Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

School counselors' self-efficacy and training needs when working with the Latino student population

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  • Latinos have the lowest high school completion rates in the United States (United States Census, 2010). School counselors are well positioned to lead the efforts to increase these rates. Indeed, such leadership is mandated by both the ethical and program standards of the American School Counselor Association. However, little is known about school counselors' perceived self-efficacy and training needs with regard to working with Latino students. An instrument measuring school counselors' perceived self-efficacy and training needs in 16 areas was administered using a cross-sectional observational design. The top five areas of perceived self-efficacy were: (a) "Conceptualize Latino students' cultures as different rather than deficient;" (b) "Understand how my own cultural values, stereotypes and biases may influence my work with Latino students;" (c) "Understand the impact of discrimination and racism on Latino student development;" (d) "Use counseling techniques that are culturally appropriate when working with Latino student;" and (e) "Understand how standardized testing and assessment instruments have critical limits when applied to Latino students.” The top five areas of need in terms of training were: (a) "Use functional Spanish to work more effectively with the Latino population;" (b) "Understanding how the students' Latino culture heritage impacts their education values;" (c) "Interpret Latino students' nonverbal body language and its significance in counseling;" (d) "Understand how the students' Latino cultural heritage impacts their educational goals;" and (e) "Connect with community organizations that support Latino students' development." Inferential statistical analyses revealed no difference between the rankings of self-efficacy and training needs. The implications for practice and research were discussed.
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