Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Dr. H. George McMahon - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Frances McCarty

Third Advisor

Dr. JoAnna White

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Catherine Chang


Reform initiatives in education since the introduction of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) call for all educators to develop strategies to increase student achievement and improve school climate. School counselors are charged by their professional organizations to act as agents of change in their schools and to demonstrate the effectiveness of their programs. To garner support for school counseling programs that cultivate positive results for students and schools, school counselors need to adopt a leadership mindset. The purpose of this exploratory study was to assess leadership practices of school counselors, and to analyze the relationships between demographics, experience, training, work setting, school counseling program implementation and leadership practices. This study addresses the need for understanding the way school counselor leadership promotes school counseling programs that contribute to positive student outcomes. Participants in this study were recruited through convenience sampling from a state school counseling association and completed a research packet including a demographic survey and two instruments, The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), Self Instrument, 3rd edition by Kouzes and Posner (2003) and The School Counseling Program Implementation Scale (SCPIS) by Carey & Elsner (2006). Correlation analyses were used to describe relationships of demographic, training and work setting variables with leadership practices and program implementation. Analysis of variance examined mean differences and regression analyses assessed predictive qualities of identified relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Variables of age, experience, preparation and school setting were correlated with leadership practices and program implementation. Age, experience, size of school population and professional licensure predicted leader¬ship practices of school counselors. Experience predicted comprehensive program implementation. Results revealed statistically significant positive relationships between school counselor leadership practices and comprehensive program implementation. Model the Way (MTW) and Enable Others to Act (EOA) leadership practices predicted the level of school counseling program implementation.