Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

LaTasha Hamlett-Carver


The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to examine the high school counselor’s perception of their ability to influence low socioeconomic students’ postsecondary enrollment decisions in nine Title I high schools in northern New Jersey. The research questions explored how high school counselors are able to support students from low socioeconomic backgrounds with their decision to enroll at institutions of higher education. This study also examined how elements at the district and school level influence the high school counselor’s ability to provide postsecondary counseling to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Data, which consisted of individual interviews and archival materials was collected from 12 participants who worked in a district in northern New Jersey and thematically analyzed. Results from the data revealed that positive relationships between the counselor and student, which are fostered by pushing and encouraging students that college can be their reality has a positive influence on college aspirations, preparation, application, and enrollment choice. This study further found that high school counselors were instrumental in helping low socioeconomic students understand, search, identify, and select colleges by walking them through each step of the college admission process.

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