The use of words by school counselors
Groce, LaVonna Lorine Ella
MetadataShow full item record
In two recent studies, scholars in school counseling research have determined that students of color may often be the first students to seek help from school counselors for college information (Bryan, Holcomb-McCoy, Moore-Thomas, & Day-Vines, 2009; Zhang & Smith, 2011). School counselors have been recognized as the gatekeepers to college enrollment in high schools, and students of color are not enrolling into college at the rate of White students (Bryan, Moore-Thomas, Day-Vines, & Holcomb-McCoy, 2011). Additionally, hope is a construct that school counselors may utilize when speaking with students to become a gateway instead of a gatekeeper in college enrollment for students of color. Snyder, Feldman, Shorey, and Rand (2002) defined hope as a positive motivational force that may move an individual toward his or her college goals. In addition, Rizzuto (2004) found that words convey hope from the school counselor to the student. Researchers who study language and its impact on diverse racial and ethnic cultures have found that a school counselor’s words have power to shape, create or detract in the school counselor-student relationship (Dijk, 2010). Because there are currently no studies on hope and the communication between school counselor and students of color, this qualitative study uses the narrative approach to explore school counselor’s words and their impact on the hope for students of color related to college enrollment. This dissertation contains four chapters: (1) Introduction, (2) Use of Words by School Counselors: A Review of the Literature and the Call to the School Counseling Field, (3) Exploring the Hope for College Enrollment for Students of Color: A Narrative Inquiry, and (4) Researcher Reflexivity and Implications of the Study. The stories of 10 former high school students of color who enrolled in college were collected to inform school counselors about the impact of their words on those students’ hope for college enrollment. The research tradition used for this study was a narrative tradition and the theoretical framework was the Hope Theory. The findings of this study will help school counselors in their work with students of color and their college enrollment in the future.