As the mental health needs of children and adolescents have reached a crisis level, the need for trained mental health professionals in the field is as important as ever. However, many states are currently experiencing a shortage of educators, including school counselors. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand the factors that contribute to school counselors selecting their career, as well as understanding what elements lead to the retention of professional school counselors. As there are no existing theories related to understanding the career choice of professional school counselors, nor pertaining to the supports leading to the retention of school counselors, a constructivist grounded theory methodology was employed for this study. School counselors in the State of Florida with 3 – 5 years of professional experience were interviewed. In total, 21 individuals were interviewed at least once, and five participants participated in a follow-up conversation. Utilizing an iterative approach to analysis, a single coder completed open, focused, and axial coding. The emerging codes resulted in two theories: (a) Contributions to School Counselor Career Theory (CSCCT), and (b) Retention of School Counselors Theory (RSCT). The findings of the study are relevant for counselor education programs, school districts, and counselor education research.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Counselor Education and School Psychology
Education; Counselor Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Babb, Kathryn, "Contributions to Professional School Counselors Entering and Remaining in the Profession: A Grounded Theory" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1506.