Academic journal article The Professional Counselor

School Counseling Faculty Perceptions and Experiences Preparing Elementary School Counselors

Academic journal article The Professional Counselor

School Counseling Faculty Perceptions and Experiences Preparing Elementary School Counselors

Article excerpt

School counselors meet students' academic, career, social and emotional needs through comprehensive school counseling programs (CSCPs) such as the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model (2012, 2014a; Gysbers & Henderson, 2012). CSCPs have existed for the last 40 years and are frameworks for facilitating data-driven, student-focused, preventative, systemic and developmental school counseling services implemented in schools from preschool through 12th grade (ASCA, 2012; Gysbers & Henderson, 2012). According to student reports, CSCP implementation has been associated with higher student achievement scores (Sink, Akos, Turnbull, & Mvududu, 2008; Sink & Stroh, 2003); higher student grades and a more positive school climate (Lapan, Gysbers, & Sun, 1997); and students feeling safer, having better relationships with teachers, and earning higher grades (Lapan, Gysbers, & Petroski, 2001). Additionally, researchers found CSCP implementation was associated with higher student math and reading achievement scores; increased college and career readiness; lower suspension, discipline and truancy rates; and higher attendance, graduation and retention rates (Burkard, Gillen, Martinez, & Skytte, 2012; Carey, Harrington, Martin, & Hoffman, 2012; Carey, Harrington, Martin, & Stevenson, 2012). In summary, "when highly trained, professional school counselors deliver ASCA National Model comprehensive school counseling program services, students receive measurable benefits" (Lapan, 2012, p. 88).

Typically, school counselors are first equipped to implement CSCPs through their pre-service preparation programs. School counselor preparation, licensure and practice are often recommended as uniform across educational levels (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school). The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the primary counseling accrediting organization, provides school counselor preparation standards P-12 (CACREP, 2015); most U.S. states and territories (N = 43/55) certify and license school counselors K-12 (American Counseling Association [ACA], 2012); and the ASCA National Model also describes their CSCP as K-12 (ASCA, 2012). However, many researchers have found differences in school counselors' reported perceptions and job activities by educational level and have highlighted the unique role of the elementary school counselor (Dahir, Burnham, & Stone, 2009; Hatch & Chen-Hayes, 2008; PereraDiltz & Mason, 2008; Rayle & Adams, 2008; Scarborough, 2005; Scarborough & Culbreth, 2008; Studer, Diambra, Breckner, & Heidel, 2011).

Compared to school counselors at other educational levels, elementary school counselors reported performing and placing greater emphasis on delivering classroom lessons and curriculum (Dahir et al., 2009; Perera-Diltz & Mason, 2008; Rayle & Adams, 2008; Scarborough, 2005; Studer et al., 2011), counseling interventions (Dahir et al., 2009; Perera-Diltz & Mason, 2008; Rayle & Adams, 2008; Scarborough, 2005), and school counseling program coordination and management activities (Dahir et al., 2009; Rayle & Adams, 2008; Scarborough, 2005). Further, elementary school counselors reported a greater emphasis on personal and social development and focused less on academic and career development when compared to high school counselors (Dahir et al., 2009); spent more time on parent planning, teacher consultation and collaboration, non-CSCP activities, and CSCP implementation based on the ASCA National Model (Rayle & Adams, 2008); were the most likely level to conduct activities aligned with CSCPs (Scarborough & Culbreth, 2008); and performed the least individual student planning (i.e., individual and group advisement) of all the levels (PereraDiltz & Mason, 2008). Thus, despite the K-12 focus in school counselor preparation, licensure, certification and practice, school counselors reported significant differences between job activities at the elementary and secondary levels. …

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.