Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Document Type



TOPS Tech is a social welfare program in Louisiana that provides students with financial support to obtain the specific training that they need to get the jobs that are available in Louisiana. Since 1998, 42,918 students were eligible for the award, yet only 5,515 (12.85%) students enrolled full-time and utilized it (Louisiana Board of Regents, 2012). In order for educational leaders in Louisiana to improve participation in the TOPS Tech Program, they must first understand the barriers faced by students who want to utilize it. This study explored the potential factors contributing to the utilization (or underutilization) of TOPS Tech. This study used a qualitative design to capture participants’ perceptions of the factors that restrict or enhance access to TOPS Tech utilization within Louisiana. Qualitative data were collected through individual face-to-face interviews as well as phone interviews with policy-makers in Louisiana. Barriers and facilitators identified in this study were categorized as nine higher-order themes: Community Factors; Societal Perceptions; School, Parent, School-Parent Collaborative Relationships; Workforce Development; Eligibility; Costs Associate with Post-Secondary Education (PSE); Exposure; Communication; and Policy Context.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ball, Annahita

Included in

Social Work Commons