Class Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Education Department

First Advisor

Christopher Bjork

Second Advisor

Carolyn Palmer

Abstract

This study was conducted to distinguish between the perspectives of current Vassar College students and high school counselors on the functions and expectations of school counselors. Based on previous literature, I predicted that students would not fully understand the scope of the role of the school counselor, and thus, fail to view counselors as essential school entities. Additionally, I predicted that school counselors would define their role very differently from students in terms of areas of expertise.My methodology was based on both qualitative and quantitative survey data with Vassar students and current high school counselors working in the United States. After all participants responded to the survey, I analyzed all the data and created 16 codes that arose from participant responses - availability, bias/favorites, communication, develop relationships, future planning, genuineness, individualized case by case basis, lack of counselors, listening skills, mental health, negative feedback, positive feedback, qualifications, role confusion, well-roundedness and trust. After analysis, it was determined that a significant difference existed in the perceived breadth of the counselor role between students and counselors. Additionally, quantitative data showed that there was a significant difference in the level of belief between Vassar students and counselors that the role of a counselor should encompass individual student academic planning, counseling students with disciplinary problems, assisting with duties in the principal’s office, teaching classes when teachers are absent, hall, restroom and lunch duty, bus duty, educational future counseling, vocational future counseling, sex and marriage counseling, and personal psychological counseling. Future research has been proposed to determine how best students and counselors can take action to better the name of school counseling.

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