Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Robert Gliner

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


The field of K–12 school counseling has evolved to embrace social–emotional and mental wellness aspects of students in addition to academic and career/college readiness. Social justice advocacy has been added to the role of school counselor by professional and educational entities. What is less clear is how well-versed school counselors are in social justice advocacy competencies, whether they are equipped to lead and advocate for social justice, barriers and accomplishments in doing so, and ways in which this role may be further developed and integrated into the field of school counseling, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the research questions for this study sought perspectives of school counselors, teachers, administrators, and counselor educators to better understand the role of school counselors as social justice advocates in K–12 public schools. Utilizing the qualitative method of documentary film, 26 participants were interviewed. The result is presented in a documentary film called Counseling for Social Justice. Although this is an exploratory study, a number of themes have emerged suggesting that social justice advocacy is an ideal that remains to be integrated fully into practice, that school counselors interpret social justice in varied ways, and that despite best efforts of some counselors, there are impediments that must be addressed. Recommendations are suggested for ways in which school counseling may be further oriented toward social justice advocacy.