June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.824.1 - 14.824.15
K-12 School Counselors: A Pilot Study of Support Needs for Advising Students about Engineering
School counselors provide an opportunity to encourage students with diverse backgrounds to enter engineering. The disparity between school counselors’ available time and students’ desire for career advising creates the need for high quality and effective career advising materials and support for school counselors. Little research has been conducted around the issue of what is needed to support school counselors in advising students about engineering careers. This pilot study was designed to answer the following questions, “What are school counselors’ understanding of engineering” and “What is the self-reported need for and support desired by professional school counselors to aid their work with academic and career development related to students and engineering?” An online survey instrument was developed to collect information from school counselors about (1) their perceptions of engineering, (2) the perceived barriers to advising students about engineering careers, (3) engineering topics about which they would like to advise their students, (4) desired time and location for professional development workshops, and (5) their interest in collaborating with other teachers on engineering lessons. The survey was made available through a school counselors’ list-serve. Results indicate that lack of time and knowledge about engineering is a barrier for school counselors when advising students about engineering careers. In addition, workshops should not be scheduled on Saturdays, after school, or during the summer. Recommendations for future research are provided.
What motivates counselors to attend a workshop on engineering? When is a good time to have a workshop for counselors? What is the best way to access counselors? These questions were raised after a Purdue University recruitment team planned and held a workshop for school counselors that no one attended.
School counselors provide an opportunity to encourage students, particularly those with diverse backgrounds, to enter engineering. However, according to one source, school counselors spend the majority of their time scheduling, testing, and shuffling papers; this leaves an estimated 20% of their time to advise students about their future career choices1. Students, on the other hand, have become less certain of their choice of major, and each year consistently more than 40% indicate that they need help with their educational and occupational plans2. The disparity between school counselors’ time and students’ desire for career advising creates the need for high quality and effective career advising materials and support for school counselors. Little research has been conducted around the issue of what is needed to support school counselors in advising students about engineering careers. The purpose of this paper is to start the conversation and provide insight into what types of support and materials are needed and desired by school counselors to support them as they advise students about engineering pathways.
Beck, M., & Diefes-Dux, H., & Reed-Rhoads, T. (2009, June), K 12 School Counselors: A Pilot Study Of Support Needs For Advising Students About Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4949
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