Date of Award

11-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

John Travers

Second Supervisor

Cynthia McCloskey

Abstract

While many scholars have spent time examining trends and changes within the field of school counseling, little or no attention has been given to the types of professional development that may assist school counselors in making the corresponding adjustments to these trends and changes (Akos & Galassi, 2004). The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the impact of targeted professional development upon school counselor practice. The question guiding this study was, "How does targeted professional development impact the practice of school counselors?" Three professional development sessions (based on the Transforming School Counseling initiative and American School Counselor Association Model) were offered to 14 school counselors during a five-month period. Quantitative and qualitative data collected from the professional development evaluations, focus groups, formal and informal observations, and interim projects found that the professional development sessions had minimal impact on school counselors' practice and that school counselors were resistant to the changes that the transformed role of the school counselor required. Recommendation.s based on the findings of this study include: systemic support of school counselors; joint training of school counselors and their school administrators; oversight of school counselors by a central office supervisor, and increased opportunities for school counselors to collaborate with each other.

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