Breaking Down the Budget: College & Career Counseling

image01483.JPG This week, we're breaking down the budget proposal for the 2018-2019 operating year. Metro Schools will focus on Our Students and Our People in the 2018-19 operating budget, with the majority of spending aimed at improving equity and excellence across the district.

Read more about the budget proposal here.

At the start of this year’s budget season, Dr. Joseph visited many different high schools for one reason: to speak to groups of students about what they need to succeed. The answer was universal and resounding. Our students told us loud and clear – we need more help with preparing for college.

That’s why this year’s budget proposal includes operating funds for three additional positions, two will provide counselor support and supervision and one will work directly with our foster care students. In addition, the district will use federal dollars to fund 15 new positions specifically dedicated to college and career counseling. These 15 positions will serve our 12 traditional high schools and our magnet high schools MLK and Hume Fogg. Nashville School of the Arts and East Magnet High School will each have a counselor on a half-time basis.

“Counselors across the district are making a difference for countless students…and helping them to navigate the college application process.” –Dr. Shawn Joseph, Director of Schools, State of Schools Address March 2018

A recent report published by the Nashville Public Education Foundation underscores the need for an investment in career and college counseling. According to the report, sixty percent of jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, yet only 24 percent of MNPS graduates earn a degree within six years after graduating from high school.

In addition, approximately 80 percent of our students’ parents have never attended college, making most of our MNPS students’ first-generation college students.

While the interest is high and students are motivated for the next chapter after graduation, navigating the post-secondary world is challenging and complicated, especially for lower-income students.

Nobody knows this quite as well as Connie Hensley, the college counselor at Pearl-Cohn High School. Through her dedication, Pearl-Cohn seniors are well-educated on their post-secondary options. Watch this video to learn more.

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2018 State of Schools Address: Counselors from Metro Nashville Public Schools on Vimeo.

College and career are the next steps for graduates of MNPS – and funding career and college counselors in high schools across the district will help to ensure when students leave our schools, they will have the knowledge to know exactly what steps they need to take in order to make their dreams a reality.