Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


The purpose of this research is to understand how elementary school counselors perceive the role and function of case manager in Chicago Public Schools. In this expanded role, elementary school counselors must continue their traditional counseling duties and incorporate case management activities as a part of their responsibilities. The case managers coordinate the special education program for students with disabilities.

In-depth interviews were used to collect data from six elementary school counselor in their role as case managers. Results of this study yielded six empirical assertions:

Assertion 1. The case manager coordinates special education programs and services for students with disabilities, and facilitates the process of writing, implementing and distributing the Individualized Education Program for students in special education.

Assertion 2. School counselor perception of the role and function of case management is based on the training received from the Office of Specialized Services, with college programs preparing them to be school counselors.

Assertion 3. The majority of counselors consider themselves prepared and effective in performing case management duties.

Assertion 4. Counselors should not be case managers; it interferes with traditional counselor duties and responsibilities.

Assertion 5. To manage the dual role of counselor-case manager, counselors recommended being organized, communicating with parents and staff, manage time efficiently and be flexible. Finally, counselors suggested the role of counselor-case manager be two separate positions.

Assertion 6. Elementary school counselors in the dual role of counselor-case manager, enjoy contributing to the educational program of students with disabilities.

Conclusion of this study: (a) Elementary school counselors are suited for the role of case manager, (b) combined role assignments generate conflicts, and (c) counselor-case manger should be two separate positions. Finally, elementary school counselors must advocate for their position, that it remain independent of case management duties and responsibilities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.