Graduate project

Role concepts and functions of counselors with the deaf in post-secondary college/career programs

The general purpose of this limited study was to obtain information about the role and functions of post-secondary counselors with the deaf from the counselor's perspective. It was also developed to gather demographic information about these counselors. Specific questions postulated were: 1. What was some of the background of counselors with the deaf in post-secondary college/career programs? 2. Did the counselor's present role differ from a preferred role; if so to what extent? 3. Was there a difference between the percentage of time a counselor devoted to various functions and the amount of time it was felt should be devoted to these functions? 4. Was the counselor free to choose a counseling model? 5. Should counselors with a full deaf caseload have fewer students to counsel than counselors with a general caseload? Data was obtained by means of a questionnaire designed for the study. The questionnaire was mailed to 64 post-secondary counselors with the deaf. Forty two useable returns were received. All subjects devoted at least one fourth of their work time to providing counseling and related services for hearing impaired students. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze all data. Results demonstrated that a majority of the respondents held at least one advanced degree. They had extensive counselor training but limited experience and education in the area of deafness. They felt a need for further training in a wide variety of disciplines. Most of the respondents saw their role concentrating primarily on counseling. This is the role they were active in, the� one they preferred and felt best qualified for. Problems of role conflict were not in evidence. The data showed that post-secondary counselors with the deaf engaged in a wide variety of functions other than counseling. Almost one half of the counselors felt the distribution of time to these functions was about right. However, the results did indicate that most preferred to be able to spend more time counseling students. An overwhelming majority of the respondents indicated they had good expressive, receptive and overall manual communication ability. Further research was recommended in order to delineate more definitively the role of the post-secondary counselor with the deaf.