Bowers, Ryan (2017). A CACREP-informed counselor educator developmental model: Identifying counselor skills and supports needed for neophyte counselor educators. Doctor dissertation (Counselor Education and Supervision), Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. (Link:

Abstract: The field of counseling has been undergoing radical change for the past 40 years as it changes with the demands of the population and as new problems arise with changes in societal needs. Groups such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs are working to create a program of counselor education that is singular and comprehensive to meet the needs of these changes. This mixed methods study explored skills and supports that are needed to help counseling education students become effective future counselor educators. The researcher introduces a model of counselor educator development that will help to identify the skills and supports needed at different phases of the counseling student’s development. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological System of Development (1979) and Super’s Archway Model of Career Development (1957) act as the base for creating this developmental model which includes an integration of counseling skills and mentor support to help students progress through the model. Eight participants were recruited to use Q-methodology and Think Aloud Protocol to construct Q-sorts for specified phases of the developmental model to better understand the interaction skills and supports in counseling education programs. The researcher asks the following questions: (a) What are the core skills needed for counselors to traverse the proposed developmental model? (b) What are the core supports needed for counselors to traverse the proposed developmental model? (c) Do counselor educators agree on stages of skill development and the support constructs needed for successful navigation through the proposed developmental model. The findings include that counselor educators agree on the statements of skill and support development at the doctoral level, but are not in agreement about students at the master’s level. The study also addresses the practical implications of counselor educator identity in the midst of change in counselor education program names, the diversity of specialized counselors, and the ever-changing counseling core curriculum to meet the needs of diverse populations. Finally, the study addresses some of its limitations and the recommendation of future research.

Ryan Bowers is a licensed professional counselor in the Philadelphia, PA area.

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