Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions vs realities: How high school principals view and utilize professional school counselors
by Webb-Rea, Jennifer S., Ph.D., Capella University, 2012, 185; 3495163
Abstract (Summary)

This mixed methods study used an explanatory sequential design to examine what principals of high schools with large low-income and racial minority student populations view as appropriate roles for the school counselors in their buildings in raising student academic achievement and how those role perceptions align with best practices and with the roles to which the counselors in their buildings are assigned. The study addressed the following questions: (a) How do high school principals view the role of professional school counselors in raising the academic achievement of low-income and minority students? (b) How does role of school counselors in raising student academic achievement as perceived by high school principals relate to the best practices identified by professional school counseling organizations? (c) Is there a relationship between the tasks and duties identified by school principals as appropriate for professional school counselors and the actual tasks and duties to which the counselors are assigned? The theoretical framework upon which the study is build is the existing discrepancy between what are research supported appropriate roles for counselors and the actual tasks and roles to which counselors are currently assigned. Principals of high schools located in an East North Central state and that have 60% or higher low-income and racial minority student populations were surveyed using an instrument designed for this study, and a convenience sample was gathered of principals willing to participate in the qualitative strand of the study. Job descriptions for counselors at high schools included in the study were also reviewed. The study found that the principals' perceptions of the appropriate counselor role coincide with roles identified in research literature as appropriate and that, when possible, counselor are assigned to roles that align with identified best practices in the field. However, the principals concede that counselors continue to be assigned to tasks and roles that, though traditionally under the purview of the counselor, are not in line with research supported counselor roles. The study findings have implications for principals and counselors alike regarding how to best use professional school counselors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Guillory, Patricia
Commitee: Koelln, Rebecca, Ronneberg, Jeffrey
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, School counseling, Secondary education
Keywords: Academic achievement, Counselor leadership, Counselor role, High school administrator, Principal leadership, Principals
Publication Number: 3495163
ISBN: 978-1-267-18252-4
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