On how not to counsel a student!

Recently, while watching a couple of episodes of Eureka from Season 3, I found myself exceedingly annoyed by examples of rotten counseling at Tesla HS.

First,  one does not simply walk into Mordor, er, send test results directly to a student without going over these results and their implications.  Zoe scored very high in robotics.  However, Zoe has a passion to go into medicine. There is no counseling help for Zoe to resolve this with her desire to go into medicine, pediatrics.

IMHO there is no disconnect in Zoe majoring in robotics at whichever college she attends as an undergraduate.  As it turns out she is accepted by Harvard as an early entrant.  While Harvard does not seem to have an undergraduate degree in robotics, it does have one in Biomedical Engineering.  Hence, she could have the best of both worlds.  I’m sure a student as smart and inventive as Zoe, would have no problem in bringing robotics into her major.

Second, she goes on, again without any assistance from anyone who calls themselves a counselor, to note Harvard has a “Pre-Med” program.  Hmm, I’ve never heard of a college offing a degree in “Pre-Med.”  This is because there is no program or degree with the official label of “Pre-Med”.

If one looks closely, which most students at both the undergraduate and graduate level do not, at the catalog for a medical school, one learns that one can major in ANY field, i.e., Underwater Basket Weaving or Lunar Technology, and be admitted.  The usual prerequisites for any medical school is high scores on the MCAT, about a 3.75 GPA, nice letters of recommendation, 1 year of English composition [required for any degree], 2 years of Chemistry, 1 year of Physics, 1 year of Biology, and math thru the first or second semester of Calculus.  Many of these courses also would meet the general education requirements for almost all majors!

In my experience as a counselor sticking the label “Pre-Anything” on students is the lazy way not to have to discuss anything with them.  “Here are your next 5 courses.  Good bye!”  End of student standing in counselor’s office, asking questions, because students fresh out of high school have not yet learned they can keep asking questions.

The counseling staff & office at Tesla HS – FAIL!



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