Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. James Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Crowell


The purpose of this study was to determine administrator and consultant perceptions regarding consultant services in Michigan schools as related to: (a) services provided, (b) roles, (c) sources of funding, (d) sources for identifying services, (e) characteristics and components that may influence selection, and (f) methods used for evaluation. A review of literature was conducted related to the six survey questions of the study.

Responses to surveys were analyzed from 116 (85% response rate) randomly selected Michigan school superintendents and other administrators and 58 (58% response rate) consultants identified as providing service in Michigan school districts during the 1986-87 school year. Administrator and consultant perceptions regarding consultant services were similar in most cases. Both groups most frequently listed: (1) services performed by consultants as including legal services, architectural services, financial services, and staff and curriculum development; (2) roles of consultants as including fact finders, joint problem solvers, and identifiers of alternatives; (3) funding sources of consultant services as including local school revenue and state revenue; (4) sources for administrators identifying consultant service as being previously employed by the school district, knowing the consultant personally, or recommended by peers; (5) influences of selection of consultants as including competence, responsibility, and client welfare; (6) evaluation methods of consultant services as including client reports, discussion with clients, post evaluation immediately following consultation, and interviews.

Based on the literature review and findings, two major conclusions were made: (1) a policy statement regarding the use of consultants is needed by school districts, and (2) school administrators continue to need assistance and training in the use of consultants.

Based on the findings and conclusions of this study, a number of suggestions and recommendations were made. First, each school district should have a clear policy statement regarding recruitment, selection, employment, and evaluation of consultant services. Next, administrator professional organizations should provide up-to-date inservice programs and models to instruct management personnel in realistic and productive methods of planning and using consultation services. Third, university education departments should offer appropriate instruction related to the preparation and use of professional consultants. Fourth, local school district management personnel should become more critical purchasers of consultant services.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access