There’s a renewed statewide focus on counseling and student services. CLP’s project centered on equitable counseling is among the new initiatives and efforts focused on exploring how colleges can better support students. This past year, CLP has been bringing together counseling faculty interested in reimagining and strengthening counseling services grounded in equity, including convening a small group of counseling thought partners. Recently, we facilitated a session at institute 3 of the CA Guided Pathways 2.0 project, Developing a Structure to Provide Holistic Student Supports. (Info from that session is posted on the Vision Resource Center; account access is required.) We also hosted an interactive post-conference workshop, Through An Equity Lens: Redesigning Counseling in the California Community Colleges, at the Strengthening Student Success Conference.
At all of these events, counseling faculty reflected on issues they face in making positive change. A number of themes and key action areas to advance the work have emerged from these discussions:
- Recognizing and creatively meeting structural and capacity challenges
- Identifying and recommending local and state policy changes
- Addressing programmatic stuck points
- Activating leadership from counselors and administrators
- Humanizing the work with and for students
- Supporting professional development including effective counseling practice and pedagogy
Going forward, we’ll build on the work of the California Counseling Network, an online community for counselors and student support colleagues. If you’re a community college counselor, please consider joining. Together, we seek to build community, foster creative exchange, and support the leadership of counselors focused on equity-minded approaches to counseling.
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