Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Clinical Therapeutic Programs

First Advisor

Carol A. Sommer


The close partnership between school counselors and principals suggested that their work together can influence student learning and school culture. Their roles, while different in nature, could be conducive to collaborating in an effective manner to help achieve their respective goals and the objectives of their employment responsibilities. Ideally, principals should fully understand the role of school counselors and allow them to implement a comprehensive counseling plan to increase student learning, reduce discipline issues, promote attendance, and positively impacts school culture. According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), outlined the role of a professional school counselor to incorporate the removing of barriers to student success, be they personal, social, career, and/or academic (2012). The partnership between school counselors and principals should be inclusive, conducive to open communication, and rooted in a foundation of trust. As a school counselor, my interest in this topic motivated me to explore further this partnership between the two roles. The basic interpretive qualitative study investigated the essential qualities of an effective partnership between school counselors and principals and their role in enhancing student learning and enriching school culture. Surveys and interviews were used to identify the qualities of the school counselor–principal partnership which seemed to exert an effective, positive influence on student learning and school culture. Equally informative was the identification of qualities that were ineffective or had an adverse impact on student learning and school culture. Keywords: student learning, school counselors, principals, school culture