Are Our Counselors Worth Our Time?

Before even getting into a college one of the first people you meet is a counselor. But are they detrimental or beneficial to our education?

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Christa Altamirano, Reporter

With COS counselors, there has been a roller coaster of different problems as well as upsides involving them. My situation is a little different from everyone else’s, I attended VTEC (Visalia Technical Early College) for the first 2 years of my high school life. Since freshman year I’ve dealt with COS counselors; because of that, I have many different opinions on how they’ve helped as well as harmed my progression here at COS.

Since starting as a college student I have changed my major 4 times. Of those 4 times, I have set up meetings with the COS counselors 2 times for major change and 1-2 for follow-ups.

As a new colIege student in the beginning, I was already nervous about starting this part of my life so I was depending on the help and knowledge of counselors.

The first counselor I met with was very nice and told me about her knowledge in psychology. She encouraged me to try psychology since I was unsure about what to major in. Although that was a helpful suggestion, I did end up taking some classes that weren’t of any use to me.

I was not alone in this situation, many other students were having the same problem. Students like Linsey Ledezma, a second-year student here at COS who told me that sometimes counselors have you take a class you don’t need an this may be the most common problem heard here on campus, but from what other students have explained, this isn’t the only one.

After talking with some first-year students, another common problem I found is that most have not even visited a COS counselor. Genesis Estrada, a first-year student, said  she hadn’t visited the counselor’s office and they haven’t made any effort to contact her so she still has yet to go. She also expressed another reason she hasn’t gone is because of the rumors heard about COS counselors and how many students are held back because of their mistakes.

All students have felt the fear of failing, especially college students. It is very concerning that students will not take advantage of this resource because it isn’t helpful in most situations. Some students feel that counselors cannot relate to students and tend to throw them off track. Second-year student Brianna Aquino says she came to the conclusion. She talked about how sometimes they delayed her because they don’t know what they’re doing or talking about. Aquino had to meet with several counselors and restart her SEP plans over and over until she found one right.

Another student, Annalisa Monzon, also a second-year, chimed into our conversation added that is there are also counselors who don’t fulfill the support students need that are doing the COS general counseling. They can end up confusing students, and they are not as clear.

After hearing all these I asked the same students if having counseling is even worth it? Despite the many negative answers I had gotten, every student said yes. They explained that although there are faults there were some helpful things they learned or experienced from counselors. Ledezma said they gave her different resources she could take advantage of.

Third-year student, Fin Nankervis said his counselors helped give him a sense of direction for what classes to take, and where I was at GPA-wise and stuff. The only real cons being the occasional ones with attitude.

All in all, I have heard the many mixed feelings of many students new and old. Should we invest in better counseling? Or should we learn to take our future into our own hands? That is a question for a different article for another time.