Date of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Science in Counseling


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

Committee Chair

Joseph Hulgus


Many school districts and states still require that school counselors have previous teaching experience before one can begin a career in school counseling. There is little to no data to support these claims and the data that is available does not include how the school counselor’s own previous experiences influence their self-efficacy in their current roles. The data for this study was collected through an online survey sent to school counselors in Missouri. The qualitative data was evaluated using a grounded theory approach while the quantitative data was analyzed through a series of t-tests for independent samples, with group membership (counselors with teaching backgrounds and those without teaching experience) as the independent variable and each question is set as the dependent variable. The results from this survey show that there were not any significant differences between the two groups of participants, those with teaching backgrounds and those without. One area that did come up frequently between both groups was that having additional education or training experiences helps those in this field gain knowledge and skills they may be lacking, whether that be teaching knowledge or not.


school counselor, self-efficacy, previous experiences, teaching background, non-teaching background, mental health experiences

Subject Categories

Counseling | Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Student Counseling and Personnel Services | Teacher Education and Professional Development


© Cory J. Neal

Open Access