Use of the Internet as a service delivery alternative for college counseling centers
Brian Howard, University of Hartford, United States
University of Hartford . Awarded
Current-day counseling centers are faced with difficult challenges, as they attempt to manage increasing student needs with reductions in available resources (Bishop, 1995). Counseling centers have begun utilizing the Internet as an alternative to traditional service delivery. While there are numerous practical and ethical concerns associated with the Internet in the provision of counseling services, it is believed that with care, certain types of Internet-based services can be safely utilized. The Internet provides increased access to a greater breadth of information in a cost-effective manner.
To determine the extent to which counseling centers were using Internet-based counseling services, counseling center Web sites were reviewed. It was hypothesized that counseling centers located at colleges with more students (i.e., higher Service Need) would be more inclined to integrate Internet-based counseling services, and be associated with increased rates of student retention. Due to practical and ethical concerns associated with Internet based counseling services, it was also anticipated that as counseling centers became more reliant upon Internet services, they would increasingly utilize Advisory Statements on their Web sites.
The study sample consisted of 150 randomly selected colleges located in the United States. Demographic data was obtained from Peterson's educational portal (n.d.) and each counseling center's Web site. The Global Measure of Internet Counseling Service (GMICS) scores were correlated with student enrollment and retention rates. Findings indicated that counseling centers with a larger service need were more inclined to utilize Internet-based counseling services. Additionally, counseling centers that provided more Internet-based counseling services were associated with increased levels of student retention and were more likely to provide Advisory Statements.
Howard, B. Use of the Internet as a service delivery alternative for college counseling centers. Ph.D. thesis, University of Hartford.
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