How a Great Tool for School Career and College Counselors Just Got Even Better
This one is for school counselors…you hard-working professionals who spend your time helping other people figure out what to do with their lives. Every day, you guide people through the biggest decisions in life, like choosing a college degree and selecting a career path.
It’s a demanding job under normal circumstances. But it’s almost unmanageable when you consider that, according to the American School Counseling Association, the average counselor-to-student ratio for public schools in 2017 was 482-to-1.
Their recommended ratio? 250-to-1.
That’s staggering, isn’t it?
According to a survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, counselors spend only 22% of their time on college counseling, with the other 78% of their time going to issues like mental health and social counseling. There’s no arguing that those issues are important, but…how important are counselors when it comes to influencing a student to attend college?
A recent report by the National Association of College Admissions Counseling revealed that one meeting with a school counselor to discuss college or financial aid triples a student’s chance of going to college. And a 2013 study by the College Board found that a high school could increase its four-year-college enrollment by 10% just by adding one additional counselor to its staff.
Given those numbers, it’s clear that school counselors play a vital role in students’ future success. But with such mind-boggling caseloads, how can you find the time to make a meaningful impact?
Success, in many ways, is about having an arsenal of tools that you can pull from as needed in order to meet the varied needs of each student. And the good news for today is that one of those great tools just got even better because CareerFitter has just announced it’s offering career test reports free of charge to schools, colleges, and universities around the world.
If you’re not familiar with CareerFitter, it’s a scientifically-based online career test that helps students identify their work personality strengths and weaknesses, communications style, optimal work environment, earnings potential, and more.
There are many types of career tests. Unlike other personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs, DISC, Holland Codes, etc., CareerFitter focuses specifically on who a person is at work, which can be significantly different than who a person is away from work. For example, you may be the most organized and orderly person in the world at work, one of those “a place for everything and everything in its place” types of people. But at home, your clothes are strewn across the bedroom and you can never find your car keys because you always drop them in a different place when you come through the door. It’s an important distinction, one that CareerFitter was, quite literally, built for.
See if it’s right for your school.
- The CareerFitter career test is easy to take. It asks questions, like “please choose the word that describes you most of the time,” with two big-button answers to choose from, like “down-to-earth” versus “imaginative.” The test only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. This means your students will enjoy taking it (it feels more like a game than a test), and they’ll actually finish it through to the end.
2. You (meaning your IT department) can put a link to the test on your school webpage. Stick the link on your counseling subsite, or add a link to your school’s landing page. It makes it easier for students to find, and it shows the community how committed you are to helping students reach for and attain higher life goals.
3. The career test works across all devices, so your students can take it on their own smartphones or tablets, anytime and anywhere. This frees up your time and your office space immensely! You just point them to the test and send them on their way.
4. The Premium Career Report (normally $19.95, but free for your school) will give both you and your students convenient access to a ton of information about suitable careers, including average salaries, the job outlook for your state and area, detailed job requirements and “day in the life” types of tasks and duties. The information is presented in clear categories that are easy to understand and use, so students can explore it effectively on their own.
5. Educational requirements are included for each job. Students won’t have to do any additional research on which degree is the best option for the desired job, because it’s all right there in front of them on their Premium Report. So if a student wants to become a public relations executive, all the degrees that best support that career will be listed, like public relations, communications, English, and journalism. Plus, the report lists information like required licenses, registrations, and certifications. It’s a comprehensive one-stop-shop for career and college information.
6. It costs nothing to be an affiliate. Becoming an affiliate is a requirement of this offer, but there’s no downside to that. Being an affiliate gives you access to the dashboard (see next point), and lets you add your own school logo to the test in a type of “co-branding” arrangement.
7. You get access to a dashboard that lets you view student results.
Now, you can tailor additional guidance and be more effective. Your first meeting with a student doesn’t have to be “ground zero.” Instead, your first meeting can be to go over test results and talk about specific information like which schools provide the degree programs referenced in the report. The dashboard is easy to use: it’s internet-based, so there’s no software to download. Plus, you never have to worry about the forgotten student login information. CareerFitter manages all of that for you.
8. There’s nothing for you to learn or be trained on. There are so many incredible guidance resources out there, many of them very robust and useful. But let’s be honest: they take time, which you don’t have a lot of. Time to be trained, time to integrate the resource into your program. One of the best features of CareerFitter is that there’s no system for you to learn. It’s a great tool, for sure, but it’s also a seamless one. Once you sign up to be an affiliate, your IT department adds the CareerFitter link to your website. That’s it. Other than logging in to the dashboard as needed to see student results, there’s really nothing else you have to do. It’s a plug-and-play solution that makes zero demands on your time but still delivers significant benefits to both you and your students.
9. Why wouldn’t you? What you do is so important. But there’s not enough of you to go around, and so you have to find and use as many smart-resources as possible to connect with students and get them thinking about the degree and career paths. It’s overwhelming for you, but it’s overwhelming for students, as well, considering the thousands of options out there. Any tool that helps bring clarification is a good thing. And any tool that is both powerful and free is a very good thing.
5, Did you see the part about free tests for your school?
If you’d like to try out the test before you make any sort of commitment (and who wouldn’t?) CareerFitter offers a free career test, plus the option to take the test and get your own personalized premium report for free. To do just that, go here and to learn more about the program that offers career counselors free career tests and full reports.
Until the counselor-to-student ratio improves, you will, unfortunately, continue to struggle to find time to meet with each student as you’d like. So add smart tools like CareerFitter to your counseling toolbox, and keep up the good fight. Know that the work you’re doing is appreciated. You – and all the unsung heroes of education – are changing the world for the better, one student at a time.
For that….thank you.