Examining the academic, personal/social, and career needs of mobile high school students
Harding, Laurie Michele
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This study explored the essence of the academic, personal/social, and career needs of mobile students, those who enroll in a new school from outside the county, state, or country after the school year has started. Six mobile students at a suburban high school in the Southeast were selected for the study. The students participated in two qualitative individual interviews in the Spring of 2012. Analysis of the data resulted in five common themes: 1) assimilating into a different academic curriculum; 2) peer support in the school community; 3) size of the school; 4) socioeconomic status of the new community; and 5) accessing resources on career and college exploration. The study found that mobile students struggle with a variety of environmental changes, including a different curriculum, the size of their new school, feelings of loneliness and isolation due to the lack of peer support, discomfort with the socioeconomic status of the new community, and a lack of knowledge about the post-secondary options in their new state of residence. Based upon the academic, personal/social, and career needs expressed by participants in this study, there is a vital need for school counselors to support mobile students by addressing their academic, personal/social, and career needs as they transition and assimilate into the new school and community. Unlike the existing literature that outlines the effects of student mobility, this study contributes to the student mobility literature by exploring and identifying mobile students’ needs.
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