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We are Ray and Kelli, counselors at City. 1st grader asks for food and blanket from Santa. Homeless to Billionaire. Which debt to pay off first. Money in the bank. Wonder. Funeral for a neighbor. Black Friday mistakes. Black Friday secrets from store employees. Negotiate a better salary. Avoid holiday overspending. 8 ways to save. Debt eliminated. Which debt to take out first.

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Empowering students to fulfill their dreams through education.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What Counselors Do Intro


picture by Alvesgaspar




Summer session (minus the classes!) is fully underway at City College.  All the new students are taking their assessment tests and attending orientations.  Continuing students are dropping by the Counseling Office for help in deciding which classes to take next semester.  Or are they? 
Recently a student told us that other students avoid the Counseling Department. Students, he said, could be lazy, or they feel there’s some kind of stigma attached to looking for help.  And anecdotal evidence may support that. 
I’ve seen a decent number of continuing students over the last few months (while this series of posts has been simmering in my brain) who come to Counseling because they received a) a probation or disqualification notice from the college, b) a denial notice from Financial Aid, or c) a message from the college saying that they had enough units that they might qualify for graduation.  
Of those students, several of them had taken courses they didn’t need.  Some were missing only one or two courses to graduate or transfer – courses they could have taken last semester, if they’d only known.  Some failed or withdrew because they didn’t have enough time to do well.  Some failed or withdrew because they didn’t have enough money to pay for books or because they had to work more hours to pay for books.  All of them would have benefitted from contact with a counselor earlier in the process.
 
So what do counselors do?  Ray and I came up with a list of roles we perform with our students.  I’m going to post two every week.  Feel free to add to the list.
Cheerleader (Kelli) – Students occasionally need a pat on the back, a word of encouragement, or a hearty “Congratulations!” 
Coach (Ray) – So you’re looking to find your ideal career and you’ve narrowed it down to your top three. Let’s prioritize them. Good, now what do you need to determine the best fit? More info? Okay, how? Talking to people, excellent. Who do you start with? How long will it take you to info interview three electricians? Okay, let’s set a deadline of three weeks. Then follow up with me to see how the interviews went before we determine the next step.

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