Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


High school principals--Iowa; High school principals; Student counselors; Iowa;


This study had three purposes. The first was to describe the perceptions of Iowa high school principals with regard to some innovative counselor functions. The second was to compare the principals' perceptions of the innovative functions with Iowa secondary counselors' own role conceptions. The third purpose was to compare secondary counselors' perceptions of their principals' response with the principals' actual response.

The literature indicated that the major determinant of the counselor's role and function in the school, other than the counselor himself, was the principal. It was suggested that there was high agreement by principals and counselors on the actual role of counselors; however, difference existed between the principals' and counselors' descriptions of the ideal counselor role. Principals and counselors tended to agree on the major activities of the counselor and disagreed on the "lesser matters" pertaining to counselor role.

The Innovative Counselor Functions questionnaire was mailed to the principals of the 50 largest Iowa public high schools. Forty-five principals (90.0%) responded to the mailing. The data showed that 18 innovative functions were conceived to be an appropriate counselor function by more than half the principals. More than 90% of the principals conceived 7 of the functions to be appropriate, and 14 of the 28 functions were conceived to be appropriate by more than two-thirds of the principals. All of the principals (100%) considered it an appropriate counselor function to identify and use outside agencies to help deal with student problems. Help people rid themselves of negative attitudes and repressive practices toward homo-sexual students and teachers was considered appropriate by the smallest percentage of principals.

Over 90 percent of the principals were in agreement that the following innovative functions were appropriate:

Help obtain jobs for students needing part-time work.

Become involved with changing the curriculum to meet local needs.

Conduct research on the local needs of the students and community.

Provide personal counseling for students with problems.

Aid students who are having adjustment problems by working with the parents in their homes.

Identify and use outside agencies to help deal with student problems.

Conduct research on occupational trends in the community.

Two innovative functions were definitely considered inappropriate by about two-thirds of the principals:

Help people rid themselves of negative attitudes and repressive practices toward homosexual students and teachers.

Train people from the community to counsel with students.

The general conclusions made from this study were: 1. Principals and counselors agree on a majority of the innovative functions as being appropriate. 2. Principals tended to be more accepting of a majority of the innovative functions than counselors perceived them to be. 3. Over fifty percent of the principals perceived 18 of the 28 innovative functions to be appropriate. 4. A majority of the counselors' perceptions of the principals' role expectations were quite accurate.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education


Department of School Administration and Personnel Services

First Advisor

Donald L. Hanson


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Date Original


Object Description

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