High School Seniors’ Perceived Stress of the College and Career Decision-Making Process

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Infantolino, Michelle
career development; stress; school counselor; high school students; decision making process; Arts and Humanities; Counselor Education
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The focus of the school counselor is on every student’s academic development, career development, and social/emotional development in order to promote a culture of academic excellence and college/career readiness (ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors, 2014). Being able to identify what students are stressed about the most can help school counselors narrow down what they need to be focusing on in preparing students for life after graduation. The purpose of this study was to determine what high school seniors perceive to be the most stressful about the post-graduation decision-making process, and what schools are and aren't doing to aid in that process. A survey was administered to seniors at a small public high school in Western New York, and among the most stressful aspects of making decisions about life after graduation, were finding the right college, financial aid, and choice of major. Students indicated that they found the help from their school counselor helpful, but wished there were more counselors so they could access support more readily.