Mic’d Up : A Critical Narrative Inquiry Into African American Males, School Counselors & The First-Year Experience At A PWI



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College degree attainment holds outsized potential benefits for African American males across quality of life domains. Given that many African American males from urban school districts are first-generation college students and thus come from social circles that lack insider knowledge of the college-going experience, high school counselors are particularly important resources for these students as they look to make successful transitions to PWI’s. Educational literature speaking to the dynamic relationship between high school counselors and college-bound African American males becomes disconnected in educational literature after graduation. Using critical narrative inquiry as the methodology, this study sought to deepen our collective understanding of counseling for college by bringing together the personal, educational and professional experiences of three high school counselors from urban school districts and three undergraduate African American male students from urban school districts at George Mason University. Results from conversations, a sharing circle, and participant reflections revealed counseling practices that were driven by counselor world views, formative personal and professional experiences, and varying school contexts. Results also revealed students who had received appropriate college access assistance and a need for additional preparation and support for the actual college experience in high school and on the university level.