While there are multiple pathways to success, many students need help understanding what options are ahead. In Florida, just 20% of voters believe that high schoolers are provided adequate resources to make informed decisions about options for education after high school.

Like the rest of the nation, Florida has a school counselor shortage. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students to 1 counselor, yet Florida averages a 442:1 ratio. To meet the recommended student to counselor ratio, schools would need to hire hundreds of school counselors — an expensive and unattainable fix. Instead, to provide equitable access and support for all current and future students, Pinellas County Schools came up with an innovative alternative.

The Pinellas County Schools (PCS) College and Career Centers are coordinated between school administration and school counselors. By providing a dedicated place for students to ask questions about college admissions or how to fill out the FAFSA, the Centers support the work of school counselors. Ultimately, the resources at the Centers allow students to use their time with their school counselors for more substantive conversations, like specific questions about academic advising and coursework progression to meet their postsecondary goals.

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