Student perceptions of their counseling needs in three Los Angeles community colleges

The purpose of this study was to investigate the counseling needs of community college students as perceived by the students themselves, assuming that a needs assessment can provide valuable input in planning counseling programs to meet the needs of the college's clientele. Seven hundred students in three Los Angeles area community colleges--City, Pierce, and West Los Angeles--responded to a questionnaire pertaining to their perceived needs for academic, career, and personal counseling. The survey was conducted in the fall 1984 semester during the week before final exams and again at one of the colleges the second week of the spring 1985 semester, to see if counseling needs of fall semester persisters differed from those of spring semester starters. The results showed a pervasive need for counseling services as well as a high usage rate of 61.4 percent. Career counseling ranked the highest of the three need categories. The two items with the highest combined moderate and major need responses pertained to transfer information (72.2 percent) and graduation requirements (71.4 percent). Personal counseling needs ranked lowest but may be considered a necessary component of both academic and career counseling. (See more in text.)