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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2015 Abstracts

Perceptions of School Counselors Responsibilities

Lauren Ezzell and Lauryn Chapman, Snow College


Most secondary level public schools have school counselors. However, the actual responsibilities of counselors are seen differently by people. There are studies demonstrating the perspective of principals’, teachers’, and counselors’. Yet, little attention is paid to the parents’ perspective and no attention to the students’. That’s why the research, Perceptions of School Counselor’s Responsibilities, is important. Surveys were distributed to high school students and parents throughout Utah. Surveys asked what were the counselors’ three main jobs. The majority of responses were: scheduling, ACT prep, graduation requirements. Participants were asked if there were jobs their counselor was supposed to do, but wasn’t, and what service they would like them to provide. Data was analyzed using SPSS to determine correlative trends then compared to the Utah Model for Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling. College students were also surveyed to determine their understanding of the counselors’ job. Students were asked two questions: What is the job of the college counselor? and What is the job of the college advisor? Responses were coded into five categories: knew job of counselor, knew job of advisor, unaware of difference, knew both, and didn’t know either. Results show when problems arise students confide in teachers instead of counselors, although parents thought differently. When asked what job counselors should do, the majority said emotional/wellness counseling. Results compared to the Utah Model, showed ‘Guidance Curriculum’ was given 3% (students) and 2% (parents) but the state gives 22%. Responses of college students showed only 5% knew the jobs of both the counselor and advisor, and only 15.1% of students knew the job of counselor. As a result, individuals are unsure of the school counselors’ job, which leads to the counselors being viewed as glorified registrars. This research could have lasting impacts on not only schools, but also individual students.