An exploratory descriptive study of factors influencing students to seek or not to seek personal counselling on a college of applied arts and technology campus located in Southern Ontario /
Overgaard-Thomsen, Spencer J.
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This descriptive-exploratory study examined factors which were perceived by students at a College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) campus as influencing them in choosing to come or not to come for personal counselling and why they would or would not retum. A total of 250 students selected through a sample of convenience were surveyed. A questionnaire survey was conducted with quantitative data collected using a 4-point, forced-choice Likert scale and yes/no questions and qualitative data collected using open-ended questions and invited comments. The responses were analyzed using means and modes for the Likert responses and percentages for the yes/no and check-off questions. The narrative responses were subjected to content analysis to identify themes. The mean score findings on factors influencing students to come for personal counselling were at or close to the mid- point of 2.5. Personal distress was the only variable found to have a negative response, meaning students would not come to counselling if they were in personal distress. On factors that would keep them from choosing to come to counselling, students seemed to trust counsellors and feel accepted by them and rejected the notion that peer pressure or the first session being unhelpful would keep them away from counselling. The counsellor's relationship with the student is the major determinant for repeat sessions. When asked what factors would influence students to not retum for personal counselling, students rejected the variables of peer pressure, the extra time needed for counselling, and not getting what they wanted in a session, but, in one instance, indicated that variables regarding the counselling relationship would keep them from returning.