Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Wallace Cohen, EdD, Director; Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD; Samuel M. Ciccati, PhD


California, chief student services administrators, community colleges, counselors, Delphi study, higher education, staff development, Leadership studies


California's demographic changes and recent legislative reform mandates will impact what community college counselors will be expected to do in the 1990's. The purpose of this study was to identify the responsibilities and competencies of California community college counselors in light of the changes. The Delphi Method, selected for its consensus-building and forecasting qualities, was used for this study. A panel of 23 chief student services administrators, identified as experts in student services and counseling, completed three rounds of surveys. The Delphi instruments were developed to address counselor responsibilities and associated competencies for the 1990's, staff development needs of currently employed counselors and professional preparation needs of prospective counselors to effectively meet the challenges of the 1990's. Some of the major findings and conclusions of the study were: (1) Counselors' responsibilities and associated competencies for the 1990's will address the specific needs of the "new" student populations including older adults, limited English speakers and underprepared students. (2) Counselors will be more involved in process-oriented counseling activities and less involved in information dissemination activities. (3) Counselors will be more involved in "indirect" student service activities such as program development and evaluation, student retention activities and institutional policy development. (4) Key staff development needs relate to the key community college issues of cultural and language diversity, adult development, learning styles, affirmative action and traditional counseling topics. (5) Five crucial professional preparation topics for prospective community college counselors include: Community College Mission and Philosophy, Cultures in American Society, Community College Counseling Practicum, Adult Development Theory and Learning Theory. Major recommendations include using the information from this study as a basis for: (1) discussion between chief student services administrators and counselors about local counseling services; (2) planning counseling services, staff development programs, job descriptions and new hires; and (3) as a basis for the California Community College Chief Student Services Administrators' Association to develop and forward recommendations to the field and to community college counselor educators. Finally, a local assessment of the issues addressed in this study could be conducted to better address students' needs in the 1990's.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access