June 15, 2013

Another View: Guidance counselors already helping with college selection


I read the Press Herald's article on the immigrant children who have not received information about how to approach the college process ("Portland program clears path to college for immigrants," May 20).

I also read your editorial ("Our View: Confusing process blocks college opportunity," May 21) supporting that something must be done -- that Make It Happen is the answer to a pressing need.

It seems little research was done on these published pieces. High schools have been doing it for years!

There was no mention in either the article or editorial of the public and private school guidance counselors who work tirelessly to educate and inform both students and parents of all the intricacies involved in getting the most out of a high school education, choosing a tentative career path, choosing schools that would support that choice and helping to find funding to pay for college.

Group counseling sessions with students are done in classrooms throughout Maine and the rest of the country. Then it becomes an individual situation, with counselors sitting down with each junior and senior to see what we can do to help facilitate the transition.

And every year, programs for parents are put on in the evening to inform them about the college selection process and answer their questions. Individual appointments can be made with counselors at any time to get more personal attention.

Sadly, despite advertising these programs, many parents don't take advantage of the school's offers of help. You have made it sound like these students and their families were hanging out in the wind, but in fact, help is readily available to all -- immigrants, transplants and native Mainers.

Edith Y. Davidson of Cape Elizabeth is a retired guidance counselor.


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