Meeting the Needs of Our Minority

Students Today and Tomorrow

Celine Fernandez
3632 S Elk Mountain Rd.
Magna, UT 84044
801-850-8637
Celine Fernandez
Elisa Stone
ENG 2100- Technical Writing
Project 1 Proposal

Meeting the Needs of Our Minority Students Today and Tomorrow

Introduction

Most high school students will, at some point in their education, visit their school’s
guidance counselor to seek advice or help planning their future. The responsibilities of
counselors include the duty to inform students about job and career opportunities that
don't require schooling, as well as those that call for higher education. But what happens
when some high school counselors fail to provide this information to all students?
Working with the Latino community in Utah, I found that there is an immense need to
improve the services offered by high school guidance counselors in our state. I met a
number of students currently attending Salt Lake Community College who have firsthand
experience of this issue. Many of them are first-generation students who, while attending
high school, felt that they were victims of stereotyped thinking and attitudes, as well as
some who were still learning English, and therefore, an assumption was made that they
could not go on to college or university because they would do poorly. Having high
school guidance counselors make such assumptions about any students and about Latino
students, in particular, is unacceptable because doing so can define their futures and
drastically limit their choices, and most of these students have no other access to advice
about higher education, training, and careers apart from their school counselor.

Objective

• Improve the relationship between high school counselors and students from
diverse races and ethnicities;
• Build counselors’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of students’
cultural differences and the struggles minorities face to pursue higher education;
• Ensure that high school counselors provide equitable services to all students
regardless of their native language, race, ethnicity, or culture to treat every student
as unique and with respect; and
• Encourage staff members to have an open-minded attitude toward all people from
other cultures.

Solution
• Provide monthly training sessions at which counselors are introduced to different
cultures and become familiarized with them in order to avoid stereotyped
thinking;
• Create an anonymous suggestion/complaint box where all students can freely
express their satisfaction or frustration related to experiences with their
counselors; in addition, an administrator should create a record of students’
suggestions and/or complaints to share with the guidance department in order to
create an action plan for addressing problems that are reported; and
• Ensure that counselors provide all students interested in higher education with
clear and useful information that meets their linguistic needs; to this end,
materials might need to be translated for parents and students whose native tongue
is not English. Meetings with translators available could be held specifically for
these students and parents to ensure that they understand information they are
given about jobs, higher education, and other training beyond high school.

Cost

As such programs would take place at the school, there would be no cost involved. If
desired, the school can provide refreshments. Speakers for these sessions could be
volunteers from the community or representatives of local community colleges, technical
schools, or universities. The state department of education should also be a resource for
disseminating information.

Benefits:
• To help more minority students attend college, technical school, or other job
training beyond high school, thereby allowing them to find work that provides a
living and thus becoming tax-paying citizens.
• To meet the needs of a globalizing world by having a more diverse workforce.

Conclusion

These are my plans to improve communication between high school counselors and
students. I hope I can make a difference by promoting diversity and higher education for
all students, which can start by including our minority students to feel that they are
valued members of our school and society.