Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Lonnie L. Rowell, PhD, Chair; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD, Member; Clarence Johnson, PhD, Member; Reyes L. Quezada, EdD, Member


elementary schools, guidance and counseling programs, Leadership studies, organizational change, qualitative, school administration, school counselors, secondary schools


The school counseling field is evolving from a focus on ancillary activities to a commitment to comprehensive guidance and counseling programs. Understanding strategies school counselors have used in gaining support from key stakeholders to implement comprehensive guidance and counseling programs can be a valuable addition to the literature of school counseling. The present study investigated how elementary and secondary school counselors gained support when implementing comprehensive guidance and counseling programs based on the National Standards for School Counseling Programs. A qualitative methodology was used in the study. The findings revealed that: (a) counselors studied believed their role in gaining support to implement comprehensive guidance and counseling programs was to take leadership, (b) counselors in the study were able to gain support from site administrators as a result of building a “trusting relationship,” (c) collaboration with stakeholders and increasing the visibility of counselors and counseling programs was a strategy that counselors used to gain support, and (d) district support is an important factor in institutionalizing comprehensive guidance and counseling programs across school sites. The findings point to the importance of leadership in understanding the barriers to change, recognizing the impact change has on school systems, and creating a strategic plan to overcome resistance to change. The findings of this study offer leaders in school counseling new awareness that might be useful in preparing future counselors to become leaders and change agents within their schools.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access