At Fairmont Private Schools, we pride ourselves on our low student-to-counselor ratios. Fairmont Preparatory Academy boasts a student-to-academic-counselor ratio of 75:1, while our college counselor ratio is 40:1. The national average student-to-counselor ratio is 491:1 in comparison.
Importance of Counseling
Though often overlooked and underfunded, counseling is vital for high school students. Counselors help guide students through their high school years and give them the assistance and encouragement they need to plan out successful college and career paths. This is a confusing time for students as they realize they soon need an official answer to the question they’ve been asked their entire lives, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In this critical time, students need full accessibility to the advisement of college and academic counselors.
“At other high schools, the counselor workload is overwhelming, maybe allowing the student to see the counselor once per year,” Fairmont Prep advanced programs counselor Raymond Prado says. “At Fairmont, counselors are able to review students’ records on a daily basis, thus having the ability to call in a student if there is a possible trend towards a lower grade.”
Giving students more access to guidance and planning simplifies their transition to college. It provides more opportunity for counselors to get to know their students and assist them with their individual goals. Colorado’s School Counselor Corps Program provides an example of counseling’s benefits. The state’s participating school districts cut their student-to-counselor ratio down to 216:1 from 363:1 between 2010 and 2015. A 2016 report of the program states dropout rates dropped from 5.5 percent to 3.5 percent.
Support During College Prep
Beyond the normal stress of high school, juniors and seniors face additional pressure as they begin the college application process. Students must decide on which schools to apply for, collect recommendation letters, apply for scholarships, begin taking college prep courses, study for SATs and ACTs, and the list goes on and on. College counselors provide the knowledge and resources students need to prepare for the hefty task.
“Anxiety, the media, and ‘family friends’ can make a student’s head spin when it comes to the college acceptance process,” Fairmont Prep college counselor Darrell Foy says. “We are here to listen, guide, support, and ease those anxiety feelings.”
Beyond Programs & College
Low student-to-counselor ratios not only give students the guidance needed to navigate the murky waters of AP classes, college applications, and career decisions, but also give counselors the ability to assist them in other matters. Fairmont Prep college counselor Justin Voss has been able to give extra assistance to an international student this year who was feeling overwhelmed by the difference in American curriculum.
“In a place with a larger counseling load, I would not have had the time to dedicate to this student and help their transition to Fairmont,” Voss said.
To continue assisting our students in times of transition, Fairmont Private Schools recently welcomed Mrs. Naomi Shibley to the counseling team as our new junior high counselor. Just as the transition between high school and college can be difficult, so can the transitions from elementary school to junior high and junior high to high school. Mrs. Shibley will assist our 5th through 8th grade students to ensure they have the best educational experience possible.
See For Yourself!
For more information about Fairmont’s counseling programs, visit us at the 14th Annual Fall Open House & College Fair on October 10. You’ll not only receive more information about Fairmont, but also have the opportunity to meet with college representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities. For any student with ambitions to go to college, a college fair is an ideal event to attend. Students can narrow down college options, practice interview skills, and learn more about the college admissions process. With two events in one night, our Fall Open House & College Fair is the perfect place to begin your child’s journey to higher education. RSVP today!