The study investigated the utilization of e-counselling in social and academic adjustments among undergraduates of Universities in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study, six research questions and four hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study comprised of 4275 first year and final year undergraduates of Faculty of Education selected from two Universities in Kebbi and Sokoto States where guidance and counselling services were in operation. The sample of the study was 427 undergraduate students of Faculty of Education in the selected Universities for the study. The sampling technique instrument that was used for data collection for the study was titled “E-Counselling Utilization and Social/Academic Adjustments Questionnaire”. The instrument was validated by experts from Guidance and Counselling and Measurement and Evaluation, all from Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The instrument was trial tested with 30 undergraduates in Kaduna State. Cronbach Alpha Statistics was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and the overall reliability indices of 0.75 was obtained. Four hundred and twenty seven copies of the questionnaire were administered to the respondents by the researcher with the help of two research assistants. The data collected were analysed using mean, standard deviation and t-test statistics. The results obtained indicated that the extent e-counselling was utilized in social adjustment among undergraduates was high; the extent e-counselling was utilized in academic adjustment among undergraduates was low; there was significant mean difference in the utilization of e-counselling in social and academic adjustment among male and female undergraduates and among first year and final year undergraduates. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended, among others that e-counselling facilities should be made available in Kebbi and Sokoto States Universities to enable the undergraduates to make adequate utilization of e-counselling services in social and academic adjustments. Also, counsellors should be provided with more and stable facilities to enhance more opportunities for e-counseling with the undergraduates.

Background to the Study
There is an expansion in the world of Information Communication Technology (ICT) today, making the use of computer d1evices in nearly all aspects of human activities necessary. In fact, there is hardly any activity of life in the world today that does not involved the use of computer device, including telephone lines, availability of cellular coverage, and other forms of electronic transmission of data including internet (Nwachukwu, Ugwuegbulam & Nwazue, 2014). According to Annual Global ICT data and ICT Development (2014), internet use continues to grow steadily, at 6.6% globally in 2014 (3.3% in developed countries, 8.7% in the developing world); the number of Internet users in developing countries has doubled in five years (2009-2014), with two third of all people online now living in the developing world. This shows that the increase in the aforementioned cellular data coverage is apparent, as many users have multiple subscriptions, with global growth figures sometimes translating into little real improvement in the level of connectivity of those at the very bottom of the pyramid; an estimated 450 million people worldwide live in places which are still out of reach of mobile cellular service (Annual Global ICT data and ICT Development, 2014).

The gap between the access to the internet and mobile coverage has decreased substantially in the last fifteen years and the new data show ICT progress and highlight remaining gaps and there is evidence that ICT is usable even in the rural areas ICT Facts and Figures (The world in 2015). Thus, ICT continues to take on new forms, with no technology set to usher in a new wave of ICT electronics and gadgets. ICT newest editions into the modern electronic world include smart watches, such as the Apple Watch, smart wristbands such as the Nike+ Fuel Band, and smart TVs such as Google TV. With desktops soon becoming part of a bygone era, and laptops becoming the preferred method of computing. ICT continues to insinuate and alter itself in the ever-changing globe.

However, ICT has impact on nearly every aspect of lives - from working to socializing, learning to playing. The digital age has transformed the way young people communicate, network, seek help, access information and learn. Young people are now accessing internet and engaging in online communications through a variety of means such as computers, smart tablets and electronic pads (Reggio, 2015). The author also observed that it is widely recognized that learners are motivated and purposefully engaged in the learning process when concepts and skills are underpinned with technology and sound pedagogy. Therefore, ICT plays vital role in educational needs of individuals.

In many countries, the role of ICT is linked to issues of educational attainment and the importance of ICT for advancing robust learning strategies on the side of the students. It is also used as a tool for the support of personalization strategies in teaching and learning (Kozma, 2008). ICT can also be used to increase visualization and variation in many subjects. As a greater proportion of our homes are linked to the Internet, the role of ICT in home/ school access is now being exploited. Many children start to use ICT at an early age, and the home and the family are, in many cases, an arena for the initial acquisition of digital skills. In addition, Kozma (2008) has identified important reasons for investing in ICT for education which include: to support economic growth mainly by developing human capital and increasing the productivity of the workforce; to promote social development by sharing knowledge, fostering cultural creativity, increasing democratic participation, improving access to government services and enhancing social cohesion; to advance education reform, major curriculum revisions, shifts in pedagogy or assessment changes; to support educational management and accountability, with an emphasis on computer-based testing and the use of digital data and management systems, as well as supportive programme such as counselling (Kozma, 2008). According to Onuekwusi and Onuekwusi (2010), the use of computer devices appear to be more pronounced in the field of education as it is used in teaching, learning, evaluation processes and counselling.

The use of computer devices like phone and laptops tablets among others. for counselling in Nigeria should not be a ‘taboo’ or an exception as this has long been functioning in advanced countries. Distance communication between a counsellor and a client is not a new concept as the great psychologist; Sigmund Freud utilized letters extensively to communicate with his clients in his time (Nwachukwu, Ugwuegbulam &  Nwazue, 2014). American Counselling Association (ACA, 2014) acknowledged ICT in counselling as pivot for educational growth and advancement. Thus, Counsellors actively attempt to understand the evolving nature of the profession with regard to distance counselling, technology, and social media and how such resources may be used to better serve their clients. They strive to become knowledgeable about these resources (American Counselling Association –ACA, 2014).

Every sound profession looks for and welcomes new innovations into their field for the welfare of their service consumers all over the world. Internet has brought a lot of innovations in the world today such as e-learning and e-counselling. Today, people who have interest can now access education especially that of tertiary through what is called e-learning. Therefore, a consumer of education can be anywhere and at any time access education that enhances their development. In the same vein, professional counsellors can embrace e-counselling as one of the best practices in the development of counselling practice in under-developed and developing countries for the benefit of the services’ consumers who may not be able to get their services due to geographical location, time and any other problem (Uzoekwe, Obika, & Obineli, 2012). In Nigeria for instance, everyone is becoming conversant with cellular phones and their associated text messages, email and subsequently becoming computer literate and many need counselling.

The term, counselling according to Okorodudu, (2010) refers to a process involving a professionally trained individual in the application of psychological principles and practices in assisting individuals and groups to cope with their life adjustment needs in the society. Okoye, (2008) defined a counsellor as a professionally trained person who help others solve their problems for now and in the future. According to Nwachukwu (2008), Counselling, is a formal and systematic process of organized services offered in the school system to help an individual know and develop his potentials to the fullest, thereby consciously acquiring proper self-knowledge, understanding of self and situation and skills for appraisal of self-in-situational relation, for appropriate decision and action, in education, the world of work and the society. This broad definition of counselling covers both school and university settings. It presents guidance and counselling as a programme that enable students make right adjustment in the university. Thus, counselling denotes a relationship between a concerned counsellor and a person with a need. Counselling relationship is usually person-to-person, although sometimes it may involve more than two people. It is designed to help people understand and clarify their views of their life-space, and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed, choices and through resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature and can take face-to face format or electronic format (Anwana, 2005; Mmaduakonam, 2008; Ekpo, 2007; Uzoekwe, Obika, & Obineli, 2012).

Face-to-face counselling is the normal conventional counselling that usually takes place at the counsellor’s office or counselling centre and both the counsellor and.....

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