The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore pre-service school counselor’s perception of identity development. The main research question of this study was, how is professional identity development described by pre-service school counselors? Three sub-questions were posed as well. What are internal factors described by pre-service school counselor that influence their professional identity development? What are external factors described by pre-service school counselors that influence their professional identity development? What are other factors described by pre-service school counselors that influence their professional identity development?
Seven pre-service school counselors from two campuses of one private, accredited university participated in this research. The pre-service school counselor participants were given a demographic survey and interviewed. In this study, the interviews followed a protocol and lasted between thirty-five to forty-five minutes. During this time, the participants shared their perceptions of pre-service school counselor professional identity development. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a basic, interpretive qualitative method.
Documentation in the form of four syllabi were collected across the two campuses of the university of study. Three of the four syllabi were the same. Given the small sample the two differing syllabi were compared. They differed on all factors except one, the use of experience to inform becoming a professional school counselor. This theme matched several of the interview findings.
Eighteen themes comprised the results of the interview research. Each was supported with rich data from the interviews. Four major findings emerged from the eighteen themes. The recommendations for school counselor preparation programs emerged from the four major findings. They were, the incorporation of processing experiences during class time, including coursework specifically related to school counseling; Practicum and Internship are solely school counselor focused; and instilling clear mission of the role of the school counselor into the school counseling preparation program. Areas for future research; such as replicating this study at a non-accredited institution, utilizing a longitudinal study, and exploring perceptions of professional identity development from other perspectives involved in school counselor preparation; are presented in this study.
|Advisor:||Steen, Sam L.|
|Commitee:||Dedmond, Rebecca, France, Kharod, Ianacone, Robert, Ihrig, Karen, Tate, Patricia, Witmer, Elizabeth|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Continuing education|
|Keywords:||Counseling, Graduate preparation, Internship, Professional identity development, School counseling, School counselor preparation|
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