Job Satisfaction Among Professional Middle School Counselors in Virginia
Bane, Tara Yost
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The purpose of this study was to determine the current level of job satisfaction among professional school counselors working in Virginia public middle schools. In addition, satisfaction levels were compared with previous studies on Virginia elementary school counselors. Although job satisfaction has been widely studied in the past, few studies have focused on professional school counselors in particular. Information regarding job satisfaction is important in order to employ and retain committed school counselors and ensure that students are receiving high quality services. Participants included 255 middle school counselors working in Virginia. Using a demographic survey and a modified version of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) (Weiss, Dawis, England, & Lofquist, 1967), the following research questions were investigated: What is the overall job satisfaction level of Virginia middle school counselors? What degree of job satisfaction is expressed by Virginia middle school counselors in regard to each of the 20 dimensions of job satisfaction as measured by the modified MSQ? What is the relationship between selected demographic variables and work setting characteristics with the overall job satisfaction of middle school counselors in Virginia? How does the level of job satisfaction of Virginia middle school counselors compare with the level of job satisfaction for Virginia elementary school counselors in 1990, 1995, and 2001? Does the current political and social climate of the public educational system affect middle school counselors' feelings regarding their jobs and performance? Analysis determined that 92.9% of participants were satisfied with their current jobs, with social service being the area of greatest satisfaction and compensation being the area of least satisfaction. Only 7.1% of participants were dissatisfied. These findings are similar to those found in 1990, 1995, and 2001. Using a regression model, the three demographic variables of gender, licensure, and intent to remain in the position, were found to be significant predictors of overall job satisfaction. Female counselors who held a Postgraduate Professional license and intended to remain in their current position for the next five years were more satisfied than other participants. Qualitative responses indicated that middle school counselors were most affected by the current political climate in regard to standardized testing, while the social climate affected counselors in regard to the difficult challenges faced by students. The greatest impediment to the participants'preferred role was an excess of noncounseling duties, while administrators and principals provided the greatest support. Overall, the results from this study revealed that middle school counselors in Virginia were satisfied with their jobs.
- Doctoral Dissertations