Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Rehabilitation and Counselor Education

First Advisor

David K. Duys

Second Advisor

Malik S. Henfield


This qualitative study was conducted with a sample of five (5) middle school African American adolescent men from two different schools in the same school district to explore their perceptions of and experiences with their professional school counselors. Phenomenological qualitative methodology was used to complete this study. To gather research data, two semi-structured interviews with open ended questioning were conducted. Phenomenological data analysis was performed, which included the creation of meaning units, preliminary and then more detailed themes; ultimately five themes emanated from the data. These five themes include An Understanding of the Role of the School Counselor; Effective and Ineffective Performance of the School Counseling Roles; Factors Contributing to a Positive School Counselor/Student Dynamic; Personal and Social Factors Encouraging or Deterring Interactions with the School Counselor; and The Students' Tentative Occupational Interests. The themes suggest that participants have beliefs about the purpose of school counseling which align with national and state guidelines for the school counseling profession. In addition, themes reveal that the relationship between school counselor and student is extremely important and that this relationship is cultivated and nurtured in a number of ways. Data also indicated that depending on how well school counselors perform these duties and connect effectively with students, participants are able distinguish between effective and ineffective performance of the school counselor role. As important as these variables are, data also indicated there are personal and social variables which can encourage or deter participants' contact with their school counseling. The last theme details the participants' occupational interests. Implications for professional school counselors in these two schools and the school counselor education profession more generally are also provided. In conclusion, limitations and suggestions for future research are explored.


African American males, Black males, School counseling, School counselor education


ix, 199 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 174-193).


Copyright 2013 Ahmad Rashad Washington