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The Campanile

Admin should fund additional college and career counselor

Just a few days after the start of the school year, the College & Career Center sent out an email informing the Paly community that due to a lack of funding, Andrea Bueno’s position as one of three college advisers was terminated.

The College & Career Center is a universal resource for all students attending Paly to seek guidance regarding standardized testing, college applications and alternative post-high school plans.

The Campanile thinks additional funding must be allocated toward the CCC in order to provide it with the resources necessary to serve students effectively.

The position of a third college counselor was created at the end of the 2017-18 school year after being a topic of discussion among administrators for several years.

However, for this school year, admin decided it was not sustainable to fund a third college counselor, and felt that it was a necessary change, according to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson.

According to College & Career Counselor Sandra Cernobori, having a third adviser is essential for the CCC to improve its reach to the student body and accomplish its standard of meeting with every student at least once in the spring of their junior year to ensure they are on the right track and receiving the help they need.

After her termination, the CCC distributed Bueno’s caseload of students with last names N-Z to the remaining college advisers, Cernobori and Stephanie Mendoza.

Not only did this force hundreds of incoming seniors to rebuild their student-counselor relationship with a new adviser, but it reduced the capability of the CCC to meet with as many students.

According to Cernobori, the current understaffing of the CCC makes it physically impossible for all juniors to have appointments in the spring because advisers are occupied with aiding seniors through the final stages of the college admissions process, as well as managing the scholarship and awards night programs.

Insufficient funding for the CCC means that students are not being set up for success.

The CCC’s sole objective, along with the purpose of high school as a whole is to help students form their futures, whether this be pursuing college, a gap year, job or an alternative post-secondary path. Funding for areas of focus at Paly such as the CCC come from Partners in Education, and is allocated by Paly admin into subsections.

Under these subsections, each department is allotted a different amount of funding, with about 20% going towards STEM education, 20% towards the arts, 10% towards technology electives and 50% towards the guidance program, which encompasses wellness as well as college and career counseling.

While The Campanile acknowledges the importance of supporting various under-funded  programs for specific subjects, we maintain that the CCC is a resource pertinent to all students on campus. Because of its all-encompassing nature, it is imperative that more funds must be allocated for college and career counseling at Paly, so that students will be prepared for whatever path they choose to pursue.

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