For any advisor/advisee program to be successful, outcomes and goals need to be established. The advisory program can help students discover more about themselves, gain self-confidence, be more engaged in their education and enable them to set goals for their future. A good advising program should provide students the tools they need both academically and personally for success and encourage an active participation in their school and community. It can also help them avoid obstacles that could prevent them from successfully reaching their goals. Following are a sample of expected outcomes and goals for an effective and successful student advising program.
Expected Outcomes of Advising Programs
- Students are encouraged to feel accepted and valued as an individual
- Greater self-esteem
- Increased personal responsibility in both personal and social areas
- Better developed communication and inter-personal skills
- Greater overall satisfaction with the high school experience
- Improved retention rates
- Improved attendance
- Increased graduation rate/reduced dropout rate
- Increased number of students attending postsecondary education
- Better prepared students who will enter the workforce and be competitive in the global market
- More rigorous coursework by students
- Increased parental involvement
- Increased communication between school and home
- Increased faculty ownership of student success
- Better informed and trained faculty in regard to the students educational program
- Increased knowledge of graduation requirements, college admissions, financial aid opportunities, and career opportunities
Following are additional information and links for Advising Tools, Resources, and Data:
- Kentucky students can certainly benefit from advising and mentoring programs, but a quality program in and of itself takes careful planning and time to develop and implement. Recent research suggests that poorly planned, or short-term, advising and mentoring can actually do more harm than good to our students, resulting in more negative impacts. Transition Toolkit
- The Transition Toolkit is a “one stop shopping” source that schools can access as they develop, implement or revise their plans for transitioning students from the elementary grades to the middle grades. The activities included can be implemented with both students and parents during the year prior to the transition and continuing throughout the first transitional year.
Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
– The ILP is an on-line education and career planning tool made available to schools, teachers, students, and parents. It is available for students grades 6-12 and is a tool designed to help students bring together their academic achievements, extracurricular experiences, and career and education exploration activities. This enables the student, parents, teachers, and counselors to work together to develop a course of study that meets the student’s needs and goals.
In July 2014, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan communicated with educational leadership the extremely important role of school counselors in empowering all students to meet the academic and career preparation demands of the 21st century. He emphasized that for our neediest students, counselors provide expert and accessible guidance to assist them in navigating a challenging and complicated college admissions and career preparation landscape.
Secretary Duncan urged state (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) “. . . to support their school counselors by providing them the time, space and resources they need to work effectively on behalf of students and not over burden them with non-counseling duties that can distract from their core work and ultimately leave students without the individualized attention needed to complete academic course work, successfully navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes and/or prepare them for productive careers.” He went on to say that “. . . a systemic and sustainable approach to supporting school counselors in meeting increased professional demands should include consideration of how federal funds and programs can help improve and expand the reach of school counselors.” To assist with this, a list of federal initiatives and programs that may support the hiring, development, and retention of effective school counselors was included in his communication and can be found at the above link.
In closing, the Secretary urged “. . . SEAs and LEAs to use the summer months to strategize and develop policies and programs that enable school counselors to become more effective at helping greater numbers of students—especially low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities, and English learners—successfully access postsecondary education or career opportunities.”
The Student ILP Tool allows students to:
- Record their career, education, and life goals.
- Bookmark careers and schools that are of interest to them and include their thoughts about each.
- Explore the Kentucky Career Clusters and track the clusters that interest them.
- Store their results from standardized tests and assessments, including Career Matchmaker.
- Keep track of their career and educational exploration activities.
- Record their extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests.
- Document their community services and work experience.
- Develop their four-year high school education plan.
- List awards and recognitions they have received.
- Document learning services and programs they have participated in.
- Upload related files, such as essays, scanned artwork, and letters of reference.
- Create personalized, professional-looking resumes.
- House interventions for academic improvement.
The Parent/Guardian ILP Tool allows you to:
- View the work your child has entered in his or her ILP
- Learn more about the careers and schools that are of interest to your child.
- Record your thoughts and comments about your child’s learning plan.
- Email your comments to your child’s advisors.
- Career and College Readiness: Below are several sites that can help students and their families prepare for career and college readiness.
Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education
This site provides many resources for students and their parents such as:
- Planning for College
- Paying for College
- Transfer Planning
- College Majors
- Online Learning Opportunities
- Kentucky Adult Education
It also provides links to all state-supported institutions, independent institutions, proprietary institutions, and out-of-state institutions licensed to operate in Kentucky.
The ACT website has a wealth of information for students, parents, and educators. Two very helpful links are:
- Student ACT - This link addresses such topics as test registration, test prep, scores, college planning, financial aid, career planning, and also contains student blogs and questions and answers.
- Educators ACT - This link provides comprehensive information about the ACT, EXPLORE, and PLAN tests, the quality core, college readiness standards, EPAS, etc.
It also has links for K12 Educators, Post Secondary Educators, Education Policymakers, and Students.
The Education Index at PhDs.org is the Internet’s premier source of updated, clear educational data about undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States.