Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

Karen L. Sanzo

Committee Member

William A. Owings

Committee Member

Tim J. Grothaus


The aim of this study is to explore the lived experiences of high school counseling director’s and how their principal and district school counseling supervisor shape their experiences as leaders. The role of high school counseling director’s is increasingly complex, unique, and oftentimes misunderstood. They are often viewed as leaders and change agents in student’s overall success due to their unique skill levels in advocacy and collaboration (Kaffenberger, Murphy, & Bemak, 2006; McMahon, Mason, Daluga-Guenther, & Ruiz, 2014; Young, Millard, & Kneale, 2013). However, principal’s and district school counseling supervisors are key players in defining the role and responsibilities of a high school counseling director (Perusse, Goodnough, Donegan, & Jones, 2004). Therefore, this study examined the experiences of high school counselors as directors to understand how their leadership role is actualized within schools by their two supervisors: the principal and district school counseling supervisor. Utilizing two rounds of semi-structured interview questions, the study revealed high school counseling director’s experiences as leaders guided by the subsystems where they work and by the people they interact with in the subsystems. These findings add to a growing body of literature on school counselor leadership in education as well the development of leaders within schools.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).