Sean Kershaw's Weblog
January 2, 2008
This is something I wanted to write a Viewpoint about, but it's just not ready. And is strays too close to a "policy recommendation" that hasn't come directly from our work.
In the world of Facebook and MySpace, why couldn't high school "guidance counseling" become partially an on-line option and opportunity?
The idea first occurred to me when I heard that the new Minnesota website imakeithappen.org included a paid online guidance counselor. "Brilliant" was what I wrote on a note to Susan Heegaard, the Director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (and a long-time Citizens League supporter and friend).
Guidance counseling ratios in Minnesota stink, and aren't likely to improve much. And I know that it's tough to replace face-to-face relationships.
But we also know that having a trusted adult in a students' life matters a great deal in high school success and higher education attainment. Adults my age don't appreciate how much the online and real-world perspectives blur for students now.
Is it possible in the new world of Facebook and MySpace, that a group of trained adults could become online counselors for high school students. Perhaps they could/should be paid, as the person is for imakeithappen.org, but perhaps it could also be a tremendous volunteer opportunity. Minnesota is full of college graduates that could devote an hour or two a week online to one or two students in this new online format.
Posted by Sean Kershaw at January 2, 2008 7:50 AM