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ERIC Number: ED514671
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 183
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-5308-3
Professional School Counselors as Leaders and Active Participants in School Reform: A Phenomenological Exploratory Study to Examine the Perspectives of System-Level Supervisors of School Counselors
Cicero, Gayle M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Professional school counselors' leadership capacity may well play a pivotal role in educational reform in the twenty-first century. Crucial to the success of this vision, supported by the American School Counseling Association, is the perspective of system-level supervisors of school counselors. This exploratory qualitative study employed in-depth interviews with a sample of six school counseling supervisors in Maryland to develop a deeper understanding of systemic factors influencing the capacity of school counselors to function as educational leaders and participants in school reform efforts. Systems thinking provided the theoretical framework from which to view factors that have contributed to the capacity of professional school counselors to function as educational leaders and active participants in school reform. The findings support that educational organizations are complex institutions with interconnected patterns that influence the culture of the institution. Additionally, the following isolated factors related to the research problem were identified by participants: (a) lack of understanding of the role of the school counselor, (b) assignment of non-counseling duties, (c) site-based management, (d) lack of participation in school improvement planning, and (e) lack of alignment with the larger system. Recommendations were built upon a systems thinking framework to address problems associated with the role of school counselors. Practical recommendations are provided to assist system-level supervisors of school counselors as they support the transformation of a twenty-first century role for professional school counselors. Practical recommendations incorporate the following elements: (a) clear communication with all stakeholders regarding the role of school counselors, (b) partnerships with professional colleagues and the Maryland State Department of Education, and (c) training for school counselors and supervisors to support a shift to a role as educational leader and active participant in school reform. The results underscore the need for additional study that includes a variety of employees in school systems in order to better understand organizational factors impacting the role of school counselors as leaders and participants in school reform from a systems thinking framework. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland