Guidance and Support for Students Moving into Postsecondary

Celeste Carruthers | University of Tennessee
Sade Bonilla | University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dominique Baker | Southern Methodist University

Breaking Down the Issue

  • Recent recessions have increased existing employment gaps between workers with and without a college degree.
  • Research generally shows that students are better off attending college versus not and better off attending a more selective bachelor’s degree granting institution.
  • Both college-bound and career-bound students are at risk of losing momentum in 2020-2021 and transitioning to a less secure postsecondary pathway.

Strategies to Consider

  • Student trajectories can shift when students are made aware of institutional discounts, grants, and scholarships, particularly those offered by more selective universities.
  • Students often benefit from a better understanding their chances of admission to institutions with the best track records of bachelor’s degree completion.
  • Student coursework and School Profiles can communicate college readiness and how COVID-19 played out at individual schools.
  • Students moving from high school straight to careers may benefit from advanced career and technical education (CTE) in addition to employer and postsecondary partnerships.

Strategies to Avoid

  • Reducing access to effective counselors will limit informed course selection and hinder college enrollment, which is likely to increase inequality in postsecondary outcomes.
  • The Class of 2020 may have graduated, but they should not be forgotten. All students, and especially those who delay college enrollment, will likely benefit from proactive advising and support from their K-12 schools and districts.