Aspirations Realized? Exploring the Roles of High School Counselors when Discussing Colleges and Agricultural Career Paths with African American College Students
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Fortifying the pipeline of underrepresented African Americans in agriculture can offer a practical solution to the industry’s scanty amount of involvement by people of color. The chief purpose of this study was to explore and analyze secondary counselors and their roles when discussing colleges and occupational career paths with African Americans, specific to agriculture. Counselors play a central role in being a vital resource for African Americans seeking academic and career guidance. Given the vast amount of research available on the academic achievement disparities for African Americans, secondary counselors have a tremendous opportunity to alter these differences. Data collection was achieved through a series of face-to-face, semi- structured interviews. This qualitative study chronicled each participant’s life through rich, thick descriptions. Analysis of data occurred using the constant comparative method, and categorization was best accomplished by open coding which sectioned pertinent data into themes, constructs, and patterns. The results of the study yielded the following as it related to the reflections of these four high-achieving college African Americans in that they: a) were self-motivated and did not actively seek out the counselors for their advice; b) indicated the counselors were products of the school size rendering them helpless when giving in-depth counsel; c) mentioned, more often than not, counselors tended to align themselves with students of a certain social class, whether in athletics, or according to socioeconomic indicators, popularity, or academics; d) went to diverse high schools with large, multiethnic populations in relatively urbanized centers; and, e) revealed that because of the lack of counselor interaction, they would often accept advice from other individuals, regardless of experience.
Johnson, Anwar Rashaad (2013). Aspirations Realized? Exploring the Roles of High School Counselors when Discussing Colleges and Agricultural Career Paths with African American College Students. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from