The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree to which school counselor leadership practices relate to and influence school counselors’ program delivery.
The sampling frame for the study was school counselors who were current members of the Michigan School Counselor Association members (MSCA), with 269 members meeting the inclusion criteria, and 12 eventually participating. The typical participant was female (92%), with 4 participants in the age range of 31 to 40 years, five participants in age range of 41 to 50 years and 3 participants in age range of 50 years and above. Participants completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and the School Counselor Activity Rating Scale (SCARS) (Shillingford & Lambie, 2010).
Relationships were found between some school counselor leadership practices and specific school counseling program activities. The school counseling program activities that ranked the highest for being influenced by leadership practices were the activities of counseling, consultation, and coordination. Inspire a Shared Vision, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart had a significant relationship with the activities related to counseling. For the activity of consultation, the most significant difference was through the leadership practices of Model, Challenge, and Enable, and this was also true for the activity of coordination. The program activities for the categories of curriculum and others were not impacted with any of the leadership practices.
The number of years practicing as a school counselor was significantly related to the leadership practices of Model and Challenge. Inspire, Enable and Encourage did not have a significant correlation with number of years the school counselor was practicing.