Foundation
Authoring Institution: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center