VISTAS Counseling Children and Adolescents

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Making the Change From Elementary to Middle School

Laura M. Hill and Jerry A. Mobley


The transition from elementary to middle school is a critical time that is considered to be one of the most difficult for students due to environmental adjustments, psychological distress, and developmental changes. The following study explores whether a basic transitional program, in comparison to a minimal transitional program, would be beneficial to students transitioning from elementary to middle school. Public, aggregated attendance records, office discipline referral records, and students’ Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) math and reading scores were examined using a convenience sample of two comparable middle schools’ sixth-grade classes in Middle Georgia. A chi-square was used to see if implementation of a basic transitional program was statistically significant. Two out of three null hypotheses were rejected: The first hypothesis, regarding the positive impact of a basic transitional program on academics, was very statistically significant, and the third hypothesis about the effect of the basic transitional program on students’ suspension rates was also extremely statistically significant.

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