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Middle School Guide

The Middle School Counselor Guide is the second guide in a series of three that span the K-12 pipeline.

The Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling should be applied in elementary, middle and high schools.

Download the Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling. (.pdf/1.28MB)

Download the Middle School Guide. (.pdf/1.5MB)

The Middle School Counselor’s Guide to the Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling is part of a series — one each for elementary, middle and high school. This equity-focused Guide series helps school counselors intentionally focus their work on college and career readiness, especially for underserved populations.

Middle school counselors can use this hands-on tool to create opportunities for students’ to explore and deepen college and career knowledge and skills necessary for academic planning and goal setting.

Using the guide can help middle school counselors become leaders and advocates for all students, regardless of their background and economic status, to exit high school college and career ready.

The Middle School Counselor Guide includes:

What to Measure — Relevant Data

The Guide offers school counselors fifteen relevant data elements across the six components used by middle school counselors. These data elements are the same ones used by schools and districts to measure student outcomes. Using these relevant data elements ensure that school counselors can develop goals that align their work with the same measures seen as critical for student success by school and district leaders.

School counselors and district leaders of school counseling can use these relevant data elements as measures of accountability to demonstrate school counselor contributions to students’ college and career readiness outcomes – even in middle school.

What to Look For — Data By Student Group

The Guide helps middle school counselors use data to identify which students and student groups are successfully preparing for college and career — and which are not. School counselors learn how to use data to identify disparities among student groups to more effectively reach students most in need.

Each component includes ready to use questions to help middle school counselors’ engage in meaningful equity-focused dialogue with peers, teachers and administrators.

What To Do — Work Systemwide

The Guide includes ready-to-use systemwide interventions to help school counselors’ frame their work especially for traditionally underserved populations. .

Working systemwide means working with students, schools, districts, parents and families and the community. Using this approach, middle school counselors can lead systemwide initiatives that create a college-going culture in every part of their students’ lives.

Effective use of the interventions in the Guide helps school counselors begin to close gaps — and it positions school counselors as leaders and advocates in preparing students for college and career.

Component 2 — Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness (Example)

What To Measure


What To Look For

Look for disparities in Algebra I enrollment and completion rates among diverse student groups

What To Do

Help students identify the knowledge and skills they have and those they must acquire for success in middle and high school and beyond. Provide concrete information about how taking courses such as Algebra I in eighth grade can affect their future opportunities.