School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Gail Collins


Academic Training, Adult Learning Theory, American School Counselors Association (ASCA) National Model, Entity (Fixed) Theory, Incremental (Growth) Theory, Social-emotional Well-being


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to investigate the self-perceived preparedness of elementary school counselors’ to foster and promote students’ social-emotional wellbeing. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA, 2016) stipulates in its National Model that school counselors are to assist students in their social-emotional wellbeing through their school counselors’ competencies. This study sought to fill the gap in the literature regarding elementary school counselors’ experiences in utilizing their training to foster and promote students’social-emotional wellbeing. The central question guiding this study is, “how do elementary school counselors describe their training applicability to foster and promote students’ social-emotional wellbeing?” A purposeful selection was employed to obtain 10 participants from elementary schools. The data was viewed through the theoretical lens of Dweck’s (1977) growth/fixed mind-set theory which includes incremental and Knowles’ (1975) adult learning theory to obtain a phenomenological understanding of the school counselors’ experiences. A verbal frequency scale, semi-structured individual interview, and focus group questions were utilized to obtain data saturation. Data analysis was achieved through horizontalization, clustering, and textural-structural description to identify meaning and essence of experiences (Moustakas,1994). Four main themes emerged from the data namely (a) social-emotional encounters, (b) mindsets, beliefs and self-directedness, (c) ASCA: one size does not fit all, (d) training versus reality.