Practitioner Summaries

The following are summaries of research published in ASCA's Professional School Counseling journal. Read the highlights here and visit for the full text. Use the search function to search summaries by topic area.

Beyond School Records: The Value of Cognitive and Affective Engagement in Predicting Dropout and On-Time Graduation

November 1, 2017 Practitioner Summary

Growing attention toward on-time graduation and college/career readiness in recent years has resulted in increased efforts to identify and intervene as soon as possible with students who are falling off track. To identify students who need intervention and monitoring, counselors and other school staff commonly use early warning indicators. These indicators are typically based on school record data, such as attendance, behavior records, and course performance. These are highly useful...


The Elementary School Counselor's Voice in Counseling Transracially Adopted Students

October 5, 2017 Practitioner Summary

The researchers set out to understand how elementary school counselors are providing culturally sensitive school-based services to students who are adopted transracially (SATr). Since little is known about this population in the elementary school setting from the perspective of the school counselor, a phenomenological approach was used to understand the structure and meaning of the work with SATr through the voice of 11 elementary school counselors. Individual interviews were conducted, recorded,...


Student Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: A Protocol for School Counselors

October 3, 2017 Practitioner Summary

Self-injury is seemingly an increasing phenomenon, and school counselors are more frequently called upon to address self-injury related behaviors. Despite a need to systemically address student self-injury, only a minority of school counseling programs have a self-injury policy in place. School counselors, among other school staff members, often have uncertainty and frustration in knowing how to proceed in addressing, supporting, and intervening with students who self-injure. To address this need,...


Effect of a Specialized Classroom Counseling Intervention on Increasing Self-Efficacy Among First-Grade Rural Students

September 20, 2017 Practitioner Summary

Elementary school counselors have the opportunity to use interventions and activities that optimize the distinct academic, career, and personal-social developmental needs of their students at the outset of their academic endeavors. Promoting and assessing self-efficacy and its facets is a cornerstone of students’ academic and social/emotional development and should begin in the earliest years of the academic enterprise. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of a classroom counseling intervention...


Revealing School Counselors' Perspectives on Using Physical Activity and Consulting with Coaches

September 15, 2017 Practitioner Summary

Revealing School Counselors' Perspectives on Using Physical Activity and Consulting with Coaches (Featured Research) This study reveals school counselors’ perspectives on using physical activity and a consultative process with coaches to provide school-based support for youth. Emerging from this exploration is how school-based physical activity might be used to help students develop life skills and how to remove barriers to systemic integration of socio-emotional development through physical activity into the school...


Gender and Ethnic Bias in Letters of Recommendation: Considerations for School Counselors

August 2, 2017 Practitioner Summary

School counselors write letters of recommendation for students pursuing postsecondary education and help teachers and staff prepare for this task. Although letters of recommendation may impact admission and scholarships opportunities, research about equity and bias in letters is minimal as compared to standardized tests, teacher expectations, and grading practices. This study analyzed letters of recommendation for evidence of gender and racial bias. Results demonstrate small, but significant differences by gender...


Evaluation of a Brief, School-Based Bullying Bystander Intervention for Elementary Students

July 14, 2017 Practitioner Summary

The purpose of this study was to extend the literature by evaluating a brief, school-based bystander program in an elementary school setting. Students participating in the STAC program, which stands for “stealing the show,” “turning it over,” “accompanying others,” and “coaching compassion” reported a significant increase in knowledge of what different types of bullying look like, knowledge of the STAC strategies, and general confidence intervening in bullying situations compared to...


An Examination of Factors that Relate to School Counselors' Knowledge and Skills in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

July 13, 2017 Practitioner Summary

The results of this study confirm that a beneficial relationship exists between American School Counselor (ASCA) aligned activities and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Results indicate that more time spent on ASCA aligned activities predicted more knowledge and skills of MTSS. In addition, results highlight a need for targeted MTSS training for school counselors. School counselors who expressed needing more MTSS training had lower levels of MTSS knowledge and skills...


Advocacy Competency of School Counselors: An Exploratory Factor Analysis

July 12, 2017 Practitioner Summary

  As students with marginalized identities diversify the United States, school counselors face more challenges requiring their advocacy efforts. Using social justice and advocacy research as a guide, the researchers purport that students in k-12 settings who are experiencing marginalization need advocates (Crethar, 2010; Lee, 2012; Field & Stanley, 2004; Ratts, DeKruyf, & Chen-Hayes, 2007; 2010). School counselors are ideally positioned to take on the charge (Singh, Urbano, Masten, & McMahon,...


Data and Research that Matter: Four Action Research Studies from the Field

January 17, 2017 Practitioner Summary

Data and research serve as powerful advocacy tools in highlighting the effectiveness of school counselors and school counseling programs. However, effective interventions are only known in the field if school counselors make efforts to share, present and publish their work. Action research is one practical method for measuring the effectiveness of school counseling interventions. Furthermore, school counselor educators can be key mentors who support practitioners in sharing the findings of...