Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Marc Brasof

Second Advisor

Dr. Peggy Hickman

Third Advisor

Dr. Christine Soda


This exploratory case study examines the impact of text messaging on mentoring relationships when used as an outreach between school counselors and high school students, where established relationships are lacking. An SMS gateway was used to mediate communication between school counselors (N=2) and students (N=5) over a three-month timeframe. The SMS gateway converted email, sent from counselors, to text messages, which were received on mobile devices of students and allowed students to respond back to counselors. Findings indicate that the use of text messaging may ease scheduling of face-to-face meetings between counselors and students, but evidence does not support any conclusions about the impact of text messaging on mentoring relationships. Students prioritized transactional relationships and perceived direct access to counselors, via text messaging, as a way to mitigate help-seeking barriers and control the counseling process. Ethics of the counseling field, social perceptions of professional communications, and sensitivities to traditional counselor-student relationships are to be considered when applying these findings in practicum. Further study about the ways text messaging can impact relationships in a school setting is necessary to expand our understanding of text messaging as a potential communication tool between high school students and their school counselors.