Next month Spotlight will attend the annual conference of WACAC, the Western Association for College Admission Counseling. We're going because we want to support counselors as they face a daunting ratio.
According to the California Department of Education, our home state's student-to-counselor ratio is 945 to 1. Let that sink in for a minute.
You're a high school counselor. You've committed your career to this work because you want to help students achieve their dreams. Attending college is a fundamental part of virtually every student's dream, and you'd like nothing more than to have the time and resources to sit down with your students, offering each one personalized guidance: which colleges might be the right fit; how to pursue a selective college; how to navigate the application process.
But you're responsible for 945 unique individuals. Personalized guidance won't happen too often.
Keep in mind that the ratio is likely higher in many schools in low-income communities, where parents are unlikely to afford private college counselors. There are many drivers behind the gap in college access between affluent and low-income students; a key one is access to information.
So Spotlight is joining this fight. We're putting our technology to work to support low-income students in their pursuit of college degrees.
We've developed a personalized "Digital College Counselor," deliverable to students and their parents in any language, that explains to students:
- Here's where you stand.
- Here's where you've been.
- Here's where you could be headed.
- Here's what you need to do to get there.
Just what a human counselor would want to discuss with every one of those 945 students.
The DCC will never replace real counselors and the important work they take on. But we believe that it will serve as a vital support to both those counselors and their students.
Which is why we'll be showing it off at the WACAC Conference!