Defense Date


Graduation Date



Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

William J. Casile

Committee Member

Joseph F. Maola

Committee Member

Robert Furman


grade retention, No Child Left Behind, school counselors


The role of the professional school counselor encompasses a variety of responsibilities, each contributing to the ultimate objective of student success. Grade retention is an intervention often utilized by educators to remediate students' lack of success. Elementary school counselors are often involved in the retention decision-making process and yet there is a dearth of research connecting elementary counselors to the vast body of research that exists on grade retention. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of elementary school counselors' regarding grade retention. The Grade Retention Survey, developed by Manley (1988) and used in previous studies to investigate perceptions of teachers and administrators, was utilized. A nationwide sample of 131 urban, suburban, and rural elementary counselors completed the survey via an internet survey tool. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis found participants perceived grade retention to be an acceptable educational practice. Item analysis revealed the responses of participants were not consistent with the research findings on the effectiveness and potential effects of grade retention. A number of items elicited "undecided" responses from elementary counselors. Participants reported extensive involvement in the grade retention decision-making process. The classroom teachers' opinions of grade retention were twice as likely to influence the opinions of elementary counselors as the findings from research. The opinions of the principal and school psychologist were least likely to influence the opinions of participants. No significant differences in perceptions were found based on gender, urban, suburban, or rural settings, years of experience, or previous teaching experience. Implications for practice as it relates to the American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) position statement on grade retention and ethical guidelines for standards of practice are discussed. Additionally, recommendations for emphasizing research and evidence-based practice within counselor education programs are offered.