Thesis Title

"College Ready" Expectations and Reality: Best Practices for High School Counselors and Teachers in the San Juaquin Valley of California

Graduation Date

Fall 2008

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne Peters, EdD

Abstract

Students from the San Joaquin Valley region of California present unique challenges to educators and administrators in these school districts, due to poverty and low income levels inherent to the area and subsequently result in severe gaps in achievement in comparison to the rest of California and the United States. While the students of the San Joaquin Valley struggle academically, there are multitudes of students with the talent and potential to continue their education at the university level. Career counselors, guidance counselors, and college preparatory advisors are challenged to provide these students with the tools to continue their education. The purpose of the survey was to discover what the counselors and teachers consider best practices in working with low income college bound students from the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Data was collected from a college counselor on his perspective of best practices used on students from low income families to encourage them to apply and attend college. The online survey was emailed as a link to college counselors in both private and public high schools in the San Joaquin Valley of California. One counselor agreed to participate after an initial request asking for their participation and was encouraged to forward the email survey to any colleagues who also work with the student population being studied. Findings indicated that enthusiasm for the job and development both professionally and personally was crucial to the success of the college counselor in assisting their students continue on to college.

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