Newswise — ESSEX, NY – Leaders in higher education, business and K-12 education shared the latest research and best practices with 50 individuals from New York and Vermont as part of a national effort by CFES Brilliant Pathways to train 5,000 College and Career Readiness Advisors by 2022.

The goal of the event was to train teachers, coaches, college students and community leaders to build knowledge and skills that help young people succeed in college and the workplace. Participants learned how to help students with admissions applications, financial aid, job shadowing, internships and to inspire them to continue to follow their dreams.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to learn about the college and career readiness work that CFES does with educators, partners, and communities,” said Barry Lampke, Community Engagement & Science Communications Manager at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. “It was inspiring to connect with such talented and committed people today. ECHO looks forward to working with CFES to expand STEM education and career path opportunities for students.”

CFES staff emphasized the importance of its three core practices – Essential Skills, college and career pathways and mentoring – in helping students reach their dreams. “College has to be about so much more than putting people in jobs. It’s about developing human skills,” said Cyrus Patten, assistant business dean at Champlain College and licenses clinical social worker, who cited a study that surveyed 6,000 corporate executives.

Several school counselors participated in the training and offered ideas for how CCR Advisors can support their efforts. The need for CCR advisors has never been greater given the current counselor-student ratio of 1 to 470, which is 1 to 900 for low-income students, according to the American School Counselor Association.

“That disturbing inequity plays out across the country,” said CFES Presidents Rick Dalton. “Those children who need the most help get the least, while those from advantaged backgrounds get an abundance. CCR Advisors are the future drivers of college and career readiness.”

The Essex training follows the first cohort of 20 graduates at the CFES National Conference in October. Participants are awarded College & Career Readiness Professional Development Certificates from CFES and receive continued support from CFES staff, online resources, webinars and other resources. 

“As College and Career Readiness (CCR) advisors, lets tap into our networks to help scholars build their college pathway knowledge,” said Manny Tejeda, a CFES Program Director in New York City.

The topic of student debt and how to help students tap into the resources available to them was a major topic of discussion.

“Students are coming out of college with higher rates of student debt than ever before,” said Jackie Hallock, director of Vice President & Director of Marketing at Champlain National Bank. “The single most important way to reduce reduce debt is to learn how manage money. The sooner a student can get financial education, the better off they are going to be.”