Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Del Favero, Marietta

Second Advisor

Beabout, Brian

Third Advisor

Bedford, April

Fourth Advisor

Paradise, Louis V.


While approximately 62% of high school graduates enroll in college, almost half of these students do not return for their second year in school. This demonstratable gap in college interest and reaching actual goals speaks to a need for information on how to facilitate the precollege guidance process to achieve more successful high school graduate and postsecondary institution matches. Much information is available in regard to the college choice process of high school students considering four year colleges and universities; scant information is known about how students discover information about the complete range of postsecondary educational opportunities. In particular, the community and technical college postsecondary education options have received minimal attention. Providing precollege counseling and information to students is considered a function of the high school counselor. Therefore, their perceptions and knowledge of postsecondary educational institutions are important in understanding the information they relate to their students. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe high school counselors' perceptions of community and technical colleges as viable and valued postsecondary education options. The study probed into the unique experiences of high school counselors from a major school system and examined how their perceptions were informed and shaped. A qualitative research design incorporating one-on-one interviews was conducted. The conceptual framework guiding this study was informed and developed by integrating three respected models: McDonough's (1997) model of building a comprehensive college culture in the high school, McClafferty and McDonough's (2002) model, and the American School Counselor Association National Model. The perceptions of the high school counselors resulted in five themes which included experiences with university bound students, experiences with community and technical college bound students, pathways of awareness of community and technical colleges, precollege counseling, and perceptions of community and technical colleges. The study concludes with implications for policy, practice, and recommendations for further study.


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