Enhancing a conventional performance evaluation system for counselors with 3600 feedback

Cain, Curtis
Major Professor
Richard P. Manatt
Committee Member
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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the performance of elementary, middle level, and high school counselors based upon quantitative and qualitative feedback from supervisors, students, parents, and staff members. The data were gathered during the pilot test of a newly implemented feedback process in the Utopia Community School District (UCSD). The 360° feedback instruments were developed for the four respondent groups at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. These feedback surveys were derived from a synthesis of district-specific summative evaluation instruments, locally created critical work activities, district-specific job descriptions, and the American School Counselor Association's national standards.;The study's qualitative focus implemented a series of respondent-specific focus group interviews. Participants were asked a set of starter questions and their responses were taped to guarantee accuracy. These interviews were designed to ensure an accurate depiction of the participants' reflections of the performance feedback process and to assess the interaction with their counselors' programming.;Survey results found that elementary and high school respondents were more critical than middle level respondents. Students were the least positive respondent group followed by administrators, staff members, and then parents. Specifically, elementary students were the least positive respondent subgroup, while middle level administrators were found to be the most positive.;Focus group interviews found nine thematic areas; counselor workload, equity related concerns, 360° systemic issues, the value of multiple perspectives, evaluation/goal setting, negatives of the newly implemented process, time, and programmatic issues. Of the nine thematic areas counselor workload, equity related issues and programmatic issues were identified as theme areas of concern.;The researcher recommended: (1) that counselors utilize 360° feedback from key groups annually, (2) student to counselor ratios should be re-examined, and (3) other contexts and demographic variables should be comparatively examined. Ultimately, this study is intended to improve performance feedback and evaluation procedures to ensure effective programming and implementation in K--12 settings across the country.