Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to determine how guidance services developed in the public schools of Louisiana between 1942 and 1972. In order to understand the events of these years, it was necessary to examine the period preceding them. In the beginning of the guidance movement, social workers pioneered in assisting youth with problems associated with industrialization. Louisiana was unique in that its guidance program started within the school system. An experimental program began in the Orleans Parish Schools in 1921. It was considered effective and continued. In the 1920s vocational guidance was offered for the first time at Tulane and Loyola Universities in New Orleans, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and the State Normal College now Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The highlight of the period 1942 to 1952 was the establishment of an occupational information and guidance section in the State Department of Education. Promoting of guidance and counselor training were the chief activities of the new section. In the period 1952 to 1958 certification standards for counselors were approved by the Louisiana State Board of Education. Graduate course offerings were increased at several colleges. By 1955 both Louisiana State University and Northwestern State College offered the graduate work required for secondary school counselor certification. The National Defense Education Act was passed in 1958. The result was unprecedented growth in guidance. Schools were allotted funds for testing, guidance, and counseling. Counselors and prospective counselors were given stipends to attend professional training in counseling. In the ten-year period after 1958, the number of certified counselors increased more than five and one-half times. In 1971 certification standards for elementary counselors were approved. Government support of guidance in Louisiana and over the nation has fluctuated with economic conditions and manpower shortages. Spurts of growth like that following the passage of the National Defense Education Act illustrated the effects of variations in federal support. It is hoped that regular financial support to provide a continuous developmental approach, in serving all students throughout their school lives, will become the established pattern.