THE NEEDS OF A SAMPLE OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY (VIRGINIA) SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR SELECTED GUIDANCE SERVICES
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the needs of a sample of high school students in the Prince William County School System (PWCSS) for 40 selected guidance services, as assessed through the Guidance Services Inventory (GSI), and to draw implications from the findings regarding the need for modification and/or development of the program of guidance services in the PWCSS. This study was descriptive in nature and utilized the inventory-survey approach. Data were elicited through the GSI, an instrument developed specifically by the researcher for this study. The GSI presents 40 guidance services arranged, according to generic type, into five categories. Respondents were asked to express the "extent of need" that they had felt for each of the 40 services while in high school by selecting one of five response alternatives (None, Weak, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong). Twelfth-grade students, seniors (N = 1,282) in all six PWCSS high schools comprised the study sample. These students completed the GSI near the end of their senior year. Responses were studied for the total sample and by respondents' gender, school of attendance, and post-high school plans to determine the extent of need for the 40 guidance services. Study findings are summarized as follows: (1) Respondents expressed some need, at least, for all 40 services. (2) Respondents expressed medium to strong need for 16 of the 40 services; overall, the expressed need was weak to medium. (3) Services related to educational and occupational planning were most needed; personal-social counseling services were least needed. (4) The needs of males and females did not differ notably. (5) Among college-bound students, the strongest need was for college-related services; otherwise, the needs of college-bound and non-college-bound students did not differ notably. (6) The needs of students in the six PWCSS high schools did not differ notably. Findings seemed to support the conclusion that the guidance program in the PWCSS should provide a comprehensive set of services that need not be differentiated on the basis of student gender or high school attended.