Meeting the Market Needs of a School Counseling Preparation Program

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Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection for Atlanta University & Clark Atlanta University

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Chester, Joi Lynnette
DigitalCommons@Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center
CACREP; program evaluation; student perception; CIPP; internship; counseling; Educational Leadership
thesis / dissertation description
The changing roles of school counselors are impacted by national, state, and local expectations through standards, frameworks, and guidelines in which preparation programs are held accountable to comply as evidenced by their accreditations. School counseling preparation programs are critical in addressing the needs of a changing school counselor’s role and market. An evaluation of the program provides educational leaders information to adjust the curriculum and meet the needs of their identified market. The needs of the enrolled graduate student are imperative to data driven decision making for educational leaders evaluating school counseling graduate programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a school counseling preparation program in an urban institution to meet the needs of their student current market. Little to no data was available on the student’s perspective of the training program’s effectiveness to address the changing role of school counselors. Through a mixed methods research design, six mid-program graduate students enrolled in an internship course provided responses to their perspective of the program’s alignment to meet local Georgia examinations, national and personal needs through a survey questionnaire, interviews, and document analysis. The findings and recommendations of this program evaluation included information relevant to the research questions based on the researcher’s definition of terms and research design. This research indicated a strong relationship in the student’s perspective of the alignment to national and Georgia school counseling expectations, their field experiences, and personal needs; local expectations were not found to be aligned. The implications of the data analysis resulted in potential program evaluation process changes for graduate school programs, higher education recruitment and retention departments, institutional effectiveness offices, accreditation organizations, and field experience locations.