NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED548946
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 190
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-6164-4
Seventh Graders' Perceptions of College and Career Aspiration Supports in Two Urban Charter Middle Schools
Berardi-Demo, Linda
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
College and career aspirations are important to the development of students' short and long term educational and personal goals. Although students rely on information they receive and are influenced by experiences in which they engage in a variety of settings, for many, school is an important source of college and career information. How students interpret and process this information can affect the development and sustainability of their aspirations, making student perceptions important to the study of college and career aspirations. Seventh grade in particular is a critical time in the development of college and career aspirations as students are beginning to think about their future plans and also make important decisions about the level of effort and engagement that may affect future affordances. Using Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent, Brown & Hackett, 1994) as a lens, this study employed a mixed methods approach, which included interviews with teachers, school leaders and guidance counselors and student survey data, to better understand seventh grade students' perceptions of the presence and utility of the college and career supports in two urban charter middle schools. Seventh graders from two urban middle schools completed the Middle School College and Career Aspirations Survey, an online survey that investigated four college and career supports prominent in the research literature. They are: college talk; teacher feedback/advocacy; guidance counselor feedback/advocacy, and college preparation activities. Eighty-five of a possible ninety-three seventh grade students completed the survey. Thirty-five of the participants were male and fifty were female. Overall results of this exploratory study indicate that seventh grade students with varying degrees of self-reported academic performance perceive the presence and utility of college and career supports at similar levels. Results also indicate the need for college and career supports as early as seventh grade. The findings are consistent with the research literature, which stresses the importance of the frequency and quality of the guidance counselor supports and interactions in the overall development of students' aspirations. Future research might include ways to better understand how the supports might productively be instantiated in schools to increase the likelihood that students develop aspirations and that they ultimately pursue those aspirations. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A