Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Prevalent literature about school counselors' professional development (PD) needs to prepare diverse learners for college is in short supply. Simultaneously, school counselors oftentimes encounter role confusion due to misperceptions of their job responsibilities by educational leaders. This discrepancy has led to the completion of noncounseling assignments, thus prohibiting counselors in this study from appropriate training and adhering to college readiness mandates for all students. This study explored high school counselors' attitudes about their PD needs to prepare diverse students for college in an urban populated school district located in southern Texas. The conceptual framework that guided this study defines school counselors' motivation to improve college access for diverse students when counselors learn information that is practical to their job activities. A qualitative case study was used to answer the question of how counselors perceive their PD needs to prepare diverse learners for college. Data were collected from 8 high school counselors through semistructured interviews and documents of counselors' PD profiles that were analyzed and coded to develop themes. Results established that participants had not received PD about college readiness, and they had not taken the initiative to advocate this need for themselves. Notably, counselors in the study indicated that developing a professional learning community with local colleges would be an effective approach to their professional growth. Although this study immediately benefits counselors in the participating school district, this study also provides information that may expand college enrollment for diverse students. Findings from this study not only will help close the gap between diverse students and their counterparts, but findings from this study may also help enhance PD for school counselors in surrounding school districts.