Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Oscar Aliaga Abanto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Blank, Ph.D.


career advising, college counseling, Hispanic, college and career readiness, Latino, postsecondary planning


The purpose of this study was to gather detailed descriptions of information, resources, and interventions that school counselors use to inform and advise Latinx students of postsecondary CTE options. A qualitative study with semi-structured interviews was conducted to understand how Florida school counselors advise Latinx students for postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) options. A three-prong conceptual framework was used, drawing from Bourdieu’s (1986) Theory of Cultural Capital, career development theories, and the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) National Model.

Ten school counselors working in public high schools in Florida participated in semi-structured interviews for this study. Altogether, the study’s ten research participants have approximately 110 years of school counselor experience in Florida. Findings indicate that school counselors are combating a pervasive “college for all” school culture by providing information about CTE through one-on-one counseling and schoolwide interventions. In doing so, school counselors are providing information to increase awareness of CTE options and countering preconceived ideas about the limitations that students and parents believe CTE may bring them. To provide information to Latinx students, school counselors reported using two specific strategies: information in Spanish and relationships with key agents within their school and from local postsecondary institutions: ELL and migrant staff as well as bilingual college representatives.

Because the Latinx student population consists of many different subgroups with unique and intersecting identities, tailored career interventions are needed to address the ethnic, socioeconomic, language fluency, and immigration experiences at the local school level. More must be done to address the barriers that inhibit school counselors’ time and capacity to provide the systematic tailored interventions that Latinx student subgroups need. School counselors have a crucial role to provide Latinx students equitable access to CTE information, resources, and pathways. To address the disparities in access to information and opportunities, it is imperative and urgent that school administrators, district leaders, and policymakers work to reduce large student caseloads and prioritize the school counselor’s role with career counseling and interventions.

To enable school counselors to provided needed, differentiated interventions for Latinx subgroups, it is urgent that school districts create infrastructure and structural supports 1) defining the role of school counselors prioritizing career interventions, 2) reduce large student caseloads, 3) remove non-counseling duties from the counselor’s job, 3) establish a high school college and career counselor position, and 3) establish a district college and career coordinator. Florida’s state colleges and technical colleges also have a shared responsibility to provide information and resources in bilingual formats to enable the work of school counselors.