As an academic counselor, Anthony Smith of Berkeley has been helping his students recognize and achieve their educational goals for more than a decade. The role of the academic advisor is important, as they help potential college students examine school programs, recognize their academic strengths, and help them navigate through the application and financial aid process.
The first priority of an academic counselor is to ensure that each student performs their best academically and to help students navigate the college admission requirements and help them prepare for graduation. In order to prepare their students for life after graduation, they may organize and execute career fairs, invite business leaders and Armed Forces recruiters to explain the benefits of their industries to the students and plan volunteer internships for their students.
Some of the common duties academic counselors are responsible for performing include:
- Supplying scholarship information
- Providing school-to-career guidance
- Interpreting standardized test scores
- Counseling individual students
- Working with social service agencies
- Maintaining academic records
- Developing guidance programs
- Providing appropriate student resources
- Facilitating conferences
- Orienting new students
Along with providing students with needed resources to succeed, academic counselors may also have to act as social workers, seeking to identify any problems at home that may be negatively impacting their students’ academic and social development. This can include discussing issues of substance abuse and violence in and outside of the home.
Anthony Smith has been working with students at Berkeley High School for more than a decade, managing a case load of more than four hundred students a year.