An analysis of the roles of K–12 counselors as perceived by principals and counselors in the metropolitan Nashville -Davidson County public schools

Shawn Valtrese Shields-Jenkins, Tennessee State University


This study analyzed the ideal roles and the actual roles of elementary, middle, and secondary school guidance counselors in the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Public Schools as perceived by counselors and principals and identified likenesses and differences within certain levels (e.g. elementary, middle, and secondary) and among the various groups of counselors and principals (e.g. elementary, middle, and secondary). An analysis of the areas of conflict and consensus was examined. The sample consisted of 87 counselors and 45 principals from the different grade levels. Over 60% participation from each group and level was received in this study. Subjects responded to a questionnaire developed by Miles-Hastings (1997). The instrument listed 26 counselor role activities as defined by the American School Counselors Association Role Statement and the work of Norm Gysbers (1990). Nine research questions and 7 null hypotheses were utilized to capture data. The main findings of this study were: (1) The counselors perception of ideal roles involved individual counseling for students experiencing personal concerns or educational concerns. Principal responses ranked group counseling and individual counseling high, representing perceived ideal counselor roles. (2) There were significant differences among groups in different levels of grades served. Middle school principals and counselors rated “supervises hallways” significantly higher than secondary counselors and principals. There were 17 significant differences identified among the groups serving different levels. However, there were few significant differences among groups serving the same grade levels. (3) The differences among the groups of counselors and principals serving different grade levels represents the developmental stages of their respective students. Elementary counselors rated group counseling significantly higher than secondary counselors, while secondary counselors ranked scheduling higher than elementary counselors.

Subject Area

Academic guidance counseling|School administration

Recommended Citation

Shawn Valtrese Shields-Jenkins, "An analysis of the roles of K–12 counselors as perceived by principals and counselors in the metropolitan Nashville -Davidson County public schools" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007565.