Preparing school counselor leaders: an intervention study with first-year school counseling students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joseph J. LeBlanc IV (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
L. DiAnne Borders

Abstract: Advocates for the school counseling profession have called for school counselors to become leaders in their schools (e.g., Bemak, 2000; Campbell & Dahir, 1997; House & Sears, 2002). However, evidence suggests that school counselors are not getting enough leadership training within their graduate programs. Rather, "on the job" experiences may be the primary means by which school counselors develop leadership as part of their profession identities (Janson, 2009; Mason & McMahon, 2009; Shillingford & Lambie, 2010; Young, Dollarhide, & Baughman, 2015). A few researchers have examined specific interventions on pre-service school counselors' leadership skill development (Briggs, Staton, & Gilligan, 2009; Michel et al., 2018). However, scholarship has been not focused on introducing students to school counseling leadership. Recent scholarship suggests that an examination of training practices around school counseling leadership remains a need (Kneale, Young, & Dollarhide, 2018). The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of an extended training intervention for school counseling leadership practice in an introductory school counseling course. Experiential learning theory (ELT) (Kolb, 1984) served as the instructor's pedagogical foundation. The ten-week intervention was assessed through a pretest-posttest design. Variables related to participants’ (n = 12) perceived frequency of leadership practice and school counseling self-efficacy were measured, along with multiple assessments of students’ thoughts about school counseling leadership. Participants also provided feedback through a rating system about the educational experiences offered. Results indicated notable changes with respect to all variables measured. A discussion follows with suggestions for school counselor educators and future research on training school counselor leaders.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
K-12 leadership, Pedagogy, School counseling
Educational counseling $x Study and teaching (Higher)
Educational leadership $x Study and teaching (Higher)

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