Effect of Advisory Participation in the Adolescent Years Chapter

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Excerpt from Chapter :

Middle Eastern Students: What Is the Effect of Advisory Participation in the Adolescent Years- Grades 8-9

Benefits of student advisory

Adolescence and its effects on learning

Functions and Expectations of Advisory Program

Middle Eastern Student advisory experiences


Social and economic mobility is a function of educational achievement. It is important to ensure that all children receive education in order to secure their future and that of the nation. The U.S. accommodates many immigrants from the Middle East. Several studies done in the recent past have examined how immigrants fair in the educational system. However, few studies attend to the subject of adolescent students from the Arab world participation in advisory programs for schools and the effects of such participation explicitly. It is not clear whether the results of adolescent participation in school advisory programs would necessarily coincide with the participation by Arab immigrants. Considering the consistent negative portrayal of Arabs in news media; especially after 9/11, the case of participation by Arab adolescent students may be different. Research shows that that discrimination suffered in childhood years can lead to negativity towards the educational system (Shields & Behrman, 2004). Thus, it is essential to review the effects of adolescent participation in advisory programs so as to extend the necessary support to them.

Although advisors in the U.S. have somewhat limited knowledge about how best to conduct advisory service with Middle Eastern students, they work with adolescents from the Middle East. It is unfortunate that psychology, as a discipline victimizes, ridicules, and castigates aspersions on minority cultures both intentionally and unintentionally (Ridley, 2005). According to Ridley (2005), psychologists are taught and subsequently adopt certain approaches that lead to unintentional racist innuendos in psychotherapy and counseling. According to Bernal and Sharrron-Del Rio (2001), Psychotherapy is a cultural phenomenon that is rooted in the white race. They claim that theories in psychotherapy include, inherently, cultural aspects and values that are antagonistic to those held by the minority. Pedersen (1999) suggested multiculturalism as the fourth psychology wave. These views were informed by failure to include minority cultures in conventional psychology research; leading to disenfranchisement by these cultures.

Disparities between minority and majority cultures are clearly documented in the U.S. They also cross into mental health services (Sue, Zane, Nagayama-Hall, & Berger, 2009). The small number of psychologists from minority groups aggravates the problem (APA, 2010) because of the increasing diversity of the U.S. population coupled with the number of adolescent students in need of advisory services. According to Guthrie (2003) both, psychologists as individual practitioners, and psychology as a field of practice have perpetuated racism and biases against minority cultures. The film industry has been the focus of several research efforts to determine how its negative portrayal of the people of the Middle East has contributed to the problem. Since bias directed at Middle Eastern people is common in the wider American culture, it is critical for psychologist to engage actively in an effort to stem the trend by blocking the biases from entering the psychotherapy rooms.

Advisors need to learn the traditions of the cultures and the worldviews that deeply influence the lives of the people of Middle East in America. It may be more important to understand Islam than other religions because it is the most stereotyped and pet item of American propaganda. For instance, Islam states that women have separate rights from those accorded to their husbands (Sue & Sue, 2008; Sue et al., 2009). It is important to acknowledge personal bias when counseling a group from a different cultural background (Sue & Sue, 2008). Americans of non-Arab origin have little information regarding the workings of Arab culture. Mental health experts should engage these groups in order to help them gain deeper understanding of Arab beliefs and lifestyle. Comment by GL: improper

Statement of the Problem

As mentioned earlier, the majority of school advisory programs focusing on Middle Eastern adolescent populations lack proper understanding of the diversity that exists. Students from the Middle East are racially, culturally, religiously, and academic background. While many are commuters, some are first generation immigrants (Swecker, Fifolt & Searby, 2013). There is need, therefore for advisory programs to develop comprehensive and appropriately structured academic programs to support success and deal with attrition. These changes may be challenging many colleges and other learning institutions.

The diversity of Middle Eastern Students has created a gap in...
...It would be easier to address the gaps once they are discovered. Yet, the process of identifying such gaps is not easy. Bridging them is, of course another challenge. Although advising students from the Middle East presents a unique set of intricacies, it is, erroneously, widely regarded the same as advising students from other regions (Vianden & Barlow, 2015). If advisors do not possess the necessary training to identify such differences and address them, both students and their advisors face significant gaps and challenges in the advisory program process.

The Middle Eastern adolescent group presents a set of unique challenges that are not included in the readily prepared advisory manual used in the U.S. school system. The religious, cultural, and social orientation is significantly unique. Such an advisory program, therefore, will yield different and unexpected or even undesired results from the Middle Eastern adolescent. The focus of this study is, therefore, to identify the experiences encountered by the Middle Eastern adolescent in participating in the conventional American school advisory program.

The Goal of the Study

This qualitative study will examine the experiences of the Middle Eastern adolescent student participating in the school advisory programs implemented in the U.S. The study is crucial because its findings will enable the Middle Eastern adolescent student to express their views regarding the advisory programs. They will also be empowered to probe the gap much further. The study will use the existing literature on the subject and attempt to address the gap in such literature that demonstrates the absence of studies that are directly focused on the experiences of students from the Middle East.

Academic advisory has emerged as one of the most useful support services in the educational programs at higher education levels. It is not a subsidiary function any more. It is a mandatory program. It requires informed, cognizant organization and planning. The advisory programs contribute significantly to student success, development and the learning process (Kuh, 2011). Further, it has been shown that students learn better and more outside of the classroom. This study is guided by Astin's Inputs-Environment-Outcomes (I-E-O) model (Astin, 1991). This study will use data obtained from student surveys in schools to provide insights into how advisory programs affect the Middle Eastern adolescent student population's experiences. The study also seeks to help schools ascertain how to develop advisory programs that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of the unique needs of the Middle Eastern adolescent student.

This study will help understand the challenges of educational programs in accommodating Middle Eastern adolescent students and thereby, the challenges such students face in pursuing meaningful academic pursuits in the U.S. and elsewhere. It will, therefore mean advancement of my career. Administrators in middle school will also find this study useful if they are examining their professions growth or reviewing aspects of their school advisory program. Further, it will serve as a useful reference in future researches on the subject of advisory programs and their effect on the Middle Eastern adolescent students.

Research Questions

This study endeavors to investigate the research questions below.

1 What is the effect of the school advisory programs on the Middle Eastern student?

2 How do the advising interactions of individual adolescent students affect their academic performances?

3 How does the institution-based advising environment affect the performance of Middle Eastern adolescent students?

4 What effects do we get from the school advising programs on Middle Eastern students; compared to non-Middle Eastern adolescent student populations, and what is the difference?

Definition of Terms

Academic advising: This is a learning opportunity conducted outside the classroom environment for students attending higher education. Academic advising was treated as going beyond course registration process (APA, 2010). The academic advising program was treated as a development process that aids students to link their career life with educational aims.

Adolescent: Young students of age-specific group preparing for high school after graduating from elementary school. Puberty in adolescent comes with a myriad of physical, social, intellectual and emotional challenges.

Junior High School: Young adults that have completed the elementary school course. They are usually placed in grades 7 to 9. They are just about to enter secondary school.

Advisee-advisor Program: A group of pre-arranged students numbering 15 to 20, that can interact to discuss social or academic issues in peer group interaction. The advisory programs can range from a daily, weekly to bi-monthly meets (Vianden & Barlow, 2015). Each child closely bonds with one adult advisor. An advisory base group is normally led by certified teachers and other professional staffs. Such terms as teacher-based guidance, advisement and teacher advisory are commonly used.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alexander, W.M., & George, P. S. (1981). The exemplary middle school. New York, NY: Holt, Reinhart, & Winston.

Al-Khatab, A. (1999). In search of equity for Arab-American students in public schools of the United States. Education, 120, 254.

American Psychological Association. (2010). 2008 APA survey of psychology health service providers: Special analysis. Washington, DC: Author

Arnold, J. (1991). The revolution in middle school organization. Momentum, 22(2), 20-25.

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