Summa Counselors Provide Ethical and Efficient College Planning Counseling

 

 


Summa Counselors Provide Ethical and Efficient College Planning Counseling 

By Dr. Meggie Morris
Manager of Counseling


Saying goodbye to summer is rarely easy, and saying hello to a new school year is rarely any easier. Preparing for a new academic year takes much more than making sure all the pencils are freshly sharpened. Here at Summa, we recognize that students and parents are frequently overwhelmed with the demands of school, especially when it comes to planning the road map to college. More than ever, today's high school students require trustworthy guidance through the murky waters of college preparation. Summa counselors are here to help by providing efficient and ethical advice for each step along the path to college, from learning about the differences between all of those standardized tests—both the old and the new—to discovering the unique offerings among all types of higher education.

As many students and parents experience, high school guidance counselors are overwhelmed with their current student caseloads. In recent years, counselors in California's public schools have struggled to cope with huge numbers of students: an average of over 1,000 students to each counselor in the most recent statistics. That's more than four times the recommended caseload ("Counselors Optimistic about Resurgence in Schools," EdSource, January 22, 2015). Getting sufficient time with a school counselor to properly plan out curriculum schedules and testing timeframes can be nearly impossible these days. Additionally, high school counselors are rarely given the training needed to help students make well-informed decisions, especially when it comes to selecting and applying to colleges. In recent years, researchers have warned about the lack of college guidance preparation among school counselors, preparation that is needed to successfully serve their student bodies. According to Patrick O'Connor, former President of the National Association for College Admission Counseling and now the Associate Dean of College Counseling at Cranbrook Kingswood School, we can see this lack in "surveys of recent high school graduates showing deep dissatisfaction with the college advice their counselors had to offer," combined with the observation that "counselors feel particularly undertrained in essential areas" of advising students ("Essay Calling for More Training for College Counselors," Inside Higher Ed, July 13, 2015). Summa offers the kind of high level academic advising services desired by both students and parents. Summa counselors are immersed in the many facets of secondary and post-secondary education—including current requirements, latest changes, and various college admissions expectations. Summa counselors receive special training in college counseling, and many are certified college counselors.

Unlike many other independent counseling services, Summa offers free consultations for curriculum road-mapping and college preparation, in addition to our myriad courses and tutoring services that make sure students achieve academic success. Summa counselors are happy to meet with students and parents to help plan high school schedules and testing timelines, as well as college lists. Rather than charging thousands of dollars for a hand-holding college planning service, we seek to empower both students and parents by keeping them involved in the planning process and by keeping our services affordable for everyone. We even offer in-house financial aid counseling to make sure that students and parents have the most important information necessary to create an appropriate college list and to apply for financial aid. You can learn more about all aspects of getting into college—from choosing the right school to how to pay for it—at one of our free, upcoming college information sessions. We will be holding two information sessions in September. The first will be on Thursday September 10th from 6-8pm at our Carmel Valley location, and the second will be on Wednesday September 30th from 5:30-7:30pm at our Rancho Bernardo location. Be sure to contact our offices to reserve your space for these popular sessions.