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Despite the increasing disciplinary and career related challenges, not much focus has been placed on Undergraduate students' concerns and gender preferences for counselors. This study therefore sought to investigate Undergraduate students’ Concerns and gender preferences for counselors in the University of Jos. This study was carried out in the University of Jos main campus. The population for the study comprised 169 students from the first year and second year groups whom were randomly selected for the study. In this study we found out that majority of students had a positive perception about guidance and counseling services in the institution and that majority of students had a preference for female counselors (41.3%) more than their Male counterparts (31.7) while 27% agreed that either of the two is ok by them.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In realization of the social, economic and psychological challenges facing learners at various levels of learning, there is need for them to be properly initiated into and guided through the education system. The guidance and counseling program assists students to develop their full personality and career potential. However, the program faces the threat of lack of demand and utilization of services which has been attributed to lack of awareness by the students; poor communication between the program and students; and students negative perception and attitude towards the importance and role of the program, among others.
Guidance is often seen as a kind of direction or leadership offered an individual to assist him or her to makes decisions about his or her present and future life. Counseling on the other hand is seen as a psychological process of helping an individual to be equipped with self-understanding and skills of problem solving of everyday life in the society, home and school.
According to Okobiah and Okorodudu (2004) guidance is a programme of activities which has provided us with the gateway out of the existing numerous problems in our present age of complex scientific and technological development. Essuman (2010) maintains that guidance and counselling should form an essential part of Ghana’s educational system. Olayinka (2001) opines that obtaining good grades in examination to acquire certificates either for admission into higher institution or obtain good employment is the main goal of education to many people and not the acquisition of knowledge and skills through studying. Many students perform poorly because they lack the right attitude to study and do not have the right orientation from home and from the society (Essuman, 2007).
The attitudes of human beings play significant role in their behaviours. The study of human habits and attitudes is relevant and essential to counseling, as it can help in the understanding of the rationale for their behaviour and provides basis for prediction and assistance. Abiri (1996) argues that if the society is not to be plaque by a band/group of disgruntled, frustrated and unrealistic individuals, it is desirable that adequate guidance and counseling and career information be provided, to enable the school and society arrive at a realistic vocational choice for their children/wards with due realization of their potentialities.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The implementation of guidance and counseling program in higher learning institutions was aimed at assisting students to address the challenges that they face. If not addressed, such challenges may affect academic performance, self-actualization, social and psychological development of the students. Despite the increasing disciplinary and career related challenges, not much focus has been placed on Undergraduate students' concerns and gender preferences for counselors. This study therefore sought to investigate Undergraduate students’ Concerns and gender preferences for counselors in the University of Jos.
The role of guidance and counseling in institutes of learning is critical and students may differ in their perception about the role of guidance and counseling services. This in turn influences their reaction and attitude towards an object and either facilitates positive attitude and behaviours like seeking out the guidance and counseling services or negative attitude and behaviours like staying away. Specifically, the University of Jos has witnessed a low demand and utilization of guidance and counseling services by students. This has been mainly attributed to the concerns and gender preferences for counselors.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of this study is to access the undergraduate Students’ concerns and gender preferences for counselors. The specific objectives are;
1. To determine students' perceptions about the role of guidance and counseling services in the University of Jos.
2. To determine Students’ gender preferences for guidance and counseling officers.
1. What are students' perceptions about the role of guidance and counseling services?
2. What are students’ gender preferences for guidance and counseling officers?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this study cannot be overstated. This research project is important to the guidance and counseling unit of the university.
It would contribute to relevant literatures on the subject matter and the research is essential to parents, students, community and government because it will reveal the areas of weakness in the guidance profession and reasons why students should have good performance and careers if they are well counseled. This research will equally inform management of schools under study of the importance of guidance and counseling services in schools
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This work is on students concerns and gender preferences for counselors in the University using the University of Jos as a case study.
The researcher encountered some constraints, these constraints embodied however aren't restricted to the subsequent.
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
DEFINATION OF TERMS
GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING: The process of helping individuals discover and develop their educational, vocational, and psychological potentialities and thereby to achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness..
YOUTH: Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as "the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., the characteristic of one who is young".
STUDENT: a person who is studying at a university or other place of higher education.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, that incorporates the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, analysis hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter Two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is predicated, therefore the review of connected literature. Chapter Three deals on the analysis style and methodology adopted within the study. Chapter four focus on the data assortment and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five provides outline, conclusion, and recommendations of the study.
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