Local students to be assigned their own academic counselor

ISABELLE SINIBALDI, Channels Staff

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Local high school students planning to attend City College will now be assigned their own academic counselor to guide them through transferring and graduating.

A pilot program is being put together by the academic counseling department to help prospective students planning to come to City College from local high schools such as Dos Pueblos, Bishop Diego, Carpinteria and more.

“I think it will definitely benefit newer students that are coming in,” said business major Jordan Brookins. “Just to have someone that they can come back to that recognizes them by name, not just somebody random that they are talking to.”

The new type of counseling is using the case management approach, where a group of students are assigned to an individual counselor. This is being tested on a larger scale after working successfully with smaller programs at City College, like the honors program.

Next fall the department will be hiring four new counselors in order to make it easier for students to meet with a counselor and to potentially decrease wait times for students who need to speak with them.

“Our local high school students might not know how to navigate through higher education,” said academic counselor Sabrina Barajas, who was instrumental in starting the new program. “I feel that having an assigned counselor really, really helps clarify things in terms of what the requirements are that students need to complete in order to reach their goals.”

There is a group of four counselors who have gotten the program off the ground. They have already started reaching out to local high schools and meeting with seniors.

“Ideally we would like to have all of our local high school graduates that come here have a counselor that they were able to connect with while they were a senior in their high school,” Barajas said. “To make more of a seamless transition from the high school to the community college.”

Some students worry that the transition to one will make it harder to meet with their counselor because they will have to wait much longer.

“It would be a lot quicker if we kept it the way it is,” said Eduardo Cardenas-Torres, a mathematics and actuarial science major. “There are going to be huge waits to see a single counselor for a bunch of students. I think the way they are running it now is a lot better instead of having a single counselor for a specific amount of students…I don’t think it should change.”

Some students believe that a single counselor for each new student will be better for overall student success.

“Sometimes it’s a little confusing because each time you see a different counselor and each person tells you something different, so they recommend you to take different classes,” said business administration major Sofia Ilami. “And then after you’re a little confused because you don’t know what you should do.”

Administration is still working out the kinks to the program and the logistics of running it, as the academic counseling office isn’t sure how exactly it will be implemented yet.

“I think it’s an awesome opportunity for our students that are coming from our local high schools,” Barajas said.

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