Counselors ignore students’ goals

By Jesus Figueroa

The counselors at East Los Angeles College concentrate on getting students out of community college, but they fail to serve students’ needs toward finding a major or concentrating on a major.

Many students come to community college undecided or unsure about their major.

As part of the registration process, incoming students are asked to visit with a counselor and develop an educational plan as well as take assessment tests for English and math.

From the 2007-08 to the 2012-13 the overall average of transfer or completion rate is 41.7 percent based on, which scores each college as part of California’s student success initiative.

The score is based on students who entered college testing at a college level math and English, 69.9 percent, and students who didn’t, 37.8 percent.

The student success initiative, which recommends 22 policy changes, was designed to increase the amount of students who graduate, obtain a certificate or complete a degree.

The educational plan counselors suggest for incoming students usually consists of only general education classes that will help a student graduate.

An education plan like that will probably not help the student figure out their major, their area of interest or further their knowledge on a topic they already have chosen to focus on.

The purpose of visiting a counselor should be focused on benefiting each students needs and less on obtaining a better transfer/graduation rate for the school.

A counselor should talk with each student and try to accommodate each individual students’ likes with an efficient and effective educational plan.

As a journalism major, when visiting with a counselor, I was complimented on knowing my current events and speaking well, but my educational plan included no journalism classes.

The counselor did not realize how important it would be for a journalism major who will apply for a job in the journalism field to have the title of editor in chief on a résumé.

California’s student success initiative hopes that with the 22 policy recommendations it will strengthen programs that work and the programs that don’t can be restructured to work.

Many majors include classes which consume a large amount of time and make it difficult to take several classes in the same semester.

A better understanding of a students’ goals and needs can help a counselor better advise a student on their educational plan and on the courses that can be taken concurrently during the same semester.

A few extra minutes talking with each student, details the courses and programs offered at ELAC and some consideration of a students career and educational goals may help make the college experience more enjoyable and productive for students.

With an education plan that provides each student with a structured and focused path,  students can have a more enjoyable and successful college experience.

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