Academic journal article The Professional Counselor

Identifying Role Diffusion in School Counseling

Academic journal article The Professional Counselor

Identifying Role Diffusion in School Counseling

Article excerpt

Role ambiguity in professional school counseling is an ongoing concern despite recent advances with comprehensive school counseling models. The study outlined in this article examined role diffusion as a possible factor contributing to ongoing role ambiguity in school counseling. Participants included 109 graduate students enrolled in a CACREP-accredited counseling program at a large southwestern university. Findings suggest that providing direct counseling services is the most unique and least diffused role for today's school counselors. The authors also review implications for professional school counselors and recommendations for future research.

Keywords: school counselors, role ambiguity, role diffusion, comprehensive school counseling, direct counseling services

School counselor roles and functions have been examined by scholars for many decades (Astramovich, Hoskins, & Coker, 2013; Burnham & Jackson, 2000; Gysbers 2004; Herr, 2003; Lieberman, 2004; Myrick, 1987). As professional school counseling evolved, standards of practice were developed as a means for solidifying professional identity and to help guide the specific duties expected of school counselors (Dahir, Burnham, & Stone, 2009; Dollarhide & Saginak, 2012). School counseling as a distinct profession has proliferated in the 21 st century, yet inconsistencies in school counselor roles and functions have continued to challenge the field (Astramovich, Hoskins, & Bartlett, 2010; Culbreth, Scarborough, Banks-Johnson, & Solomon, 2005). This article defines and presents the results of a study of role diffusion among school counselors and calls for renewed emphasis on the professional counseling function of today's school counselors.

Historically, several school counseling models have been discussed in the literature, each emphasizing various school counselor roles. Myrick (1987) and Gysbers and Henderson (2006) created developmental guidance models for school counseling that emphasized individual and small-group counseling services, guidance lessons, individual planning, and system support duties. Schmidt (2003) promoted an essential services model of school counseling that focused on the individual and group counseling, appraisal, coordination, and consultation roles of the counselor. Campbell and Dahir (1997) presented a set of national standards for school counseling programs that emphasized school counselor duties in the academic, career and personal-social domains. Based on the work of Campbell and Dahir (1997), the American School Counselor Association (ASCA, 2003) published its initial National Model for school counseling programs. Later, Brown and Trusty (2005) suggested a strategic comprehensive school counseling model that emphasized the developmental and preventive roles of the school counselor along with a focus on supporting student academic achievement. Most recently, ASCA (2012) published an updated edition of its National Model that emphasized the school counselor's role in the implementation of a school counseling core curriculum, individual student planning, and responsive services, including individual, group, and crisis counseling. A common goal of these organizational frameworks for school counseling programs was to identify appropriate roles and duties for school counselors.

Models of school counseling were developed in part to strengthen and clarify the professional identity of school counselors, yet the specific roles of school counselors in educational systems have continued to be debated and refined (ASCA, 2012; Keys, Bemak, & Lockhart, 1998; Whiston, 2002,2004). During the past decade, the Transforming School Counseling Initiative (TSCI; The Education Trust, 2009) and ASCA's (2012) National Model have been discussed extensively in the school counseling literature. In contrast to earlier school counseling models, both the ASCA National Model and TSCI placed an increased emphasis on the academic support and advocacy roles of professional school counselors, while minimizing the role of providing direct counseling services to students (Astramovich et al. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.