Date of Award

5-22-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Counselor Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Paradise, Louis V.

Second Advisor

Hulse-Killacky, Diana

Third Advisor

Dupont, Robert

Fourth Advisor

Remley, Theodore

Abstract

Although school counselors strive to address the needs of all students, children with learning disabilities are often overlooked (Bergin & Bergin, 2005; Dahir, 2004). Under federal requirements, all federally funded schools are required to provide services to students with disabilities. Further, the American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) model for school counseling programs stipulates that school counselors should ensure appropriate services are provided to all students (Milsom, 2002). Research has been completed regarding teachers' attitudes toward complying with the federal mandates (Bateman & Bateman, 2002; Rea & Davis-Dorsey, 2004). There is, however, considerably less information regarding school counselors' roles, and only minimal information on their attitudes and background experience regarding learning disabilities (Frye, 2005; Greene & Valesky, 1998; Milsom, 2002). School counselors from ASCA's southern region were asked to respond to the Attitudes Toward Learning Disabilities Instrument online survey. The findings of this study demonstrated that although school counselors overwhelmingly support ASCA's guidelines, few have the full credentials outlined by the ASCA model. A majority of the counselors in this study had little or no educational training and reported feeling unprepared to address educationally-based tasks such as developing classroom accommodations, or acting as a consultant to the school staff on learning disability issues. In contrast, one third of the participants in this study were certified teachers who reported feeling prepared and confident about all areas of academic and disability services. These results support the conclusions of previous research which indicated that counselor preparation and years of experience were found to be related to more positive attitudes toward inclusion (Greene & Valesky, 1998; Greer & Greer, 1995; Milsom, 2002; Milsom & Akos, 2003) Availability Unrestricted: Release the

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The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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