EDITORIAL: Academic counselors must guide students, not dissuade

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(Daniel Hernandez | Viewpoints)

There is a very controversial saying that goes, “those who can’t, teach.” A more accurate statement would be, “those who can’t, preach.” 

Students are the drivers who choose which road to go down and guidance counselors are tasked with giving directions on how to reach the destination.

However, it seems that the Riverside City College guidance counselors devote a substantial amount of attention to students who choose a more conventional path. So then, what do RCC counselors provide for the student with an unconventional dream? 

The Viewpoints Editorial Board believes that a counselor’s job is to inform students of the risks as well as the rewards of a desired major. 

Instead, we have heard several students recount stories about counselors brushing off their chosen major while simultaneously promoting a more common career path.

Average salaries are plastered everywhere on RCC’s platforms, which feels like an attempt to dissuade students from pursuing degrees.

The greatest teachers will say, “come to me with a problem and a solution on how to fix it.”

RCC needs to hire counselors that can specialize in a few specific programs rather than the current method of combining a bunch of programs that don’t truly correlate.

This change will allow counselors to have a smaller list of students to serve and in return give them the proper time to plan and develop detailed educational plans to fit less common majors. 

If new hires of specialized counselors are unachievable, then the counseling department should be restructured to work in tandem with the educational departments at RCC. Counselors should be educated about the programs that exist on campus because some are unaware of what is offered at RCC.

This will also cut back on counselors spreading misinformation on what the requirements are for graduation.

RCC should also offer full ride scholarships to students who major in counseling if they commit to working within the Riverside Community College District once they graduate. This is a common hiring tool that several counties use for social workers in their respective county’s.

Furthermore, there is no need for counselors to waive the possibility that someone will graduate on time like it’s the end of the world, as if that person isn’t smart enough to know that already.

The pathway to a degree, certificate or special trade should not be a race to the finish line. That piece of paper does not mark the end of a line, it simply represents the beginning of the next chapter in life.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with changing majors in college. The only way to find out if you actually enjoy something is by trying it out.

Be wary of those who only tell you the likelihood of something happening. 

Show up early for those who tell you “hold on to something because this road to your dream isn’t going to be easy.”

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One thought on “EDITORIAL: Academic counselors must guide students, not dissuade

  1. I agree with this editorial. Counselors should stop trying to steer students away from the majors they want to pursue.

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