Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Dr. Louis Paradise

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Herlihy

Third Advisor

Dr. Zarus Watson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kim Mason


Despite the vast array of research evidence supporting supervision as a necessary component of the professional identity development of counselors, many counselors in training do not receive adequate supervision (Cashwell & Dooley, 2001). The school counseling profession has continued to struggle with the development of a widely recognized and consistent professional identity (Herlihy, Gray, & McCollum, 2002). Although there are many supervision models provided in the counseling literature (Bernard & Goodyear, 2008), there are not any consistently agreed-upon supervision models specific to the training of school counselors.

The purpose of this research was to evaluate school counselors’ perceptions of their preparedness, professional identity, and perceived supervisor effectiveness related to specialization-specific supervision (SSS). School counselors from ASCA’s southern region were asked to respond to the Specialization-Specific Supervision Questionnaire (SSSQ). The findings of this study demonstrated that school counselors who received specialization-specific supervision felt better prepared to begin an entry-level school counseling position, had a stronger sense of their professional identity, and expressed feeling more positive regarding their perceptions of supervisor effectiveness than school counselors who did not receive specialization-specific supervision. These results support the conclusions of previous research, which indicated that supervision serves the following purposes: varies from discipline to discipline (Campbell, 2000); is a vital component of school counselor training (Bernard & Goodyear, 2008); is a conduit for professional identity development (Dollarhide & Miller, 2006); and is a contributing factor to the overall supervisory experience (Lazovsky & Shimon, 2005).


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