The heavy caseloads of school counselors haven’t gotten much lighter in the past decade, even as schools are under pressure to deliver quality advice and guidance on a growing range of issues. A report issued last week by the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the American School Counselor Association conducted the study, drawing from federal data, shows that the national average student-counselor ratio was 482 to 1 in 2014-15, the most recent year for which data are available. The most recent numbers represent an improvement over the previous year: In 2013-14, there were 491 students for every counselor, the highest ratio in the 10-year period that’s the focus of the report. In 2004-05, the average ratio was 479 to 1.
The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of no more than 250 students for each counselor, but only three states—New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wyoming—reported that level of staffing in the new study.
A version of this article appeared in the February 14, 2018 edition of Education Week as School Counseling