Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Career and College Readiness: What Is the Community's Role in Rural Areas?
by Ellis, Lorianne Marie, D.Ed., University of Oregon, 2018, 150; 10828086
Abstract (Summary)

Historically, school counselors have been the primary facilitators in supporting the career and college transition process for students, but many school counselors do not have the knowledge, resources, or materials to support students in this transition (Belasco, 2013). One way to help support career and college readiness is to develop comprehensive career and college readiness plans that involve more stakeholders than just the counselor and engage the community in supporting students to define and prepare for their paths for after high school (Alleman & Holly, 2013). This convergent parallel mixed methods study investigated what educators,students, and community partners in rural Oregon think is important to include in a career and college readiness plan that supports all students. I used Bronfenbrenner’s (1994) Ecological Model of Human Development to inform my data collection activities, casting a wide net to identify the stakeholder groups that have a potential impact on supporting students in their pursuit of a career or college education beyond high school. The qualitative data came from interviews with five Douglas County high school career and college readiness teams (n = 8 participants), three student focus groups (n = 24), and two partner meetings (n = 15). The quantitative data was gathered through a career and college readiness survey administered to the staff and faculty at 14 Douglas County high schools (n = 74 respondents). I used Farrell & Coburn’s (2016) Absorptive Capacity Theory as the lens through which to analyze the data, coding for the theory’s constructs around how prior knowledge, communication pathways, strategic knowledge leadership, and resources for partnering can be shared and leveraged between high schools and external partners. Findings from this study provide lessons learned about what should be included in a rural high schools’ career and college readiness plan that will help rural communities better support students in their transitions beyond high school.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Conley, David
Commitee: Lien, Laura, McIntosh, Kent, Smith, Joanna
School: University of Oregon
Department: Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Education, School counseling
Keywords: Career, Collaboration, College, Community, Rural, Transition
Publication Number: 10828086
ISBN: 978-0-438-26350-5
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