Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

A Multidimensional Study of School-Family-Community Partnership Involvement: School, School Counselor, and Training Factors

Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

A Multidimensional Study of School-Family-Community Partnership Involvement: School, School Counselor, and Training Factors

Article excerpt

A multidimensional study examines both the dimensions of school counselors' involvement in school-family-community partnerships and the factors related to their involvement in partnerships. The School Counselor Involvement in Partnerships Survey was revised and its factor structure examined. Principal factor analyses revealed three dimensions of partnership involvement. A national sample of 217 school counselors was drawn from the Common Core of Data, and hierarchical regression analyses indicated that collaborative school climate, school principal expectations, school counselor self-efficacy about partnerships, role perceptions, time constraints, and hours of partnership-related training were associated with school counselor overall involvement in partnerships. Implications for school counselor practice, training, and research are discussed.

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In the current education reform agenda, the authors of Blueprint for Reform (U.S. Department of Education, 2010)--guidelines for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as the No Child Left Behind Act)consider partnerships among schools, families, and community members and organizations as vital to supporting student success. The proposed reform will support innovative "strategies to better engage families and community members in their children's education" (U.S. Department of Education, p. 6). School counselors can play an integral role in building these innovative partnerships with families, schools, and communities.

Yet, research on school counselors' involvement in partnerships is scant (Bryan, 2003; Bryan & Holcomb-McCoy, 2004, 2007; Griffin & Steen, 2010). Research on school counselors' partnership roles and practices and the factors that promote or hinder their partnership involvement could facilitate school counselors' ability to effectively implement the partnership strategies suggested in the extant literature (Bryan, 2005; Bryan & Henry, 2008; DayVines & Terriquez, 2008; Dotson-Blake, Foster, & Gressard, 2009; Griffin & Farris, 2010; Mitchell & Bryan, 2007; Trusty, Mellin, & Herbert, 2008). With this said, research on school counselor partnership roles and practices and potential influences is best approached from a multidimensional perspective, that is, within the context of multiple factors to capture the complexity of the real world in which school counselors deliver services. This multidimensional study not only examines the dimensions of school counselor involvement in school-family-community partnerships, but also the factors related to school counselor involvement in partnerships. In examining the dimensions of partnership involvement, we build on the groundbreaking work of a number of researchers (Epstein, 1995; Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005). Epstein (1995, this issue) developed a model of six types of involvement that has been used extensively to research families' and teachers' involvement in school-family-community partnerships. Further, Hoover-Dempsey et al. developed a multidimensional model of parent involvement that examined the composition of parent involvement as well as the multiple variables that influence parent involvement.

Previous research has indicated that, in general, a complex interplay of external and internal factors influences school counselors' professional identity and daily roles (Brott & Myers, 1999). Bryan and Holcomb-McCoy (2007) utilized a conceptual framework that categorized the factors related to partnership involvement into school-related factors and school counselor factors. They found that school counselors' involvement in partnerships was related to one school factor, collaborative school climate, and a number of school counselor factors: role perceptions, attitudes about partnerships, and confidence in their ability to build partnerships. Our study extends Bryan and Holcomb-McCoy's study by further exploring the school and school counselor factors related to school counselor partnership involvement and includes other variables not previously examined in their model (i. …

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