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GUIDANCE, COUNSELING, AND TESTING,
A. OVERVIEW-PAST AND PRESENT
Political, social, and economic events of the middle fifties brought about a critical examination of the ability of the Nation's schools to cope with the dramatic need for trained manpower, especially in technical and scientific areas. This concern, combined with the unprecedented increase in school enrollments, caused the Federal Government to enact the National Defense Education Act of 1958.
Title V-A of this act provided for grants to State education agencies through a State plan which sets forth (1) a program for testing students in the public elementary and secondary schools of such State or in the public junior colleges and technical institutes of such State, and, if authorized by law, in other elementary and secondary schools and in other junior colleges and technical institutes in such State, (2) a program of guidance and counseling at the appropriate levels in the public elementary and secondary schools or public junior colleges and technical institutes.
The act initially was limited to secondary schools. To more fully identify and develop needed talents for an expanding economy, and to achieve the goal of maximum development of each individual, it was recognized that counseling services needed to be made available before and beyond the secondary school level. Therefore, the NDEA Amendments of 1964 extended the counseling and guidance provisions to public elementary schools, and to public junior colleges and technical institutes.
B. GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
Title V-A enabled schools to establish a wide variety of individual counseling and group guidance services from the earliest school experience through the junior college and the technical institute, and to develop a growing interaction with parents, teachers, and other people who are concerned with the education of the Nation's youth. Specifically, there is evidence to indicate that since the advent of title V-A of NDEA the following developments have taken place: 1. The support of guidance and counseling programs has been stimulated markedly
In school year 1965–66, 37,800 full-time-equivalent counselors were employed in guidance and counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools and junior colleges at a total cost of somewhat more than $257 million. Of this amount, about 91 percent supported secondary school programs, 7 percent was spent at the elementary school level, and 2 percent was used to support junior college programs. The Federal Government's share of this expenditure was less than 10 percent. This illustrates the extent of the impact of title V-A funds on
the growth of guidance and counseling. In 1958-59, a total of $10,833,440 from all sources (Federal, State, and local) was expended for guidance and counseling. This had increased to $257,413,498 in 1965-66 at which time local schools were providing $221,948,556.
Amount Expended for Guidance, Counseling, and Testing from Federal, State,
Local support of these programs increased over 30 times between 1958 and 1965. In 1958-59, local schools spent $5,593,322, or 51.6 percent of the total guidance cost, and in 1965-66, they spent $221,948,556, or 86.5 percent of the total national cost of guidance, counseling, and testing in the Nation's public schools.
Source of Funds for Support of Guidance, Counseling, and Testing
2. The counselor-student ratio has improved substantially
There has been a general upgrading of the guidance profession and an encouraging increase in the number of competent and qualified personnel. NDEA, in its first 4 years, played a major role in increasing the number of full-time-equivalent secondary school counselors by 127 percent.
The number of counselors has increased from 12,000 in 1958 serving half of the secondary school population to 34,500 in 1966 serving over 80 percent of the students in secondary schools.
Comparative Increase in Numbers of Secondary School Counselors
The data below indicate how the NDEA title V-A programs have reduced the counselor-student ratios. During the first year of NDEA, 1958-59, the secondary school counselor-student ratio was 1:960. In 1965-66, this ratio had been reduced to 1:460.
Represents the number above the recommended ratio of 1 to 300 with
Comparative Improvement in Counselor-Student Ratios in Secondary Schools
In 1958, so few elementary schools provided guidance services that no effort was made to ascertain how many guidance workers there were. By 1966, 2 years after the extension of title V-A to elementary and postsecondary schools, the counselor-student ratios had improved appreciably, but the 1:10,200 and 1:920 ratios far exceed the recommended ratio of 1:300.
1 The National Defense Education Act was amended in 1964 to include elementary schools, junior colleges, and technical institutes. The latter data are not available at this time.