• May 13, 2024

    School counselor co-authors chapter on college & career readiness

    Dr. Jennifer KirkAn Upper St. Clair High School counselor co-authored a chapter of the sixth edition of the Fundamentals of College Admission Counseling textbook, published by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Dr. Jennifer Kirk, who also serves as the high school counseling curriculum leader, along with Karen Rubican, school counselor advisor for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, wrote the book’s chapter nine, “College and Career Readiness Counseling in Schools.”

    The Fundamentals of College Admission Counseling textbook is a comprehensive resource for aspiring and existing school counseling and college advising professionals as they strengthen their understanding of how to support students and their families in post-secondary planning and enrollment.

    In compiling the textbook, the NACAC team announced a call for proposals for book chapters. Dr. Kirk and Ms. Rubican submitted a proposal for College and Career Readiness Counseling in Schools and were selected.

    “This chapter provides an overview of key historical aspects of school counseling and the movement toward college and career counseling, legislation and its impacts on school counseling, the 2024 Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs Standards, the American School Counselor Association National Model and additional resources, and a review of college and career counseling within the context of the multi-tiered system of supports,” Dr. Kirk said. “Priority is given to suggestions and examples of multi-tiered system of supports through the lens of college and career advisement and planning.”

    Providing school counselors with college and career readiness education and resources is essential to ensure equitable access for all students.

    “These resources provide a foundation for building a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes positive student outcomes and further supports post-secondary attainment and workforce development,” Dr. Kirk said.

    The textbook is widely used among college counseling graduate programs across the country.

    “The landscape of college admission is constantly evolving, and we are thrilled to be able to support aspiring and existing school counselors and college advising professionals as they support students and families with this important life transition,” said David Hawkins, chief education and policy officer at NACAC. “We are thankful to contributors like Dr. Kirk and Ms. Rubican for sharing their expertise.”

    Dr. Kirk, who has served as an Upper St. Clair school counselor for 24 years, earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and completed doctoral studies at Northeastern University. She was named the 2014 Pennsylvania High School Counselor of the Year by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA) and received the 2018 Chi Sigma Iota, Delta Upsilon Chapter Outstanding Site Supervisor Award from the Duquesne University Counseling Program. In addition, Dr. Kirk is a 2019 College Board Nationally Recognized Counselor and a 2023 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction from the National Society of High School Scholars. An active member of PSCA, Dr. Kirk served as the association’s chair of its board of directors during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years.

    Dr. Kirk also serves as a program director for the NACAC’s Professional Certificate - Coordinating a Dynamic Postsecondary School Counseling Program.

    “Through this 12-week professional certificate program, participants develop the knowledge and skills necessary to build impactful post-secondary school counseling programs, including support for students in the college search and application processes,” she said. “We have 27 faculty working with us to provide this certificate program to school counselors and college advisors across the landscape of college counseling both in the United States and internationally.”