Allocating Opportunity: The Role and Impact of School Counselors in Promoting Access to AP Coursework

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Allocating Opportunity: The Role and Impact of School Counselors in Promoting Access to AP Coursework, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research.

ABSTRACT

In the K–12 education setting, professional school counselors are uniquely positioned to support high quality educational opportunities for all students. At the secondary level, student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) programming can be viewed as one such example of opportunity. School counselors serve as student advocates by channeling information and creating access to educational opportunity like AP. This important work takes place in the context of a bureaucratic policy environment that necessarily shapes the way AP opportunity is allocated in the local context. Charged with promoting equity and access to educational opportunity for all students, school counselors operate in a space of tension, and even conflict, when district policy, school site policy, and organizational norms related to AP participation signal less-than-open access. In this environment, school counselor advocacy and leadership become increasingly important determinants of opportunity and academic outcomes, particularly
for students in the margins. The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the extent to which school counselors (a) are enabled and/or constrained in their ability to create student access to AP coursework, (b) use discretionary decision making as they navigate local AP course-taking policy, (c) consider efficiency and equity as values associated with policy and counseling practice, and (d) identify and perceive justice in their local context of professional work.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: School Counselor Role and Student Opportunity ……………………………………………. 1
Advanced Placement Participation …………………………………………………………………………. 4
School Counselor Role …………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
School Counselors as Leaders ……………………………………………………………………………….. 7
Purpose of the Study …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
Specific Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………………… 10
Significance of the Study …………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Definition of Terms…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Theoretical Framework ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
Delimitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Organization of the Study ……………………………………………………………………………………. 17
Chapter Two: Literature Review …………………………………………………………………………………….. 18
The Role of School Counselors ……………………………………………………………………………. 18
Historical Context of School Counseling ……………………………………………………. 19
Influences of Professional School Counseling Standards ………………………………. 20
Metaphors for School Counselor Role …………………………………………………………………… 22
Gatekeeper ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
Impartial Cultivator ………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
Street-Level Bureaucrat ……………………………………………………………………………. 25
Intermediary ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 27
Institutional Agent …………………………………………………………………………………… 28
The Advanced Placement Program ……………………………………………………………………….. 31

Advanced Placement Access Problems: Between and Within School
Disparities ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32
The College Board’s Stance on Access and Equity ………………………………………. 34
The Federal Stance on Educational Opportunity ………………………………………….. 35
State Responses to AP Access …………………………………………………………………… 35
Local Responses to Advanced Placement Access ………………………………………… 37
Student Opportunity and Complexities of Professional Practice ……………………………….. 38
Tracking …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
School Counselor-Student Interactions……………………………………………………….. 40
Challenges to School Counselor Practice ……………………………………………………. 43
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 45
Chapter Three: Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46
Research Design and Methodology ………………………………………………………………………. 46
Selection and Recruitment of Participants ……………………………………………………………… 47
Instrumentation ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
Data Collection ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 48
Documents ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 48
Interviews ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49
Data Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51
Limitations ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 53
Assumptions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 54
Chapter Four: Research Findings…………………………………………………………………………………….. 56

Overview of District and School Site Documents Related to Advanced Placement …….. 56
Themes That Emerged From the Data …………………………………………………………………… 58
Theme 1: Creating Advanced Placement Access …………………………………………. 59
Theme 2: Advocacy …………………………………………………………………………………. 65
Theme 3: Justice ……………………………………………………………………………………… 71
Findings in Relation to the Research Questions ……………………………………………………… 76
Research Question 1 ………………………………………………………………………………… 77
Research Question 2 ………………………………………………………………………………… 78
Research Question 3 ………………………………………………………………………………… 79
Research Question 4 ………………………………………………………………………………… 82
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 82
Chapter Five: Discussion ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 85
School Counselor Role—Connecting the Literature to Practice ……………………………….. 85
Rejecting Gatekeepers and Impartial Cultivators …………………………………………. 85
Parallels to Street-Level Bureaucrat …………………………………………………………… 88
Intermediary—More Advising, Less Building …………………………………………….. 89
Institutional Agent Through Advising ………………………………………………………… 90
Bridging the Metaphors ……………………………………………………………………………. 92
Allocating Opportunity—Justice in Practice ………………………………………………………….. 93
Implications for School Counselor Practice …………………………………………………………… 96
Leadership ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 97
Additional Implications for Practice …………………………………………………………. 100
Further Considerations and Future Research ………………………………………………………… 103

Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 105
References ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 107

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YourPastQuestions Brand

Additional information

Author

Vaughan M. Kusko

No of Chapters

5

No of Pages

135

Reference

YES

Format

PDF

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