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ERIC Number: ED527748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
A Closer Look at the Principal-Counselor Relationship: A Survey of Principals and Counselors
Finkelstein, Doreen
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
In the summer of 2008, the College Board, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) designed a Web-based survey on the principal-counselor relationship. Invitations to take the survey were sent to 16,901 individuals: 4,846 principals from NASSP membership lists; 4,772 counselors from ASCA membership lists; and 7,283 individuals who had attended counseling workshops at the College Board the previous fall. A total of 2,386 people responded to the survey, for an overall response rate of 14 percent. Principals and counselors who responded to the survey were very similar in how they saw the principal-counselor relationship, agreeing on which elements are most important for a successful relationship to improve student outcomes. They also agreed on which activities are most important for counselors to engage in to improve student outcomes. While there were some differences in perceptions, particularly in terms of how much time counselors spend on less important activities, it is encouraging that the basic priorities of both principals and counselors were so well aligned. Findings include: (1) Principals and counselors both ranked communication and respect as the two most important elements in the principal-counselor relationship; (2) Principals and counselors both saw time as being the biggest barrier to collaboration between them; (3) Principals had a better match between their perceptions of how important an element is to a successful principal-counselor relationship and the extent to which they saw that element as being present in the principal-counselor relationships within their own schools. When elements were rated as important, principals tended to rate them as being more present than did counselors; (4) When asked what one thing they would change that would lead to an improved principal-counselor relationship within their own schools, both principals and counselors most frequently mentioned communication, followed by respect/understanding; (5) Principals and counselors agreed that the most important activities for a counselor to engage in to improve student outcomes are helping to promote student personal growth and social development, and helping students with career planning; (6) While both principals and counselors agreed that supportive administrative tasks are less important for counselors to engage in to improve student outcomes, principals saw these tasks as taking up less of counselors' time than counselors said they took; (7) Both principals and counselors saw state test scores as the area where gaps between subgroups most needed to be addressed in their schools; and (8) When asked about the roles of principals and counselors in education reform efforts, both principals and counselors most often said that the role of the principal is to be a leader and the role of the counselor is to be an advocate. (Contains 4 tables.)
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023. Tel: 212-713-8165; Fax: 212-713-8143; e-mail:; email:; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Board; American School Counselor Association (ASCA); National Association of Secondary School Principals