Attitudes of American School Counselor Association Members toward Utilizing Paraprofessionals in School Counseling

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The principal investigator (PI) for this study surveyed 207 American School Counselor Association (ASCA) members on their attitudes toward utilizing trained counseling paraprofessionals in school counseling. The PI also examined the relationship between participants’ attitudes and their subjective reports of the counselor-student ratios in their schools, the amount of work time they spent providing direct counseling services to students, and the extent to which their districts experienced a school counselor shortage. The participants’ mean reported counselor-student ratio (1:464.63) significantly exceeded ASCA recommendations of 1:250. Elementary counselors reported the highest counselor-student ratios while high school counselors reported the lowest. Furthermore the ... continued below

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Astramovich, Randall L. August 2000.

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  • Astramovich, Randall L.

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Description

The principal investigator (PI) for this study surveyed 207 American School Counselor Association (ASCA) members on their attitudes toward utilizing trained counseling paraprofessionals in school counseling. The PI also examined the relationship between participants’ attitudes and their subjective reports of the counselor-student ratios in their schools, the amount of work time they spent providing direct counseling services to students, and the extent to which their districts experienced a school counselor shortage. The participants’ mean reported counselor-student ratio (1:464.63) significantly exceeded ASCA recommendations of 1:250. Elementary counselors reported the highest counselor-student ratios while high school counselors reported the lowest. Furthermore the PI found a significant linear trend for counselor-student ratios to decrease as school level increased. The participants’ reported mean percentage of time involved in direct counseling services (61.48%) fell significantly below the ASCA recommended 70%. Elementary counselors reported the highest amount of time involved in direct counseling services while high school counselors reported the lowest. The PI also found a significant linear trend for percentages of time involved in direct services to decrease as school level increased. Over one-fourth of the participants indicated school counselor shortages existed in their districts. A majority of participants supported utilizing counseling paraprofessionals in their schools. The PI found a significant negative correlation between support for counseling paraprofessionals and percentage of time involved in direct services. Participants reporting the lowest percentage of time providing direct services to students thus expressed the strongest endorsement for utilizing counseling paraprofessionals. Participants most strongly endorsed assigning clerical duties to counseling paraprofessionals. They likewise endorsed assigning some indirect helping duties to counseling paraprofessionals. However, participants strongly opposed assigning direct counseling duties to counseling paraprofessionals. Based on the results of the study the PI developed recommendations for school counselors, school administrators, state education agencies, and institutions of higher learning regarding the training, education, and job duties of counseling paraprofessionals.

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  • August 2000

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  • Sept. 25, 2007, 8:59 p.m.

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  • April 26, 2016, 4:19 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Astramovich, Randall L. Attitudes of American School Counselor Association Members toward Utilizing Paraprofessionals in School Counseling, dissertation, August 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2659/: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .