A phenomenological study of professional school counselors’ job performance and preparedness in rural communities



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This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of Professional School Counselors (PSC) to fulfill the duties and roles on their assigned campus. Specific focus was given to Professional School Counselors within rural communities in Texas as defined by the Texas Education Agency. Perceptions of job performance and preparedness were explored through individual interviews placing emphasis on the stories, as told by participants, to provide a deeper connection and understanding of the phenomenon. Results of this study indicated participants experienced role conflict and role ambiguity. A developing professional identity was also expressed by study participants. In an effort to further describe their experiences in the PSC role, participants used role visualization through the use of idioms to include counselors wear many hats, counseling is gray, and trial by fire. Lastly, participants expressed a strong sense of community and pride when discussing their experiences as a PSC serving in a rural school. Implications for the school counseling profession and counselor educators and supervisors as well as recommendations for future research are discussed as a result of this study.



Professional School Counselor, Rural, Texas, Texas Model, Preparedness, Performance, Non-Counseling Duties