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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Dr. Sharon F. Rallis

Second Advisor

Dr. John C. Carey

Third Advisor

Dr. Alexandrina F. Deschamps

Subject Categories

Counselor Education | Educational Leadership | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Urban Education


School counselors, whose role is often viewed as peripheral and isolated from teaching and learning, can help principals, teachers, students, and parents balance the duties and responsibilities involved in continuous student growth and performance. The purpose of this research is to examine the working relationship between school principals and school counselors and to assess how school principal leadership practices influence school counselor practice and effectiveness. This study utilized a conceptual framework that describes the relationship between concepts from the literature that may lead to school counselor effectiveness. This qualitative study investigates the leadership practices of school principals and how this working relationship influences the effectiveness of the practices of school counselors. The study was conducted in a school district in Massachusetts. The participants in this study were 12 public school principals. Interviews were used to collect data to investigate the significance of the working relationship between school principals and school counselors and how the leadership approach of the school principal influences school counselor practice and effectiveness. The descriptive data from the interviews were analyzed using matrices to sort the data into categories to find and show a relationship in the qualitative data. The results suggest that effectiveness of school counselor practice is determined by the strength of the relationship with the principal.