Barr, John Alton (1911-1980)

Barr, John Alton (1911-1980)

Date Updated



Counselor Education

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

State of California, 1960 Lic. Psychologist

University of Washington, 1949 Ph.D.

Harvard University, 1941 Counseling

University of Minnesota, 1938 MA

University of Minnesota, 1936 BS

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1955-1979

Army Language School, Monterey, CA, 1960-1965

University of Washington, 1947-1955

Oregon College of Education, 1946-1947

Air Corps Cade Program, 1943-1945

Breck School for Boys, 1938-1943

Administrative and Professional Experience

Founding President of California Association of Humanistic Education and Development.

President of Western Association for Counselor Education.

Consultant to Japanese Ministry of Education,

Career Guidance Gerontology.

Executive Board of American Personnel and Guidance Association.

Director of Education and Guidance in International Programs.

Director of California Higher Education Study on Aging.

Chairman, Committee on Maturity and Aging, American Personnel and Guidance Association.

Selected Publications

Elementary Teacher and Guidance.

Guidance and the Schools, University of Washington Press.

Interpreting Test Results.

Career Films and Filmstrips;

Periodical articles, pamphlets;

Parent‑Teacher Conference Handbook.

Personal Commentary

Jack achieved success in a variety of interests related to his career in education. He wrote a book titled The Elementary Teacher and Guidance, 1958. It was among the first and most important in the field at that time. Other publications have followed. His early interest in the use of data processing in education led him to be a leader in that field in California, and particularly as this related to career guidance. His final interest was in problems of the aging which led to his directorship of the California Higher Education Study on Aging for the California State University and College System in the last two years of his service as a Professor of Counselor Education. As a result of this study, he made both an oral and written testimony before the House Select Committee on Aging. He also served as the Director of the Inter‑Disciplinary Gerontology Program at San Jose State University and left that position only a very few months before his death.

Jack was a person who was self‑directed, eternally happy, and could always find a positive way to respond to the world about him. Any who met and knew Jack felt his positive nature and could not help but be absorbed by it. He was an idea man and encouraged many to move from passivity to activity. He had a sense of social consciousness which led him to design a program in Counselor Education which involved persons from the minority community, working directly with credentialed counselors, which ultimately resulted in their becoming credentialed counselors themselves. During the days of turmoil in higher and public education in the late 1960s, when many of us were inclined to be reactive, Jack was proactive in finding ways to respond to the needs expressed by the minority community.

Date Completed: 7/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Barr, John Alton (1911-1980)