Problem Statement: School administrators are the first responsible body for the implementation of the counseling and guidance program. For sharing this responsibility, school administrators should be in cooperation with school counselors. Administrators‘ perceptions on school counseling and guidance services show that school administrators have positive attitudes toward counseling services and they cooperate with the counselors at school. School administrators describe counseling services as necessary and successful activities. However, other studies show that school administrators are of the opinion that counselors should perform tasks that are not in their job descriptions. In short, school administrators‘ perceptions on school counseling and guidance services and the tasks and missions of school counselors vary greatly and there is no consensus among the administrators. It is important to investigate the perceptions and views of school administrators towards counselors. Therefore, the present study aimed to contribute to the current literature via offering suggestions to increase the productivity and effectiveness of school counselors.
Purpose of the Study: The aim of this study is to investigate the perceptions of school administrators who are important shareholders in carrying out school counseling and guidance services. The sub-aims of the study are to investigate the status of school counselors, and the school administrators‘ expectations of school counselors, both in terms of personal and professional qualifications and in terms of the status and duties of the counselors.
Method: This qualitative study investigates the perceptions of school administrators towards school counselors in terms of their roles and duties. The current research utilizes a phenomenological design. The participants of the study were 13 school administrators who were working in primary and secondary schools in downtown Diyarbakýr. A semi-structured interview, developed by the researchers, was used to collect the data. Gathered data were first analyzed in terms of descriptive analyses and then digitized.
Findings: Research findings show the administrators‘ positive perceptions of counselors being necessary and important in educational and instructional activities for every shareholder of education. School administrators listed a set of personal and professional qualifications for school counselors. In addition, school administrators are of the opinion that school counselors have some privileges apart from other teachers in terms of their status and role at the school. It is found that school administrators are well aware of the necessity and importance of school counselors, who serve as field experts at schools.
Conclusion and Recommendations: In this study it is found that school managers are very aware of and positive about the school counseling and guidance field and counselors‘ teaching duties and responsibilities. The quality and efficiency of school counseling services should be increased, and the counselors‘ job description should be clarified by the Ministry of Turkish National Education to prevent confusion. School administrators and other shareholders should support the creation of a common professional identity for school counselors.
Keywords: School counselors, school administrators, roles and duties