Date of Award

June 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services


Melissa M. Luke


Classroom Guidance, Experiential Learning, School Counseling, Self-Efficacy

Subject Categories



According to the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) school counselors should be spending 15 to 45 percent of their time engaged in classroom guidance (ASCA, 2005; 2012). Yet there has been little research in the area classroom guidance and understanding what factors impact whether or not school counselors choose to engage in classroom guidance. This study explored whether factors like self-efficacy, experiential training, and a variety of demographic variables including previous teaching training were significantly correlated to the amount of classroom guidance performed. The study was a quantitative in nature and was a cross sectional, correlational, survey design.

The ASCA membership was judged to be an ideal population to survey since the organization is focused on school counseling and has members across all 50 states. An invitation to participate in the study was sent to 4985 email addresses of ASCA members and stratified sampling was used to make participation representative across the four geographic regions. Additionally, this study introduced two new instruments, the first was a measure of self-efficacy related to classroom guidance and was based on previous classroom guidance research by Geltner, Cunningham, &;; Caldwell (2011). The second instrument measured experiential training in classroom guidance.

From the 4985 requests sent out this study yielded 239 usable responses. The three significant factors related to the amount of classroom guidance performed were self-efficacy related to classroom guidance, school counseling level worked, and caseload. That self-efficacy related to classroom guidance was significant seems to indicate that when school counselors feel competent working in a classroom, they report actually engaging in more classroom guidance. In the second significant finding, school counselors working at the elementary level performed, on average, twice as much classroom guidance as their peers in the middle and high school levels. This finding is in line with previous school counseling literature that showed elementary school counselors are more likely to be practicing in the way they preferred (Scarbough &;; Culbreath, 2008; Scarborough &;; Luke, 2008). Lastly, the results indicated that as school counselors’ caseloads increase, school counselors are performing more classroom guidance. This is encouraging because it aligns with school counselor best practice (ASCA, 2005).

While more research is needed to explore the areas of classroom guidance. This study provides a foundation to better understand some of the factors that influence school counselors’ willingness to engage in classroom guidance. This is especially important considering that classroom guidance plays an important role in any comprehensive developmental school counseling program.


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