Trust Matters: The Importance Of Post-Secondary Education

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The importance of a postsecondary education has been well documented, both in terms of life-long earning potential and career opportunities. As our global society increasingly moves towards information and technological based economies, those without a post-secondary education will become further marginalized. Many students and their families understand the importance of going to college, but lack insight into the options for postsecondary study
(Hooker & Brand, 2010). For students from historically and substantively under-represented groups, particularly first-generation and low-income students, the aspiration for a college education is often met with information barriers that make navigating the college application process daunting. For
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This study examines the role of the high school counselor in mitigating these existing barriers through positive interactions and coordinated efforts (Zhang & Smith, 2011). In her text, Trust Matters…, Tschannen-Moran (2014) discusses the five facets of trust; benevolence, honesty, openness, reliability and competence required to establish effective school leadership. These same five facets of trust are the crucial underpinning to establishing caring and effective student-counselor relationships. “Trust functions as both a bridge and a barrier to social capital” (Holland, 2015, p.245). An effective trusting student-counselor relationship enhances the bridge effect and minimizes the barrier effect, enabling access to information and enhance social capital that can facilitate college attendance. It provides the intentionality or personal regard for extending oneself for others beyond what is formally required (Holland,…show more content…
For populations that are not as fluent in the college application process, the role of the counselor is crucial. “To the extent that families and familial extensions are unfamiliar with the college and the returns thereto, they may be less likely to support such “risky” endeavors” (Muhammad, 2008, p. 85). This finding is not unique to just African-American students.
Opportunity for Learning (OTL) was initially conceived by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) as a measurement tool to determine if learning was the result of ability or learning differences (Schwartz, 1995). As it applies to the role of the high school counselor, OTL may be used to provide linkage between the school context (school tracking policies or teacher quality) and learning outcomes in terms of educational inequality.
OTL is helpful in recognizing the importance of context, to better understand the manner in which college preparation occurs for all students, across all achievement levels (Walsh, Yamamura, Griffin, & Allen, 2009). Both frameworks examine the question surrounding the depth of college preparation and college knowledge as it relates to high school
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