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E-Counseling To Offer More Student Support

by Chris Berdik

The Hechinger Report

Article excerpt

E-Counseling 2.0: Can a new wave of virtual guidance help?

College Possible is one of many college advocacy groups hoping that technology will jumpstart the slow growth of low-income students in higher education. The last couple years have brought a renaissance in virtual guidance counseling—both new services and existing ones upping their game with mobile, social media and data analytics.

Our take

Virtual Reality Can Take the Load Off

A national shortage of school counselors puts a lot of pressure on the few available to meet student need. A study referenced in this article suggests that, while The American School Counselor Association sets a standard of 250 students per counselor, the reality is closer to 500 students per counselor. When humans are in short supply, technology can help. Could virtual counselors help to ease the burden?

That’s what this example illustrates as virtual counselors provide aid to low-income high school students engaged in the college application process. While some may see this type of technology as a threat, in reality these alternatives to human-to-human interaction can help to augment, and even improve, services so that educational pros can focus on other, potentially more rewarding, activities. No matter how big technology’s role in the classroom becomes, there is one component of learning that it can never replace: teachers. It’s simply a matter of finding the right balance.

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