School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Mary Hollingsworth


Self-Efficacy, School Counselor, Competency, Interventions, Training, Underserved, At-risk, Underprivileged


Counseling | Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


A child’s social, mental, and emotional well-being is significant to his/her daily functioning and academic achievement. Socioeconomic impoverished students are often burdened by traumatic experiences and stressors from their homes, communities, and school environment that can exacerbate academic difficulties. Schools in low socio-economic status (SES) communities are frequently coupled with educational disadvantages. Consequently, the lack of expectations, resources, training, and qualified staff often characterizes schools in these communities. For these reasons, these challenges require additional development of school counselors’ capabilities. To serve all students, it is important for practicing school counselors to increase their awareness of the specific needs to improve the lives of underserved populations. The purpose of this exploratory and investigative study is to validate the claim that an evidenced-based training, introducing school counselors to strategies and interventions will affect counselors’ knowledge, skills, confidence, and self-efficacy. This study aims to determine if training will lead to increased motivation, better delivery of counseling services that directly address the psychosocial, emotional, and mental health of students, and increased outcomes for those students. Data would be provided from North Carolina school counselors who are employed in disadvantaged schools, serving primarily underserved students.