Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Kenneth Matzner


The purpose of this study was to determine how the role of a Midwestern university Counseling Center is perceived by select university populations. The null hypothesis stated that no significant differences would exist among groups in their perceptions of the appropriateness of various student concerns for discussion at the Counseling Center. Responses were gathered through a written survey, which was a version of the Counseling Appropriateness Checklist (CACL). The instrument consisted of 60 items related to student issues and one item regarding familiarity with Counseling Center services. It was revised by this writer and three university professors of a graduate counseling program to better represent current language and student issues.

Within this examination, respondents were grouped by university status (administrators, faculty, students), gender, and subgroup (male administrators, female administrators, etc.). Differences in perceptions within and among these groups were rated in relation to scores on three scales of Student Concerns (Adjustment to Self and Others, College Routine, Vocational Choice). Familiarity data was gathered via respondents' indication of one of three levels of knowledge of Counseling Center services and functions. Statistical analyses used to measure combined group, group, and subgroup differences were computation of mean scores, one-way analysis of variance, and two-tailed t-tests for paired samples for the Student Concerns scales. Additionally, chi-square analysis was conducted for the Familiarity scale.

Significant differences in perceptions were found to exist between administrators and students on the Adjustment to Self and Others scale, as well as within groups when mean scores for the three Student Concerns scales were compared. Analysis of the Familiarity scale also elicited differences between groups. Gender, however, was not found to be significant on any of the four scales.

Significant differences occurred among and within groups sampled, therefore the null hypothesis failed to be supported. These results were found to be consistent with previous studies in terms of significant differences specifically on the Adjustment to Self and Others scale. However, this study was the first using a version of the CACL in which all groups surveyed rated the Adjustment to Self and Others scale highest. Furthermore, all groups surveyed found problems of the College Routine scale to be second most appropriate for counseling, and the Vocational Choice scale to be least appropriate. Thus, administrators, faculty, and students agreed that personal problems were most appropriate for discussion at the Counseling Center.