Local implementation of the AcieveTexas college and career initiative as reported by Texas high school counselors
Walker, Jodi K.
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The purpose of the study was to understand the high school counselor’s perception of the integration of the AchieveTexas College and Career Initiative at the local level, determine how much time high school counselors spent on the four components of the Texas Comprehensive Developmental Guidance program (including AchieveTexas), and identify the perceptions of success and barriers within the implementation process. In the summer of 2012, perceptions of high school counselors of the local implementation of AchieveTexas in Regions 13 and 20 in Texas on their campuses were examined using an online survey. These regions were targeted because their districts had offered and/or received professional development for counselors regarding the local implementation of AchieveTexas. High school counselors reported that successful outcomes for implementation of AchieveTexas included increased enrollment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses (67.9%), increased number of applications for admission to postsecondary institutions (64.2%), and increased graduation rates (62.3%). Barriers to implementation of the AchieveTexas initiative included lack of time and/or information and counselor to student ratios. Overall, the successful implementation of AchieveTexas requires “buy-in” of principals, counselors, teachers, parents, and the surrounding community. Findings of the study suggest that the AchieveTexas initiative is a tool to guide local districts to implement career clusters on their local campus and help students acquire college and career readiness skills that will benefit them in their future. AchieveTexas requires collaboration at various levels to achieve this goal.