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Introduction: Essential Details
The issue of homelessness is one of the most problematic ones in school counseling. The students experiencing homelessness are prone to developing a variety of issues in their academic life. For instance, homeless students are very likely to have a poor academic score and fail to interact with their peers successfully.
At this point, one must bring up the fact that the concept of homelessness does not necessarily imply extreme poverty. For instance, the students that are forced to move from one place to another on a regular basis, the learners that live in an orphanage, etc., fall under the category of homeless students since they do not have the place to which they have grown attachment. In their article, Havlik and Bryan (2015) consider the effects that the communication between a student and a counselor has on the quality of homeless students’ life and their academic performance.
Objectives and Methods: What Qualitative Research Helps Discover
Seeing that it was necessary to not only provide an in-depth insight in the problem but also to quantify the research outcomes, the authors used a combination of a qualitative and quantitative design. Particularly, Havik and Bryan (2015) incorporated the multiple regression analysis into the research design so that the correlation between the essential variables, i.e., the areas in which learners dwell and their academic performance, could be identified. Furthermore, a descriptive analysis was included into the study so that the nature of the problems that homeless learners have in the academic setting could be defined
Research Results: What Needs to Be Addressed
The study has shown that the contemporary special education setting lacks appropriate training for school counselors. As a result, the quality of services provided by counselors to the identified population leaves much to be desired. The study points to the fact that counselors cannot possibly embrace the variety of emotional and psychological problems with which homeless students have to deal, as well as the trials and tribulations through which they have to go.
Furthermore, the lack of programs aimed at counseling students with special needs should be mentioned as an evident problem. It is imperative to design the uniform approach that will serve as the foundation for reaching out to homeless learners. Thus, counselors will have a possibility to identify common patterns in the target learners’ behaviors and design the interventions that will help manage the emotional and psychological concerns of homeless students.
To address the specified problem, Havlik and Bryant (2015) suggest that cooperation between experts in traditional education and the one for special-needs students should be established. The identified approach has been viewed as advisable by other scholars as well (Hall, 2015). By sharing their experience, teachers will provide counselors with the data that will be used to bridge the gap in their knowledge and address homeless students’ needs appropriately.
Conclusion: Recommendations and Research Implications
It is strongly recommended that programs addressing the issues faced by homeless students should be the focus of school counselors. It is crucial that school counselors should be prepared to cater to the needs of special students. Collaboration between teachers in traditional and special education is viewed as the primary tool for enabling counselors to assist the learners with special needs successfully. Therefore, the article recommends that interdisciplinary programs for assisting homeless learners should be created for counseling purposes to increase counselors’ competencies and provide homeless students with the help that they need.
Hall, J.. G. (2015). The school counselor and special education: Aligning training with practice. The Professional Counselor, 5(2), 217–224. Web.
Havlik, S., & Bryan, J. (2015). Addressing the needs of students experiencing homelessness: School counselor preparation. The Professional Counselor, 5(2), 200–216. Web.