Trends in School Counseling Journals: The First Fifty Years

By Bauman, Sheri; Siegel, Jason et al. | Professional School Counseling, December 2003 | Go to article overview
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Trends in School Counseling Journals: The First Fifty Years


Bauman, Sheri, Siegel, Jason, Falco, Lia, Szymanski, Gerald, et al., Professional School Counseling


The school counseling profession has published three journals in the course of its history. all articles in these journals were coded as to authorship, article type, content, and the core areas of the 2001 Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Standards. Distributions of articles in each category are discussed by decade, and the three journals are compared. Implications of the findings are discussed.

The first known school guidance program in the United States dates to 1889, when a Detroit school principal, Jesse B. Davis, introduced a guidance curriculum that was delivered in each English class in his school (Coy, 1999). In response to the industrialization and urbanization that was taking place in the country, the first decade of the 20th century saw increased concern for vocational guidance (Aubrey, 1992). Between 1914 and 1918, school guidance programs were initiated in several large cities around the United States (Poppen & Thompson, 1974). While vocational guidance came to include educational or academic guidance in the 1930s, counseling was originally conceived of as a tool or technique to assist in the guidance program (Aubrey).

It was not until the middle of the 20th century that the field of school counseling attained the status of a profession. That milestone is marked by the formation of a professional organization, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), in 1952. As ASGA is celebrating its 50th anniversary, now is an appropriate time to reflect on "where it has been, where it is now, and where it is going" (Brown, 1969). ASCA was formed at close to the same time as the American Personnel and Guidance Association, forerunner of the American Counseling Association (ACA). APGA was inaugurated and became the fifth division to formally join the larger organization in 1953. This alliance was an important one, as "ASCA and ACA sort of grew together" (McDaniels, quoted in Simmons, 2002a). The ACA is also celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the significant contribution of ASCA to the broader Odd has been noted.

The importance of school counseling was rcflected in the movement by states to develop and implement counseling certification standards. The first certificate (Pupil Personnel Service Certificate, Guidance and Counseling) was issued in Ohio in 1955 (Coy, 1999). The newly legitimized profession of school guidance and counseling received a boost from Title V of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), which was passed in 1958 in reaction to the launching of Sputnik by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This act provided funding for expanding school testing programs and for training institutes for school counselors, both novice and experienced (Poppen & Thompson, 1974). The effect was an increase in the number of school counselors from 6,780 in 1951 to more than 30,000 in 1965 (Aubrey, 1992). Further support for expanded school guidance and counseling came from the James B. Conant report on American education, published in 1959 (Poppen & Thompson). In 1960, a White House Conference on Children and Youth also stressed the need for school counseling programs. The 1960s saw national upheaval concerning the issues of human and civil rights, which was a factor in the APGA national convention in 1968 (Simmons, 2002b). In the 1970s, Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided funding for elementary school guidance and counseling programs.

The present Rjcus on developmental guidance and counseling in the schools can be traced to the influence of Robert Mathcwson, who, as early as 1949, proposed that the school guidance program should be organized and implemented in a developmental fashion. he argued that teachers alone could not provide the necessary experiences required for optimal development of students, and he saw guidance programs as the most critical educational factor in enhancing student development (Aubrey, 1992).

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