School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
Phenomenology, Virtual/Online School Counseling, Elementary School Counselors, COVID-19 Pandemic
Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Hunter, Tawonda Maria, "Virtual School Counseling Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2978.
School counselors work with students and families to remove or minimize social, emotional, and academic barriers to education. In a traditional setting, school counseling can be rewarding yet not without obstacles. These obstacles or challenges are compounded when variables like role changes, shifts in the work setting, and a pandemic are present. This phenomenological study aimed to understand the lived virtual school counseling experience amid COVID-19 for elementary school counselors in Georgia. The phenomenological theoretical framework by Edmund Husserl was the theory guiding this study. This theoretical framework helped provide a rich description of school counselors' lived experiences working virtually amid COVID-19. It provided insights into challenges faced as school counselors attempted to meet their students' social and emotional needs in a virtual setting and their perceptions and attitudes regarding their lived experience with virtual school counseling. The study employed snowball sampling to recruit elementary school counselors employed in Georgia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the school counselors’ notes. The findings of this study will fill in the gap of limited qualitative research in the counseling profession. There were five themes and eight subthemes that emerged from this study. The themes/subthemes were adaptability/role and program delivery, social emotional learning (SEL), communication/parents, technology/devices, internet accessibility and training, and engagement/staff attendance and student attendance and participation.