Perceptions of School Principals on the School Counselor Role

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Virginia Tech

Throughout the past century, many changes in the conceptualization of the school counselor have occurred. Although most states endorse a national model developed through the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), not all school and district personnel have changed their views of the school counselor role to the most current conceptualization. The focus of this study was to gather current information on principal perceptions of appropriate and inappropriate school counselor activities based on the ASCA model. Differences were examined in principal perceptions at the elementary and secondary levels, and between appropriate and inappropriate activities to see if principals ranked appropriate activities more highly. Differences were also examined in schools with Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation and schools without RAMP designation. Results showed differences in perception between elementary and secondary principals, with secondary principals rating all counseling activities significantly higher than elementary school principals, although there were similarities in ratings between groups. Appropriate activities were rated significantly higher than inappropriate activities by principals overall as well as the elementary principal group and secondary principal group. There were no significant differences overall in RAMP versus non-RAMP school principal perceptions. Discussion includes reviewing specific activities where perceptions differed; how these results fit with previous research; and implications for policy and practice, future research, and higher education.

Principal, Administrator, Perception, School Counselor, ASCA, RAMP