The Impact of Elementary Career Development Practices and Elementary School Counselor Self Efficacy
Seibert, Michele G.
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Career development is becoming a nationwide focus beginning in elementary schools for a variety of reasons. This is particularly true in Virginia as noted by Virginia’s College and Career Readiness Initiative published in September of 2010 by the Virginia Department of Education. Virginia’s Board of Education adopted the Virginia state school counseling standards in January of 2004 that specifically identified career development as an integral part of elementary school counseling (Virginia Board of Education, 2004). This study was conducted to identify what career development practices K-5 elementary school counselors reportedly conducted in the 2010-2011 school year, the extent counselors believed they were meeting Virginia elementary counseling standards, and if a relationship existed between counselor self-efficacy and specific career development practices. The researcher also measured if a relationship existed between counselor self-efficacy and the total number of career development activities each counselor conducted in the 2010-2011 school year. Virginia public elementary school counselors were emailed and asked to participate in an online survey that was comprised of a portion of The Florida School Counselors Survey 2000 (Osborn & Baggerly, 2004) and The School Counselor Self-efficacy Scale (SCSE) (Bodenhorn & Skaggs, 2005). Results indicated the activities conducted most often by counselors who reported meeting all state standards were: conducting classroom career exploration, using print materials, and using online career exploration programs. The career development practices showing a significant practical difference in means conducted by counselors with high self-efficacy scores included, conducted classroom career exploration, used online career exploration programs, informed parents of career development school counseling standards, and informed teachers of ways to incorporate career development into the classroom. No relationship was indicated between counselors conducting a certain number of career development practices and self-efficacy scores. Implications from the results may benefit counselor educators to determine if it is necessary to expand elementary career development instruction and preparation for future elementary school counselors. Future research in this area would be helpful on both the state and national levels to create a detailed list of expectations and means of accountability in meeting both state career development standards and ASCA career development standards.
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