A Phenomenological Study of Parent Experiences With Postsecondary-Admission Counseling

Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2019

Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Chris Jenkins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brandy Kamm, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Chad Becker, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to better understand parent experiences with the postsecondary-admission counseling of high school students in California. As a state, California exceeds the ASCA’s student-to-counselor national recommendations, impacting the delivery of postsecondary-admission counseling on high school campuses. To understand the postsecondary-admission counseling experiences in California, a qualitative phenomenological study consisting of 12 parents of current or recently graduated high school students was utilized. Open-ended interviews captured parents’ lived experiences with the postsecondary-admission counseling of California high school counselors. The data analysis for this study was accomplished by utilizing a four-step process outlined by Moustakas (1994), which helped generate four themes: (a) postsecondary-admission counseling knowledge, (b) counselor availability, (c) student and counselor fit, and (d) personalization. Themes discovered in this study also included the following subthemes: (a) confidence-level, (b) planning roadmap, (c) counseling meeting frequency, (d) counselor preparation, (e) student connection, (f) family expectation, (g) cookie-cutter counseling, and (h) holistic counseling. Each discovered theme and subtheme are capable of assisting families, high school counselors, and independent educational consultants to prepare for the postsecondary-admission process.

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