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ERIC Number: ED522355
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 263
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-5427-9
The Impact of Conflicting Perceptions on the Role and Function of High School Guidance Counselors
Natividad, Larry D.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton
A counselor's academic guidance is critical because student stress levels are high due to increased levels of expectations that they perform at their best (Campbell & Dahir, 1997; Gysbers & Henderson, 2000). In the last decade, education reform has moved towards more standards-driven curriculum/a, basic skills acquisition, and accountability through high-stakes testing (Cuban, 2004; Darling-Hammond, 2004; Franklin & Johnson, 2008; Ravitch, 2000). Current practices in high schools suggest that counselors are expected to perform duties not within their scope of professional practice (Bowers & Hatch, 2005), yet very little current research explores the alignment of high school counselors' prescribed duties and the expectations of counselors by students, parents, teachers, and counselors, themselves. For this study, differences in the importance-ratings of a counselor's role among 2,499 students, 1,018 parents, 156 teachers, and 11 counselors at three high schools are analyzed in order to understand what underlying factors are most important to the participants. Seven factors that counselors seem to focus on according to the importance ratings of stakeholders were: (1) College, career, and class planning; (2) School programs and communication; (3) Student personal issues; (4) Working with staff; (5) Student learning; (6) Technician, teaching, and supervision; and (7) Rules, regulations, and discipline. Supporting research includes an analysis of district and school site job descriptions; differences in overall group perceptions of students, parents, teachers, and counselors; and an analysis of demographic differences in the interpretation of counselors' roles. Results also include a convergence of the lowest mean difference in areas where the professional identity of high school counselors align with serving the academic needs of students to be best prepared for postsecondary experiences such as employment and/or acceptance to college. A clearer consensus of the role of counselors, one that aligns with recommendations from a counselors' professional organizations, such as the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), and with job descriptions by school boards, may allow counselors to better serve students, parents, and teachers. By identifying the stakeholder perceptions on the frequency and importance of counselor roles, high school counseling teams can move towards such an alignment in order to be more effective in providing counseling services. [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: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A