As you know, the high school guidance counselor can be one of your teen’s best allies in college admissions support. Counselors help choose courses, advocate for students and in many cases write recommendation letters for college admissions.
This is an important relationship to foster.
BUT… Did you know that U.S. guidance counselors have an average of more than 400 students?!
Given that ridiculous number, it can be difficult for any teen to stand out and garner attention and all of the support needed for admissions. But, there are ways to build a good relationship to prevent your kid from being lost in the shuffle.
Ensure your teen is a “squeaky wheel” from the very beginning in just the right way, and I promise a great relationship will develop over time.
Pass these tips on to your teen to help stay top-of-mind with the school counselor to get the guidance needed for college admissions.
Freshman year is not too soon for your teen to set up a meeting with the counselor! Planning for the next four years and getting some perspective on which courses to take, scholarship opportunities, careers and majors to consider, etc. will help your student to get headed in the right direction from day one.
Before heading in for a meeting, be sure to access my High School Course Planning Worksheet to keep track of which courses are necessary for graduation and college admissions.
At many high schools, your teen will be waiting a REALLY long time before the guidance counselor asks for a meeting. In fact, at my own daughter’s school, that meeting didn’t come until she was a senior and had already submitted applications.
Make sure your teen is making regular appointments with the counselor to discuss all things high school graduation and college admissions.
Get to know each other.
Guidance counselors are human beings like the rest of us, by golly. And humans tend to feel connection to those who want to get to know them.
Your teen should make a habit of “stopping by,” which will serve to nurture that relationship.
And it’s really important for your teen to make sure the counselor knows him or her, both personally and academically. That’ll go a long way to helping formulate a plan for the future, and for that reference letter for college admissions.
Visit the counselor with your teen.
When the counselor knows the parent’s involved, it’s serious business! This allows your teen to receive even more advice and support. Go to meetings armed with questions and learn about your teen’s path forward.
Go to meetings well-prepared.
Your teen should have a list of questions and goals for appointments with the guidance counselor. Taking good notes is an absolute must, as well.
Do what the counselor suggests.
Your teen is seeking advice from the counselor, and so should act on the suggestions that are given. Counselors want to know that students are taking their guidance seriously. It’ll ensure they continue to provide it for your teen in the future.
This should go without saying, of course, but it’s so important for your teen to be pleasant, respectful and appreciative of the time the guidance counselor gives. A simple thank you is great, but an email or thank you card for the support the counselor gives will make your teen even more memorable.
Although they may be inundated with paperwork and tasks to be done, guidance counselors got into this field because they love connecting with and helping students. Most will welcome the time they’re able to spend learning about your teen and interacting, so encourage your teen to take great advantage of that!
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