Uploaded on

 

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
141
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1

Actions

Shares
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. A STUDY OF SCHOOL COUNSELOR EFFECTIVENESS AND ITS RELATION TO PRIOR TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT by DIANA F. SMITH B.A., South Carolina State University, 1992 Ed.S., University of South Carolina, 1999 Ed.S., South Carolina State University, 2007 A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of South Carolina State University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Education Orangeburg, South Carolina July 2009 PR EVIEW
  • 2. UMI Number: 3421345 All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. UMIDissertation Publishing UMI 3421345 Copyright 2010 by ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This edition of the work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code. A ® uest ProQuest LLC 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106-1346 PR EVIEW
  • 3. A STUDY OF SCHOOL COUNSELOR EFFECTIVENESS AND ITS RELATION TO PRIOR TEACHING EXPERIENCE AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT by Diana F. Smith Approved: Dean, School of Graduate Studies PR EVIEW
  • 4. ©2009 Diana F. Smith All Rights Reserved PR EVIEW
  • 5. DIANA F. SMITH A Study of School Counselor Effectiveness and its Relation to Prior Teaching Experience and School Achievement (Under the direction of Dr. Charlie G. Spell) This study analyzed school counselor effectiveness in implementing the 4 components (i.e., guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support) of the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model and determined if there is a relationship between that effectiveness and two different variables: prior teaching experience and school achievement. This study incorporated the principles of quantitative research to test the null hypotheses. Data used in this study were examined using the following statistical procedures: Descriptive Statistics, Cronbach Alpha reliability, /-tests, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). In order to examine the hypotheses, a /-test was performed to examine mean differences of the independent variables (i.e., counselors with or without prior teaching experience) and the dependent variable (i.e., effectiveness in implementing the guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support). An analysis of variance test was performed to examine mean differences of the independent variable (school achievement) and the dependent variables (i.e., effectiveness in implementing the guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support). Each of the t tests and ANOVA were analyzed at the p < 0.05 level of significance. Cronbach Alpha reliability was used to measure the consistency of the responses of counselors. iv PR EVIEW
  • 6. Participants for this study were certified public elementary and secondary school counselors from 4 school districts in an upstate county in South Carolina. Of the 67 respondents to the e-mailed survey, this study revealed that there was a significant difference in the effectiveness of counselors for the guidance curriculum component of the South Carolina Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model. Counselors with prior teaching experience were more effective in implementing the guidance curriculum component of the South Carolina Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model than counselors without prior teaching experience. It was also revealed that there is no significant difference in effectiveness of counselors with or without prior teaching for the individual planning, responsive services, or system support components of the South Carolina Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model. Further, this investigation found that the effectiveness of school counselors in any of the areas of the South Carolina Developmental Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Model had no significant relationship to or impact on school achievement. In essence, school counselors with prior teaching experience are more effective than school counselors without prior teaching experience only when delivering the guidance curriculum component of the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model. Counselors both with and without prior teaching experience are equally effective when planning individually with students, responding to the immediate needs of students, or providing system support. It was further concluded that school counselor effectiveness is not directly linked to school achievement, as this study found no significant difference in the effectiveness of school counselors regardless of the achievement level of the school. v PR EVIEW
  • 7. KEY WORDS Effectiveness Developmental Guidance School Achievement Guidance Curriculum Individual Planning Responsive Services System Support PR EVIEW
  • 8. DEDICATION I dedicate this doctoral study to my husband, Anthony R. Smith. I thank him for his love, support, humor, and patience as I worked toward achieving this goal. He always gave me exactly what I needed at the precise moment that I needed it, lovingly and without hesitation. I love him beyond measure, and am so blessed to have him as my life partner. I also dedicate this dissertation to my parents, James and Lonzena Felix. Their wisdom and encouragement have sustained me all the years of my life, and I am who I am because of them. "If you hear a voice within you say, you cannot paint, then by all means, paint, and that voice will be silenced." -Vincent Van Gogh vii PR EVIEW
  • 9. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I will first acknowledge that I am truly in God's favor. None of this would have been possible were it not for His grace, and I am eternally thankful! I would like to sincerely thank the many people who have offered unwavering support, assistance, and wisdom as I labored to attain this lifelong goal: my grandmother, Vivian H. Jacobs, who always believed that I could do anything (and made me believe it, too); my sisters and brothers, who were never short on love, advice, or much-needed comic relief; and my friends and colleagues, who seem sincerely oblivious to the roles they played in my achieving this accomplishment. I am particularly and will be forever grateful to Dr. Charlie Spell, my committee chairperson, who accepted me as an advisee despite his already having a full caseload. I feel both blessed and honored that he was willing to guide me through the challenges of the dissertation process. He has been a great mentor, trusted confidante, and patient advisor, and for these things, I am indebted. Further gratitude is extended to the members of my committee Dr. Michael Boatwright and Dr. Jesulon Gibbs. Words are not enough to express my appreciation for their graciously lending their time and expertise to ensure that I received the most from this process. I would also like to thank Ms. Elizabeth Horton, who from the beginning of this process, never hesitated to assist me as needed. And last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank the entire Rock Hill Cohort for their constant and consistent motivation and support. viii PR EVIEW
  • 10. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT iv DEDICATION vii ACKNOWLEDGMENT viii LIST OF TABLES xii LIST OF FIGURES xii CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem 4 Significance of the Study 6 Purpose of the Study 7 Conceptual Framework 8 Research Questions 11 Hypotheses 11 Definition of Terms 12 Limitations of the Study 14 Organization of the Study 15 II REVIEW OF LITERATURE 16 Introduction 16 History of School Counseling 17 Measuring Counselor Effectiveness 21 ix PR EVIEW
  • 11. Page Guidance Curriculum 24 Individual Planning 24 Responsive Services 25 System Support 26 Counselor Effectiveness and School Achievement 27 Review of the Variables 29 Prior Teaching Experience 29 School Achievement 35 III METHODOLOGY 39 Introduction 39 Research Design 39 Data Collection 40 Instrumentation 40 Procedures 41 Data Analysis 43 IV FINDINGS OF THE STUDY 47 Introduction 47 Summary Statistics 47 Hypotheses Testing Section 56 V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 64 Introduction 64 Summary 64 x PR EVIEW
  • 12. Page Conclusions 69 Recommendations 70 REFERENCES 73 APPENDIXES 78 A. Validation Letter to Superintendent 79 B. Validation E-mail to School Counselors 81 C. School Counselor Validation Questions 83 D. Letter to Superintendents 85 E. Permission to Survey 87 F. E-mail to School Counselors 89 G. School Counselor Survey 91 H. Detailed Tables 16-27 95 xi PR EVIEW
  • 13. LIST OF TABLES Page 1 Statistical Plan 45 2 Characteristics of Counselors With and Without Prior Teaching Experience 49 3 District and School Information of Counselors With and Without Prior Teaching Experience 50 4 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness With Prior Teaching Experience of the Guidance and Counseling Program 52 5 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness Without Prior Teaching Experience of the Guidance and Counseling Program 53 6 Mean Ratings of Guidance and Counselor Program by Counselors With/Without Prior Teaching Experience 54 7 Reliability Coefficient of the Guidance and Counselor Program by Counselors With/Without Prior Teaching Experience Components 55 8 /-test of Guidance and Counseling Program- Guidance Curriculum Item of Counselors With and Without Prior Teaching Experience 57 9 /-test of Guidance and Counseling Program- Individual Planning Item of Counselors With and Without Prior Teaching Experience 58 10 /-test of Guidance and Counseling Program- Responsive Services Item of Counselors With and Without Prior Teaching Experience 59 11 /-test of Guidance and Counseling Program- System Support Item of Counselors With and Without Prior Teaching Experience 60 12 Analysis of Variance of School Achievement and Effectiveness of Guidance Curriculum by Counselors 60 13 Analysis of Variance of School Achievement and Effectiveness of Individual Planning by Counselors 61 xii PR EVIEW
  • 14. 14 Analysis of Variance of School Achievement and Effectiveness of Responsive Services by Counselors 62 15 Analysis of Variance of School Achievement and Effectiveness of System Support by Counselors 63 16 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness With Prior Teaching Experience -Guidance Curriculum 96 17 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness With Prior Teaching Experience - Individual Planning 97 18 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness With Prior Teaching Experience - Responsive Services 98 19 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness With Prior Teaching Experience - System Support 99 20 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness Without Prior Teaching Experience - Guidance Curriculum 100 21 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness Without Prior Teaching Experience - Individual Planning 101 22 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness Without Prior Teaching Experience - Responsive Services 102 23 Percentage of Counselors' Effectiveness Without Prior Teaching Experience - System Support 103 24 Mean Ratings of Guidance and Counselor Program by Counselors With/Without Prior Teaching Experience- Guidance Curriculum 104 25 Mean Ratings of Guidance and Counselor Program by Counselors With/Without Prior Teaching Experience- Individual Planning 105 26 Mean Ratings of Guidance and Counselor Program by Counselors With/Without Prior Teaching Experience- Responsive Services 106 27 Mean Ratings of Guidance and Counselor Program by Counselors With/Without Prior Teaching Experience- System Support 107 Figure 1 Conceptual Framework 8 xiii PR EVIEW
  • 15. CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This study analyzed school counselors' effectiveness in implementing the components of the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model and determined if there is a relationship between that effectiveness and the possession of prior teaching experience. This study then determined if there is a connection between the effectiveness of school counselors and school achievement. School counselors must be ready to perform a combination of activities aimed at meeting the educational needs of students (Myrick, 1987), but there has been an ongoing and often controversial debate on whether or not previous teaching experience should be a prerequisite for school counselor certification ever since the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (Olson & Allen, 1993). Baker (1994) noted that state education agencies continued to disagree regarding the necessity of the teaching experience requirement in order to be certified as a school counselor. School counselors have to be responsive to students, parents, teachers, and others associated with schools, and they must also provide program and staff support activities and services and provide guidance content systematically to all students through classroom and/or group activities (Gybers, 1990). Further Gysbers (1992) affirms that school counselors help students to observe and understand their development in order to make informed decisions about their futures. Oftentimes school counselors serve in a capacity similar to that of a school teacher and is expected to collaborate with and support teaching efforts (Wittmer, 2000). Additionally, with academic achievement as the current emphasis of education (Borders & Drury, 1992; Coeyman, 2003; Dollarhide 1 PR EVIEW
  • 16. & Lemberger, 2006; Lee, 1993), schools are primarily responsible for ensuring this success by utilizing all resources. School counselors' roles and responsibilities have become crucial to this process, as they are equally accountable for the work that they do and this it is positively impacting students and helping to create the desired end result. Despite research findings, studies exploring counselor effectiveness in terms of previous teaching experience is lacking. This researcher discovered literature on the perceptions of various stakeholders (i.e., superintendents, principals, and teachers) of the need for a school counselor to possess prior teaching experience, but discovered no research on counselor effectiveness through neither the individual components of a comprehensive, developmental guidance and counseling model nor the impact of that effectiveness on student achievement. Over the years, certification for school counselors has become more inclusive of people who lack teaching experience. In the early 1970s, as few as six states did not require that counselors have teaching experience in order to be certified (Dudley & Ruff, 1970). Further, Dudley and Ruff reported that only three states allowed alternative work experience in lieu of teaching. However, by 1989, as many as 20 states eliminated the teaching experience requirement for counselors (Paisley & Hubbard, 1989). Six of the 30 states that continued to require teaching experience allowed potential school counselors to substitute an internship or two years of experience in other human services related fields for teaching experience (Paisley & Hubbard, 1989). In a study conducted in 1997, Randolph and Masker (1997) found that only 16 states remained that required school counselor certification to be made available only to certified teachers, reporting that the remaining 34 states had nixed this requirement. 2 PR EVIEW
  • 17. Brooks (2003) implied that a school counselor's effectiveness is an important variable in fostering the success of any school system, especially if there is a link between perceived effectiveness and school achievement. Gybers and Henderson (2001) noted that since the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) now known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), school achievement and accountability have been at the forefront of educational issues. This most recent revision, signed into law by the Bush administration in 2002, is based on stronger accountability for results, more freedom for states and communities, proven educational methods, and more choices for parents (United States Department of Education, 2008). The United States Department of Education further asserts that under NCLB, states are able to work to close the achievement gap and ensure all students, the disadvantaged included, are proficient academically. Schools that do not make progress must take steps to improve their standings by providing additional services. Schools have five years to demonstrate that ample yearly progress is being made; otherwise, major changes will be required in the operation of the school (United States Department of Education, 2008). From the beginning of the profession, school counselors have attempted to align their concepts with the educational mission of the school (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001). Wong (2008) insisted that the present atmosphere of standards, accountability, and educational restructuring increasingly causes these missions to have more of a focus on helping all students achieve at high levels. Studies show that school counselors, perhaps now more than ever, are being encouraged to demonstrate that guidance and counseling programs assist students academically, as well as personally, socially, and vocationally 3 PR EVIEW
  • 18. (Adelman & Taylor, 2000; 2002; Herr, 2002; House & Hayes, 2002; Paisley & Hayes, 2003). Statement of the Problem The problem as outlined in this study is whether school counselors' effectiveness in implementing the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model is influenced by whether or not the counselor has prior teaching experience. Further, is there a difference in school achievement in relation to the effectiveness of school counselors? As essential members of a school community, school counselors are depended upon to address the personal/social, academic, and career needs of every South Carolina student from pre-school through high school (Rex, 2008). Gybers (1990) believed that not only do school counselors have to be responsive to students, parents, teachers, and others associated with schools, but they must also provide program and staff support activities and services and provide guidance content in a systematic way to all students through classroom and/or group activities. Gysbers (1992) further stated that school counselors assist students in monitoring and understanding their development for next-step decisions through individual planning. According to Wittmer (2000), the responsibilities of the school counselor often require that they serve in a similar capacity as that of a school teacher, or that they collaborate with, communicate with, or in some way support the efforts of teachers; nevertheless, this researcher has found that studies exploring counselors' effectiveness across the aforementioned counselor roles in terms of the importance of previous teaching experience is lacking. A review of the literature regarding the teaching experience requirement for school counselor certification revealed studies in which researchers examined perceptions of 4 PR EVIEW
  • 19. superintendents, principals, supervisors, students, and parents (Bugaile, 2002); teachers (Bugaile, 2002, Quarto, 1999, 2001); and counselor educators (Rochester & Cottingham, 1966; Smith, Crutchfield, & Culbreth, 2001). Although a few empirically-based research studies exist that address counselors' effectiveness in terms of whether or not they possess teaching experience (Ingwell-Ziegemeier, 1998; Peterson & Brown, 1968; Peterson, Goodman, Keller, & McCauley, 2004; Wittmer & Lister, 1974; Wittmer & Webster, 1969), there were no studies found where the investigator examined counselor effectiveness based on implementation of the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model nor is there a study that compares these attitudes across grade levels. Academic achievement and overall student success are the emphasis of the current educational environment (Borders & Drury, 1992; Coeyman, 2003; Dollarhide & Lemberger, 2006; Lee, 1993). Unfortunately, because of varying and often numerous factors that form barriers for learning, the harsh reality is that many students do not attain the success that they are entitled to (Bryan & Holcomb-McCoy, 2007; Myers, Shoffner & Briggs, 2002; Myrick, 1993; Rose & Rose, 1992). At this juncture, it rests primarily on schools to make every effort to ensure that students overcome these barriers. Supporting these efforts should be a result-based comprehensive and developmental school counseling program in which collaboration occurs between school counselors and other faculty members to facilitate the development of the total student and accomplish the overall school mission of high achievement (Brigman & Campbell, 2003; Gysbers, 2004; Gysbers & Henderson, 2006; Lapan, Gysbers & Petroski, 2001; Lee, 1993; Sclossberg, Morris & Lerberman, 2001). 5 PR EVIEW
  • 20. Significance of the Study As a result of this study, this researcher sought to add to the body of knowledge the relationship that exists between school counselors' effectiveness in implementing the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model in relation to possessing prior teaching experience and the achievement of the school where they are employed. As a result of her study on perceptions of parents, students, and teachers of the effectiveness of elementary school counselors, Bugaile (2002) recommended replication of the study to include perceptions of secondary school counselors of their effectiveness. Research examining counselors' effectiveness in the roles outlined by The South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model is limited. This research study identified counselors' own effectiveness at implementing a model based on counselor certification standards and will produce data that could prove invaluable for those recommending modifications in such standards. For potential counselors who have chosen an alternative method to school counselor certification that does not require teaching experience, the results of this study may provide useful information to help better prepare them for possible gaps in their knowledge that may be needed to help ease the transition from their current role into the counseling role. This study further adds to the limited body of research in the area of comprehensive guidance and counseling and its influence on school achievement. As a part of its National Standards for School Counseling Programs, the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) encouraged the development of comprehensive 6 PR EVIEW
  • 21. guidance and counseling programs (Campbell & Dahir, 1997), and in 2003, published its national model for comprehensive programs: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2003). Since then, Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Programs (CGCP) have been implemented throughout the country in at least 24 states (Sink & MacDonald, 1998) including South Carolina, where this study took place. Given that accountability is currently at the forefront in education and that such programs are delivered in abundance, CGCPs need to provide evidence of their potential impact on school achievement. Studies have examined how activities that reflect the core essence of CGCPs (Cams & Cams, 1991; Edmondson & White, 1998; Evans & Burck, 1992; Hadley, 1988; Lapan et al., 1993; Lee, 1993; Tobias & Myrick, 1999) and statewide CGCPs impact student achievement (Lapan et al., 2001; Lapan et al., 1997; Sink & Stroh, 2003). To date, limited research has been published that shows an investigation of the impact of counselors' perceptions of their effectiveness (through the use of CGCPs) on student achievement in South Carolina. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was two-fold: to examine school counselors' effectiveness in implementing the areas identified by the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model in relation to whether or not they have prior teaching experience and to determine if there is difference in school achievement in relation to the effectiveness of a school counselor. The school counseling profession began in the early 20th century as a supplementary service provided by teachers. Due to the elimination of previous teaching 7 PR EVIEW
  • 22. experience as a requirement, coupled with varying societal changes, the counseling profession became one of distinct roles, responsibilities, and purposes. Reconciliation of these issues has been attempted, mainly through the concept of comprehensive, developmental, results-based school counseling programs. This comprehensive developmental guidance model provides opportunities and experiences that address three central student-development areas: learning to live (personal/social), learning to learn (academic), and learning to work (career). Segmented into four components: guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support, it includes sequential activities designed to address the needs of all students by helping them to acquire "competence in the knowledge of self and others, in identifying their educational goals, and in their own career development" (South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Model, 2008). The program is employed in each school in the study and is delivered by the certified school counselor with the intent of supporting all aspects of student achievement, and thus, school achievement (South Carolina State Department of Education, 2008). Conceptual Framework As described in Figure 1, counselors' effectiveness in implementing the four components of the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model may be impacted by whether or not they have prior teaching experience. As the chart further illustrates, counselors' effectiveness will be analyzed across the four components of the Model to determine if there is a relationship with school achievement. 8 PR EVIEW
  • 23. The roles and responsibilities of a school counselor often mirror those of a teacher. Moreover, counselors and teachers have to work collaboratively in an effort to ensure that students are achieving at optimal levels (Quarto, 2001). Counselors who have experience as a classroom teacher may enjoy some of the advantages that having prior knowledge of any profession would garner: an understanding of the system, a repertoire of strategies and techniques for building rapport with all stakeholders, and the respect of colleagues whose position he or she once held (Myrick, 1987). Several studies have shown that school achievement is positively impacted when school counselors effectively implement a developmental comprehensive guidance and counseling program model (Lapan & Gysberg, 1997; Mullins & Standard, 2003; Kaufman, Klein, & Frase, 1999; Cook & Kaffenberger, 2003). The South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model aims for students to develop skills in the personal/social, educational, and career domains for the goal of enhancing the total educational experience for each student. A ripple effect should occur in that as school counselors become more effective in implementing the components of the Model, students will develop the necessary personal, education, and career enhancement skills needed to be successful in all aspects of life, and these developments will manifest themselves into schools that are equally productive. 9 PR EVIEW
  • 24. PR EVIEW