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Don’t Let College Counseling Leave with Ms.Bean*



Ms. Bean has been a staple at Wilson for 16 years and it’s hard to imagine Wilson students navigating the arduous college application process without her. Her departure has been further complicated by the upcoming budget cuts, making it unclear if she will be replaced.

We’d like to start off by thanking Ms. Bean for her commitment to Wilson students, and the hard work she has put in over the years to help students transition to the next stage in our lives.

“A college counselor isn’t just a nonessential staff member who can be removed without anyone noticing a difference.”

There will never be another Sandy Bean, but it is imperative that the school find someone to fill the position. This should be one of the main budget priorities for next year. If Ms. Bean is not replaced by a full-time college counselor, the task of running the College and Career Center will fall to the counselors. Although they are trained to advise students about college, and two counselors will be devoted to the senior class, as opposed to one each for sophomores and juniors, they have a long list of other responsibilities, and will undoubtedly be more overwhelmed next year with the growing student body. In addition, these counselors don’t have Ms. Bean’s years of experience amassing information about colleges, or about different careers in the military and various vocations that some students wish to pursue.

“One Ms.Bean isn’t nearly enough. Imagine none.”

Ms. Bean is responsible for coaching the senior class — approximately 400 students — each year through the college process. If you compare this to private schools like Georgetown Day School, where a typical college counselor has just 50 students to worry about, it’s clear that one Ms. Bean isn’t nearly enough. Imagine none.

For Wilson students with parents who have been through the college process and are familiar with the requirements, not having a college counselor may not be such a big deal. But for many others, a counselor like Ms. Bean is the best and only available resource to help them apply to colleges. If Wilson’s counselors are too overwhelmed to focus on each individual, it will come at the expense of students.

A college counselor isn’t just a nonessential staff member who can be removed without anyone noticing a difference. Ms. Bean has played an integral role in the Wilson community. She didn’t just tell students where to apply – she helped them write and edit their essays, and spent hours talking to them about how to make the decision about which school to attend.

The Wilson administration will be faced with tough budget decisions, but we hope they will take into consideration how important it is for students to have someone to guide them through what is probably one of the most difficult and important processes they’ve ever had to go through. If Wilson is serious about getting more students to apply to and attend college, we cannot afford to lose the support and guidance that can only be provided by a dedicated college counselor. •

*This article appeared in the April 2015 issue of the paper 


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