Endorsement of professional standards for effective practice by practicing professional school counselors
Grimmett, Marc Anderson
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Professional school counselors are particularly valuable to schools in helping to create an optimal educational environment given the wide range of functions they perform in service to all students in the school (The Education Trust, 2001). The identification of factors important in school counselor effectiveness can support the entire school system in efforts to assist students in their academic, personal, emotional and social development, as well as helping them to define their career interests and alternatives. This study focused on school counselor effectiveness as asserted in professional standards (CACREP, 2001; Campbell & Dahir, 1997; Sue et. al., 1998, The Education Trust, 2001) compared to beliefs of practicing school counselors. Information from the above standards was synthesized and organized into the following domains of school counselor effectiveness: (a) knowledge, (b) skills, (c) counselor beliefs, and (d) contextual factors. The domains of the school counselor effectiveness model framed the development of the Professional School Counselor Self-Efficacy Survey (PSCSES, renamed the Professional School Counselor Effectiveness Survey, PSCES). The PSCSES was created in conjunction with the model of school counselor effectiveness for the purpose of assessing the congruence between professional standards and practicing counselors’ beliefs regarding effective practices of professional school counselors. The results of this study indicate that the beliefs of practicing professional school counselors are essentially congruent with information contained in professional standards (CACREP, 2001; Campbell and Dahir, 1997), counseling competencies (CACREP, 2001, Sue et. al, 1998; The Education Trust, 2001), and training models (CACREP, 2001), concerning the knowledge, skills, and contextual factors that are important to being an effective school counselor. Implications for this study in current school counselor preparation and practice include information for graduate school counseling training programs, school counseling programs in schools, the knowledge, skills, and contextual factors seen as most important by practicing professional school counselors for effectiveness, and personal beliefs of practicing professional school counselors about students. Areas for future research include: (a) a study examining the behavioral correlates of effectiveness beliefs in school counseling practice and (b) an exploration of the role of personal beliefs in school counselor effectiveness and successful student outcomes.
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