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Grants to Expand School Counseling Announced as New Study Shows Value

Recent research from the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center finds that adding one counselor to a high school causes a 10 percentage point increase in four-year college-going rates.

The paper, by Michael Hurwitz and Jessica Howell, both researchers with College Board, was published this summer in the Journal of Counseling and Development.  It comes at a time when the national spotlight is focused on the role counselors can play in increasing college-going, particularly among disadvantaged students.

With counselor caseloads in most public schools exceeding the 250-to-1 student-counselor ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association, many districts are looking for additional resources.

The report comes as the U.S. Department of Education has just announced nearly $15 million in grants under the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program grant recipients. The grants, which vary in size from $180,000 to nearly $400,000, can be used by the 41 recipients, including school districts and individual schools, to hire counselors, social workers, school psychologists, or child and adolescent psychiatrists. Grants can also help fund programs that encourage parental involvement, professional development for counselors, or partnerships with community mental health organizations.

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