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Supporting Student Retention & Matriculation as a Counselor

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

School counselors are essential for student success. This lesson will discuss how school counselors support student retention and matriculation and will end with a short quiz.

The Role of School Counselors

If you have attended either public or private school, then you have probably had a school counselor. Would it surprise you to know that your school counselor was an important part of your success in school? You may be questioning this as you recall the countless hours of homework and studying you put in, but believe it or not, your school counselor was helping you in many ways.

School counselors work directly with students and behind the scenes to help them reach the necessary benchmarks for school completion. They not only counsel students and families through issues and provide academic guidance, but they work to keep all members of the educational staff on target to meet the needs of students. Within those countless duties and responsibilities lie the goals of matriculation and of supporting student retention.

Matriculation Defined

When you completed kindergarten, did you have a graduation ceremony? Have you graduated high school? If so, think back on the cap and gown, the processional and on finally receiving that diploma after all of the hard work. Maybe you even tossed your cap as the graduates were announced! These are all common practices for graduation.

Graduation means that a student has completed all requirements of study. Of course that is the goal for most students. Before a student can graduate though, he or she must matriculate. To matriculate is to officially enroll in school. Matriculation most commonly refers to college or university level enrollment.

School counselors are important figures in terms of student matriculation. More specifically, recent research has indicated that high school students who have access to school counselors are more likely to matriculate than those who do not. Let's look a bit more at this issue to determine how school counselors impact matriculation.

School Counselors at Work

School counselors wear many shoes. They offer support and encouragement to students. They assess students to make sure that they are where they need to be academically. Additionally, school counselors are often the first to address issues with behavior or learning. They work tirelessly to ensure that students are able to succeed.

Many students choose to attend college, and school counselors are usually key players in the college application process. They may help students prepare for college entrance exams, and they often host college fairs to bring a variety of colleges to the students.

When it comes time to apply, school counselors assist with transcripts, references, volunteer hours and even scholarships. These measures of support are profound, and without them, students may become overwhelmed or confused about the college entrance process. In short, school counselors are essential for student matriculation.

Student Retention Explained

Why did you attend school? You may have responded with, 'because I had to' or 'my parents made me.' However, think about the bigger picture. Did you attend school to learn about new things or to receive a diploma so that you could get a job?

There are endless reasons why people attend school, but have you ever thought about the things that keep students on track and in school? How about the students who miss a lot of school? There is no arguing that frequent absences often cause grades to drop because students are not present for the lectures, lessons, tests and projects. What can be done to keep students in school?

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