Student counseling

In continuation of my previous blog on the role of student counsellors, The importance of the modern tools and technology and their apt usage is elaborated here.


It is time to address the crux of where I left off the previous discussion from.

Like many systems available for use e.g., Supply chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) etc, a Student Management (SM) system will be a success, if treated as an end-to-end process. Well, it all depends on the objective with which the SM is designed. Capturing data will be meaningful only if the purpose is specific. This of course, is for Institutions to mull about.

Let me detail the advantages of the Tools & Technology that I shared in my previous blog. Many people doubt the efficacy of ‘Psychometry’ as an apt tool to guide a child’s success. Some say, the results of  psychometric tests are 70% effective. I, too, agree. In fact, It never was meant to be so. An analogy that answers the query is - marketing strategies are not designed by mere conduct of market research (MR). MR forms the basis and measures customer perception. Strategies fail since marketeers keep on reading perceptions, most times without an Identity exercise. Devising actions to be initiated on perceptions is a basic flaw. The premise of psychometry being ‘Identity’ mapping, I believe, is the right place to commence from.

Many parents agree to subject their child to a psychometric test. Parents, though they are in awe of the complicated reports published and discussed with them initially, do not know the direction to steer further. Results from such experiences are often disenchanting. It should be so too, since it was instituted without an end objective, and in isolation. Without a solution for the next step, understanding identity is not sufficient. Rather than comprehending and absorbing, the exercise seems futile in the end. This is not effective counselling.

The test results also depend upon what tests is the child being subjected to take? Is the child mentally geared up for such test? Is the environment created to absorb the result or is the child getting labelled?  Does the counsellor have sufficient material to dictate the next steps? Effective counselling is addressing all the above in a structured manner. The objective should be to allow the child to discover themselves in a structured manner, and not labelling them.

Let me explain the dynamics – children, as they enter their teens believe that they will soon earn their freedom and get prepared for it. Reality of college admissions do not dawn upon them till the last moment and sometimes later too. Parents who have shielded/ given insufficient attention in their pre higher secondary years, will not realise about the child’s Intelligence type, their learning style, their aptitude, their interest. Combined with the lack of time, knowledge & interest, guidance for a child’s career choice will be difficult. – Today with the assistance of tools and technology, choice making is easier. Understanding these insights earlier in life, equips the child to deal with his strength & weaknesses, and not get influenced his peers. It is basis these inputs, that the child should be guided to take the crucial decision, of which stream (humanities/science) to pursue in their higher secondary. It is crucial, since altering streams post this stage is difficult.

Effective counselling is also taking parents into confidence about the child’s aptitude and interest. However, many parents themselves require a counselling session. Counsellors should avail the opportunity to explain the concept to them earlier. Since parents play an effective role in their child’s upbringing, they should be counselled to motivate the child. Rather than imposing their own views on the child, they should help the child discover strengths and weakness. This could be done by asking parents to attend few joint counselling sessions with the child as well. 

As the child matures and enters the higher secondary school, role of counselling should change. Counselling should help the children to discover their personality trait, work upon correcting weakness (if any) and prepare for the college curriculum. Many students are at this stage also lost about the career choice, since they (including parents) are not aware of the prospects and the path ahead. It is common to encounter a science / humanities stream student not knowing what to take as their choice in college and the career to pursue, post their high school. In today’s context, Virtual Internship programs can give children a picture of ideal careers. Counsellors can thereafter help students prepare for their choice making, including helping them identify their college/universities to pursue, what they like best.

Lastly, let me deal into the crucial decision-making step, where counsellors help play a significant role. It is the choice of college/university, where the student wants to pursue his college studies. The entrance dates, entrance requirements, options available in different countries, should be certain matters that students should be made aware of. The reality is - an application not made to a college timely is eventually not getting a possible admit to the college itself.  As students want the best colleges, colleges, too, select the better student. It is important to know how to become a best fit for a particular college. Effective counselling is about guiding students to help build their profile, such that the college admit teams do know that they made a correct choice in granting admission.

So effectively, I would reiterate that the following steps be followed for a structured /targeted effort, the students can take for a college admission;

  • Student counseling for class 8 – 10
    • Psychometric test to help identify multiple intelligence
    • Psychometric test to identify Learning styles to help learn better.
    • Psychometric test Stream selector based on aptitude and interest.
    • Giving clarity on various career options Virtually 
  • Student counseling for students for 10-12
    • Psychometric test to help Identify individual personality trait
    • Psychometric test to identify a career by exploring career options.
    • Stream selector in Humanities & Engineering during college.
    • Profile building assistance
    • Giving clarity on various career options Virtually
  • Parent counseling to help parents build their child’s future

Happy learnings ahead, and all the best to both parents & students to reduce their stress during these trying times.

 

Posted in India on Jul 14, 2021