CQE Responds to Superintendent's Numbers on MHS Guidance

| 10 Comments

Citizens for Quality Education, in a response to Superintendent Terri Sinatra's guidance counselor research, stated that these numbers can be interpreted in different ways.

CQE president Kathy Liss points out that "Millburn High School does have 7 counselors but in addition, there is a full-time director of guidance. Cranford has 5 counselors but an additional supervisor as well. So if we look closely, these schools have more professional support than one would notice at first glance." A director, as opposed to a counselor, not only handles students' daily guidance requirements but also oversees the education planning, career planning and the all-important, transition to post secondary education procedures for the entire school.

Some interesting numbers come from the Princeton High School site. Their department has " 6 counselors (not 5) for a ratio of 1/226, but they also have a college advisor (reducing that ratio further) and a full-time supervisor." In other I districts, there is often an additional administrator who doubleteams as a guidance counselor, lowering the ratio. "Verona, with about 65 fewer students than MHS, has 2 guidance counselors but also an Assistant Principal who carries a number of students. When looking at the entire list of I districts, Metuchen has one of the very highest counselor/student ratios," explaines Liss.

Liss adds that comparing Metuchen to schools in districts with lower socioeconomic factors is misleading.  At JP Stevens, which has a district factor of GH (a grade lower than Metuchen), the ratio is 2121/9; this means that their ratio is lower than Metuchen's and yet they send a greater number of students to four-year colleges.

What does it really take for a high school to manage a budget, academics, and student needs so that even those with unexemplary academic careers can find a place in a four-year college? On February 19, the Superintendent's Forum at the high school will certainly elicit a wide variety of responses to this question.

10 Comments

I could not attend the meeting tonight, as I am out of town on business. However, I urge everyone to also keep in mind that School Counselors typically provide more than simple guidance for college admissions. In fact, the term "guidance counselor" is being phased out in many districts and schools, and school counselor is the more appropriate term. School counselors, according to the ASCA (www.schoolcounselor.org), provide support to students regarding "academic, personal/social and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society." To be able to provide that scope of counseling, a caseload must be reasonable and allow the counselors to be available for student concerns. To understand the degree to which our school counselors can do their jobs is an important task, and should be examined thoroughly. Collecting benchmark figures from other districts is a start, but just the beginning.

To be fair, I must disclose that I am a faculty member in a graduate counseling program, where we educate our master's students to be school counselors, as well as community, addiction and higher education counselors.

Kim

I don't think Kathy is saying 2-year colleges are a problem. For a variety of reasons, the 2-year college route makes prefect sense for many people.

But what changed at MHS (the ratio didn't change in other districts) from 2005 to 2007 that made it the right choice for so many more students? That's the question. There were students that went to 4-year in 2005 that did not in 2007. I'm not sure it was the best choice for everyone that year.

I graduated MHS and worked full time while studying at MCC. I graduated (4.0 gpa) and transferred to Rutgers with half my coursework completed. I graduated Rutgers (4.0 gpa). I earned my master's degree at UPenn, graduating with a (4.0gpa). I have worked full time since high school graduation.

1. I saved well over 15k by completing 60 transferrable credits at MCC.

2. MCC completely prepared me for subsequent college coursework.

3. I include g.p.a. information to highlight my point made above (see #2).

4. It matters less what school one attends; it matters a great deal what one does while there!

With the direction Rutgers tuition is going, maybe sending our kids to a 2 year school and then Rutgers makes more and more sense. Makes some dollars too.

My words were taken out of context.
I did say that community colleges offer valuable programs and courses. Thank goodness they do exist! I also said that before we decide that the 2 to 4 year route is a sound educational and financial plan, we need to look at certain things.

The retention rate is 89% at Rutgers. See:http://www.ir.ufl.edu/nat_rankings/students/retent_old.pdf

Maybe someone can provide the graduation rate for Rutgers? But remember, when they graudate from Rutgers, students have a 4 year degree. The degree is the goal.

Last time I checked, Rutgers is not the only four year college in the state, but to answer your question about BIO101, guess what, once Rutgers says they accept that student, they are equal. And the fact remains 95% of the students are moving on to higher education, which then removes where they go from there out of Metuchen School Districts hands, correct? I think with a school ranking of 86 and years of us just throwing money at the wind (since every year another problem comes up), someone in the administration needs to tell us exactly what the issues are, it is not a guidance counselor for a school with a 95% rate of students moving onto higher education that is for sure. Is it parent intervention, is it hours in the school day (we were one of the shortest on the report card), what is it? And please use facts, not opinion.

Kathy, if a 2 year school isn't a sound educational and financial plan for most students, then they shouldn't exist.

What is the retention rate at Rutgers? How many students graduate from Rutgers in 4 years?

Let's start with the assumption that we want our students to earn a 4 year degree, then we should be asking: Where is the best place for our kids to achieve that goal once they leave MHS? The answer is a 4 year college.

Community colleges do many good things (like provide certification programs to start someone on a career, provide remedial courses and offer basic college courses), but do they graduate their students in two years and do their graduates move seamlessly on to a 4 year college?

The retention rate for Middlesex County College is 63% for full-time students and 45% for part time students. Last year there were 11,990 students enrolled at Middlesex. There were 1,079 graduates from this two year school.

We know that NJ state colleges and universities are required to take all the credits that are earned at a state community college from their transfer students. But can a student who took Bio 101 at Middlesex move onto the next Biology course at Rutgers? Is the depth and breadth of the curriculum the same for both intro courses?

These are all questions that have to be examined before we agree that going to a 2 year college and then transferring to a 4 year college is a sound educational and financial plan for most students.

I agree and when we look at those numbers students going on to higher education becomes 95%. which is great.

Why the focus on students attending 4 year colleges?

What is wrong with a kid getting a 2 year associates degree and then going to a 4 year? When they go to interview, pretty much all they will put on their resume is that they have a degree from Rutgers (or whatever)

Leave a comment


Recent Comments

  • kimmieoh: I could not attend the meeting tonight, as I am read more
  • Anonymous: I don't think Kathy is saying 2-year colleges are a read more
  • cca: I graduated MHS and worked full time while studying at read more
  • Anonymous: With the direction Rutgers tuition is going, maybe sending our read more
  • Kathy Liss: My words were taken out of context. I did say read more
  • Anonymous: Last time I checked, Rutgers is not the only four read more
  • Anonymous: Kathy, if a 2 year school isn't a sound educational read more
  • Kathy Liss: Let's start with the assumption that we want our students read more
  • Anonymous: I agree and when we look at those numbers students read more
  • Anonymous: Why the focus on students attending 4 year colleges? What read more

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.21-en
/