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Res. No. 18


Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to provide one college advisor for every 50 high school seniors in New York City public schools.


By Council Members Cabrera and Brannan


Whereas, College degrees are increasingly a prerequisite for economic self-sufficiency; and

Whereas, “Repeated studies have found that improving counseling would have a significant impact on college access for low-income, rural and urban students as well as students of color” according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC); and

Whereas, Unfortunately, counselors, especially those serving at-risk students, are often stretched too thin, greatly limiting their abilities to help students realize their full educational potential; and

Whereas, Nationally, the student-to-school counselor ratio was 482 to 1 in 2014-2015, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics; and

Whereas, This ratio is nearly twice the 250 to 1 ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association; and

Whereas, Further, according to NACAC, counselors in public schools reported spending only 23.4 percent of their time on postsecondary admission counseling, compared to 52.1 percent for private school counselors; and

Whereas, Not surprisingly, a 2010 Public Agenda report declared guidance counselors “overstretched” between heavy caseloads and time-consuming administrative responsibilities; and

Whereas, In New York, regulations of the State Education Commissioner require each school district to have a guidance program for all students; and

Whereas, In grades 7-12, the guidance program must include advisory assistance “to help students develop and implement postsecondary education and career plans … provided by teachers or counselors, or by certified teaching assistants under the supervision of counselors or teachers”; and

Whereas, New York State does not mandate any specific student-to-counselor ratio, however; and

Whereas, In February 2017, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) reported that the overall guidance counselor-to-student ratio was 1 to 346 for all public schools and 1 to 221 for schools with high school grades; and

Whereas, However, the DOE does not report the number or ratio of college advisors to students; and

Whereas, Many of the guidance counselors in City public schools spend the majority of their time on mandatory counseling services for students with disabilities and other tasks unrelated to college advising; and

Whereas, All New York City students need and deserve adequate assistance to ensure equal access to college and careers; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the New York City Council calls upon the New York City Department of Education to provide one college advisor for every 50 high school seniors in New York City public schools.



LS# 6149/ Res 974-2016

LS# 472