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ERIC Number: ED554912
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-3564-4
A Qualitative Study on the Perceptions of High School Counselors as Student Advocates in Online Education
Meisenburg, Terry James
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Advocacy for all students is an important tenet in current school counselor literature and has been recognized as a vital component in student success. With the increase of students who attend high school online learning programs that do not require regular attendance at a school site, the role of the high school counselor to advocate for these seemingly invisible students is an important question that has not been explored. Given the strategic importance of the role of high school counselors and the significance and growth of online learning to provide new learning opportunities, this study explored the perceptions of high school counselors as advocates for online students. School counselors' perceptions may influence the services they provide and could impact student access to valuable counseling services and learning opportunities. This qualitative study used a phenomenological inquiry approach, largely descriptive in nature, which allowed the researcher to gain insight into the phenomenon of interest through the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Ten experienced high school counselors from southern California were recruited to answer seven questions concerning their role as advocates for online students who do not regularly attend a school site. Individual interviews were conducted in an e-interview format and responses were analyzed through an inductive thematic approach. Key themes revealed that when advocating for students who are enrolled in online education programs there must be (a) personal dynamic connections within a supportive virtual community, (b) pro-active counseling services which support this type of learning system, and (c) successful online communication that uses multiple modalities. The study has enormous implications for understanding the opportunities and challenges school counselors face as advocates for online students and may provide valuable insights that could help fill the gap in current literature as well as impacting recommendations for counselor educator training programs and school district professional development programs. Recommendations for future research include (a) studies from other online models that may reveal a deeper understanding of online advocacy, (b) a more inclusive examination of the specific issues reported by online counselors such as professional development and online delivery, and (c) using quantitative methodology. [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: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California