Time-analysis study of counselors in ten south western Montana high schools

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Montana State University - Bozeman


The purpose of this investigation was to study how all of the public high school guidance counselors within a seventy-five mile radius of Twin Bridges, Montana, spend their time in various guidance related activities, such as counseling students, clerical work, administrative duties and others. Specifically, the study was directed to determination of how much time is spent in work of a clerical nature. Interviews were held with the thirteen counselors for the purpose of obtaining a breakdown of the time they have allotted for guidance and counseling activities. These figures were then used to compute a ratio of total counseling hours spent in clerical duties, and comparisons were drawn between counselor and secretarial wages to show the monetary aspects of counselors doing clerical work. These thirteen counselors were also asked to give their comments and suggestions pertaining to the time they spent in clerical work. The questions used in the interview were determined through consultation with professors at Montana State University concerned with counselor education. Each of the questions asked of the counselors was analyzed separately and percentages were computed on the basis of their responses. Means were calculated for each counseling-related activity and these means were then used to indicate how these counselors used their time. Four conclusions were drawn as a result of this study. These were: (1) most of the counselors felt that far too much of their time was spent in clerical work; (2) having counselors overly engaged in clerical work was concluded as being educationally and financially unsound; (3) student secretarial help could be of some use on a restricted basis; (4) full or part-time secretarial assistance was desired by most of the counselors. Recommendations made were that (1) a closer look be taken at the duties of the counselor by people concerned with education, (2) student secretarial help could be used by counselors where applicable, and (3) counselors should be provided with secretarial help if they are to fulfill their professional obligations and expected contributions.




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