publication cover pageCareer Ladders Project (CLP), with funding from College Futures Foundation, set out to learn ways counselors are pivoting to provide more equitable counseling experiences for students and what barriers they are finding as they work to implement these practices. CLP engaged counselors across the state in facilitated think tanks, thought partner meetings, statewide convenings, and interviews to share their vision for providing more equitable counseling and holistic support for students. Given the California Community College system’s vision for equity in success, access, and support, this resource, tool, and forthcoming college spotlights can serve to push conversations on campus forward and seed ideas for more equitable student services.

Equitable counseling requires a whole student, whole community approach to student support. As students and families around the state continue to struggle with navigating systemic barriers, counselors are re-imagining past practices, embracing a “familia” approach that supports a sense of belonging, inclusion, and wraparound support for students and their families, putting community back in community colleges. The shifts across the state with the expansion of dual enrollment, the student success funding formula, Vision 2030, Guided Pathways, and CalGETC to name a few, have pulled counselors in many directions. Regardless, the counselors who contributed to this resource remain committed to reimagining community college counseling services as equitable, inclusive, and embracing the ethos of familia. This vision includes a move away from focusing on transactional practices to centering practices that are more transformative for students, an adoption of effective practices emerging from special programs and learning communities, and a recognition of counselors as leaders.

Prepared by Career Ladders Project
March 2024