Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Matthew Buckley


Research has found that parents may feel isolated from their children's schools due to their own problematic educational experiences or their lack of understanding their children's school experiences. Current literature explores stakeholders' perceptions of school counselors but lacks specific context from a parental perspective. Validating parents' perceptions of and experiences with school counselors enhances students' academic success by providing insight about what motivates parents to invest in their children's schools and how school counselors influence parental involvement. Utilizing key concepts related to the importance of parental involvement for student success, this qualitative study focused on the experiences and perceptions of parents regarding their children's high school counselors. Criterion and snowball sampling was used to recruit 8 parents from 5 different high schools across the Midwestern United States. Interview data were analyzed through clustering and horizontalization processes, revealing 4 specific themes: student benefits, in which school counselors directly supported students; parents feeling empowered, in which school counselors validated concerns and empowered parents; school counselor providing interpersonal environment, where students believed school counselors cared about them as individuals and strove for their success; and informed school counselor, where school counselors capitalized on their expertise and professional experience for the direct benefit of students. These emerging themes strengthen existing research and provide current and future school counselors with insight into building and maintaining collaborative relationships with parents, including advocacy efforts to increase student success.