Title

An Analysis of the Roles of K--8 School Counselors As Perceived by Principals and Counselors In Selected School Districts in Mississippi

Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Clyde Ginn

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

This study analyzed the ideal roles and actual roles of elementary and middle school counselors as perceived by elementary and middle school counselors and principals in selected school districts within Mississippi. The researcher examined how counselors and principals perceive their roles and which roles were deemed important. The sample consisted of 61 elementary school counselors, 31 middle school counselors, 61 elementary school principals, and 27 middle school principals. Subjects responded to a questionnaire developed by Miles-Hastings (1997). This instrument listed 26 counselor role activities taken from the American School Counselor's Association Role Statement and the work of Norm Gysbers (1990). Counselors and principals also responded to questions concerning the school guidance counseling program within their schools. The main findings of this study were the following: (1) The elementary counselors' perceptions of most important roles included individual counseling for students experiencing personal concerns. Elementary principals' perceptions of most important counselor roles included consulting with outside agencies, teachers, and administrators about students with special needs. (2) The middle school counselors' perceptions of most important counselor roles included individual counseling for students experiencing personal and educational concerns. Middle school principals' perceptions of most important counselor roles included individual counseling for students experiencing personal and educational concerns and consulting with parents, teachers, and administrators about student behavior, achievement, and test interpretation. (3) The role elementary counselors perceive they perform the most is consulting with teachers and administrators about students with special needs. The role elementary school principals perceive their counselors to be performing the most is consulting with outside agencies, teachers, and administrators about students with special needs. (4) The role middle school counselors perceive they perform the most is scheduling. The role middle school principals perceive their counselors perform the most is individual counseling for students experiencing personal and educational concerns. (5) Counselors' and principals' comments addressed overload of administrative and secretarial duties and lack of time and opportunities to work individually with students.