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College Counseling and Social Capital Deficits

In passing the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Congress concentrated on reforming grades three through eight. Now that the time has come to once again reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), all signs point to an increased focus on ensuring that high schools prepare students to enter college and the workforce.

Informing that effort, one professor at the Wake Forest School of Law makes the compelling argument that the nation’s current approaches to increasing the postsecondary enrolment rates of vulnerable students are fundamentally inadequate because they fail to address those students’ deficits of social capital, or “the ability of individuals to secure benefits through familial and extra-familial networks.”

In his forthcoming article, Lost in Transition: The Implications of Social Capital for Higher Education Access (to be published in the Notre Dame Law Review), Omari Scott Simmons proposes that the national college counseling system be significantly expanded in order to ensure that first-generation, low-income and minority students attend the colleges that best help them fulfill their potential.

Read the full blog post here.