Rural School Counselor Professional Learning Community: Perceptions and Perceived Impact on Professional Identity

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Fall 2020


This study addressed the lack of professional development and networking opportunities targeted towards school counselors in rural school districts. To address this problem, this study explored the perceptions and lived experiences of professional school counselors, in rural settings, and their participation in a professional learning community (PLC). To gather data, interviews were conducted with practicing and retired members of a rural school counselor PLC. Data were gathered via semi-structured interviews and were recorded and open coded to discover common themes. Ten rural school counselors were included in this study. Findings indicated that participation in a PLC for rural school counselors had considerable influences on the participants’ professional knowledge and growth and a positive impact on the school counseling program. Identification of these themes was useful for understanding a means to increase advocacy for professional development and networking opportunities for school counselors within rural districts. Keywords: Rural, professional school counselor, professional learning community, identity


Chester Robinson

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences