McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Natalie Parra

NatalieParra.jpg

Major and Classification

Communication

Faculty Mentor

    Alicia Dowd, Ph.D.

Department

    Rossier School of Education

McNair Project

Latino Community College Students and Academic Counseling

Abstract
At Los Angeles Harbor College students enroll in classes that cost, on average, $150. However, if they do not confirm with a counselor first that they are prepared for the class, or if the class is even necessary for them to graduate, the class is often dropped after the tuition refund deadline or failed. This problem has resulted in the loss of millions of tax dollars. Although attending academic counseling sessions cannot be thought of as the one solution to this issue, increasing counselor accessibility can partly alleviate this issue as students receive professional assistance in securing the proper courses. The current study seeks to examine Latino males' reasons for participating in academic counseling. This group of learners faces obstacles such as completing academic goals, obtaining classes, and understanding Educational Plans. Interviews with four participants show mixed findings, but it remains clear that the students understand they need the guidance from a counselor to ensure academic goals are met. As the rate of goal-achieving students increases, so might the number of wasted courses decrease over time.