An Investigation of The Perceptions of the Working Relationship between Four Secondary Administrators and Four Secondary Counselors in a Predominantly Hispanic, Small, Rural Educational Setting in a U.S. – Mexico Border Region in South Texas
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This study focused on conducting an investigation of the perceptions of the working relationship between secondary administrators and secondary counselors in a predominantly Hispanic, small, rural educational setting in a U.S. – Mexico border region in Texas. The study employed a mixed methodological approach, using a phenomenological framework to help validate the use of interviews and observations involving secondary school administrative leaders and counselors at four schools in the border region (eight participants in total). Information that could have led to the identification of any individual or school that participated in this study was not included in this work because of the key ethical considerations that underpinned the research project. The findings highlighted that although the working relationships between the participants in the study appeared to be positive, there were certain issues that still highlighted a major difference in the perceptions of the school administrator and school counselor. The main issue was that of the ill-defined role of the counselor, which led to them having to complete other tasks, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the counseling programs. The support system for most of the schools was excellent, although the informality of the meetings between the two sets of informants perhaps facilitated the lack of understanding about the role of the counselor in the campus setting. There were no apparent negative impacts of culture on the working relationship, but it was perceived that the Mexican American culture did reduce the desire to achieve above expectations for students in the region. The participants indicated that their perceptions were that Mexican American culture does not place a great emphasis on education. High school graduation is sufficient in many households. Other issues included (a) the strain of the working relationship between these two groups, due to conflicts of interest, (b) the difficulty in ensuring that the job description and roles were understood by all parties, (c) the lack of formal meetings, and (d) personal differences on professional matters. These tenets led to difficulties in the relationship between the administrators and the counselors. The findings revealed that positive relationships were likely to develop. However, the development of the relationship between counselors and school administrators will take years to manifest. Further recommendations for study and implications for the schools in the region were also provided in the final chapter of this research work. The working relationships were generally positive; however, there is still an inconsistent perception on roles and priorities of secondary counselors. The findings indicate that much has not changed, regardless of policy or the changing demands of secondary school counselors. The recommendations provided, if acted upon, could make a significant impact on the effectiveness of secondary campuses in the South Texas region and possibly in other areas.
Garza, Susana P (2014). An Investigation of The Perceptions of the Working Relationship between Four Secondary Administrators and Four Secondary Counselors in a Predominantly Hispanic, Small, Rural Educational Setting in a U.S. – Mexico Border Region in South Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from