Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

R. F. Kronick

Committee Members

P. Blanton, Julia A. Malia, R. B. Cunningham


To prepare school counselors to work in the current school environment, school counselors, and counselor educators need to understand the challenges, the environment and the demands to be faced. The researcher initiated a research project called Tennessee State Public School Counselors’ Time, Tasks, and Knowledge. The purpose of this study was to increase the understanding of public school counselors’ time and tasks required and preferred, as well as specific knowledge the school counselors possess and need to learn to be competent as school counselors in the state of Tennessee.

The first objective of this research was to measure how Tennessee public school counselors actually spend their time and how they would prefer to spend their time in job-related activities. The School Counselor Activity Rating Scale (SCARS) instrument was used to complete this objective. The second objective of this research was to assess the areas of knowledge Tennessee public school counselors have and need to learn to complete their job-related activities and this was completed by a survey. Both the scale and the survey were e-mailed to the school counselors in the state of Tennessee.

Study results indicated that school counselors prefer to do more activities that are in alignment with American School Counselor Association’s (2005) National Model for School Counseling Programs more than they actually are doing. Also, school counselors were found to be doing more non-guidance activities than they preferred to be doing. Results supported previous findings of researchers using the School Counselor Activity Rating Scale.

In assessing the areas of knowledge, findings revealed that Tennessee public school counselors described themselves as having a wide breadth of knowledge. Knowledge levels differed by demographic location and ratio of students to school counselor. The results identified specific areas of knowledge that some school counselors stated they needed to successfully complete their roles and functions. Other school counselors indicated no need for knowledge in specific areas to successfully complete their roles and functions. Recommendations are provided for future research regarding school counselors in the state of Tennessee.

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