Novice School Counselors face many challenges during their first years in the profession and may be unaware of the supports and resources that are available. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of novice professional school counselors to shed light on reported supports and resources that assist novice school counselors in their professional development. For this study, eight novice professional school counselors participated, and data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Each participant interview was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four themes emerged through the data analysis: (a) sources of influence, (b) coping with adversity, (c) sense of confirmation, and (d) commitment to increasing one’s expertise. The importance of people, experiences, and organizations/teams were noteworthy regarding novice professional school counselor professional development. Although the small sample size, midwestern demographics, and researcher bias were noted as limitations to the study, the sample was purposely selected and protocol for Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was followed. The study provided implications for practice and further research, including investigating how differences between school settings, past experiences, and personality impacts school counselor development. Additionally, highlighted was the need for Counselor Education Programs to provide training in crisis management and addressing the impact of poverty and other systemic issues. Finally, the results suggest novice Professional School Counselors would benefit from participating in clinical supervision.


Tracy Peed

Committee Member

Richard Auger

Committee Member

Diane Coursol

Committee Member

Jacqueline Lewis

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Counseling and Student Personnel





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