"Even as some states redouble support for school counselors, they should take care not to get stuck in old patterns of thinking, said Mandy Savitz-Romer, a Harvard University researcher who focuses on school counseling. Investing in people and training is good, she said, but states must improve counselor-training programs and revamp counselors' job descriptions, too.
Counselors need to be freed from tasks that take them away from students, Savitz-Romer said. They need support to learn to work deeply with data to track students' progress and needs, and to work as key parts of their schools' leadership teams to collaboratively envision counseling programs. They should also partner with teachers to integrate career- and college-readiness into the curriculum. Principals can play a pivotal role in bringing about those changes, Savitz-Romer said.
"If you put more people into antiquated roles, not much will change," she said, "but in a repurposed role, a lot can change.""
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