Examining the Diversity in the Counseling and Counselor Education PhD Program: Recruitment, Retention & Recommendations

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1 Sejal Parikh 1 Examining the Diversity in the Counseling and Counselor Education PhD Program: Recruitment, Retention & Recommendations Program title, objectives, and impacts: How was the identified need addressed and how effective was the project? The goal of this program was to examine the reasons students from diverse ethinic backgrounds choose to enroll in NC State s Counselor Education program. Nine doctoral students who self-identified as racial or ethnic minorities were interviewed for the program. A qualitative analysis will be used to examine the interview data. The goal for the study was to collect data that can support NC State s efforts to establish a diverse community of students. For example, preliminary qualitative analysis indicated that six out of the nine participants in this study said that some departments at NC State lacked sufficient diversity and all participants offered suggestions that the university can use to recruit and retain minority students. One participant who had been in the NC State community for over twenty years stated that, although the university had made significant progress, we ve got a long way to go. The program s long-term effectiveness will be evaluated by monitoring student diversity within the Counselor Education program. If other departments at NC State use the materials and recruitment strategies, they too will might be able to observe trends in student demographics. Project evaluation: Describe how the project effectiveness was evaluated. The project was evaluated by analyzing the qualitative data from the interviews. Several themes relevant to the recruitment and retention of minority students were identified and incorporated into the brochure:

2 Sejal Parikh 2 Appreciation of diversity: Eight of the nine participants in the study described NCSU s Counselor Education as diverse. Seven participants also described ways that the program s diversity made them feel more comfortable after being enrolled. All nine of the participants described positive, supportive relationships with both students and faculty in the program. The brochure includes a prominent description of the department s commitment to establishing a diverse community of students and faculty. Location: Five of the nine participants stated that they lived in the Raleigh area prior to enrolling and wished to remain in the same community. The brochure notes that the NC State campus is accessible to Raleigh as well as neighboring communities. Need for employment and/or financial assistance: Four participants noted that, for financial reasons, they needed to select a program that would allow them to be employed while taking classes. As a result, the brochure includes information about financial aid opportunities, notes the expected job growth in the Raleigh area, and mentions that NC State and Wake County Public Schools employ a large number of people. Relationships with faculty: Three students cited contact with professors in NC State s Counselor Education program as a deciding factor and three additional students noted that their professors in a different master s program had recommended NC State. The brochure includes a quote from a NC State faculty member and an invitation to contact the faculty with questions. CACREP accreditation: Three participants, including two from out of state, mentioned that CACREP accreditation was one of their primary criteria for selecting a Counselor Education program.

3 Sejal Parikh 3 Sustainability: Will the program continue? Describe pans to continue, extend, or modify this program for the future. In the interest of sustained recruitment of students from diverse backgrounds, the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education will continue to use the brochure that was created during this project. Seven participants suggested active recruitment at other universities, including Master s programs with diverse communities, so the brochure could be sent to those campuses. These participants also suggested that campus visits from current students would be beneficial, so the brochure is a resource that presenters could bring with them. The brochure will also be available on the Counselor Education program website. The department will be able to edit the brochure as needed if new information becomes available. Other departments will be able to request copies of the brochure to assist with the development of similar materials that can advertise their own programs. List any publications about this project to the broader community through presentations, articles, press releases or other media coverage and any products created through this project, such as websites, course materials or modules or other items. A research manuscript will be completed and submitted to a national peer reviewed and counseling related journal. The goal is to not only learn from the diverse counseling students at NC State, but also increase the diversity in counseling programs nation-wide. The brochure created during this project will be posted on the Counselor Education program website, as well as distributed at State, Regional, and National counseling conferences. making it available to the public and to other academic departments at NC State. A draft of the brochure is attached.

4 z Achieve Your Career Goals The 60-credit master s program prepares students for employment as professional counselors. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track typically become Licensed Professional Counselors who work in a variety of settings including agencies and private practice. The College Counseling and Student Development Track prepares students to find employment as a counselor at a college or university. Master s students in the School Counseling Track meet the requirements for certification as a counselor in K-12 schools and are eligible for the Advanced S-Level School Counseling license offered in North Carolina. Graduates of the doctoral program typically find employment as faculty members in counselor education programs, higher education directors for student development, school counseling supervisors, consultants, counseling center supervisors, educational trainers in industry and human service agencies, career development specialists, and Licensed Professional Counselors and Supervisors. The Counselor Education Program, the Nu Sigma Chi Chapter of the Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society, and the Counselor Education Graduate Student Association (GSA) sponsor annual workshops and panels where students are able to network with practicing counselors. Job opportunities are sent to students on our listserv and on Nu Sigma Chi s LinkedIn group. Our Mission The Counselor Education program at NC State shares the University s Land Grant Mission. Through our Scientist-Practitioner and School- College-Community Collaboration Model, we train culturally competent counselors and counselor educators who are able to work collaboratively across settings to effectively lead, serve, and advocate for the academic, career, and personal-social development of children, adults, families, and communities. How to Apply We hope that you will consider joining our community of learners. New master s and doctoral students are admitted once each calendar year and the deadline for applications is January 15. All prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the NC State Graduate School. Transcripts from every college or university attended (undergraduate and graduate) and scores on either the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) are required. Please refer to our website for additional information about admissions. Counselor Education Program Box 7801, 520 Poe Hall NC State University Raleigh, NC ced.ncsu.edu/cice/counselor-education Contact: Pauline Ellefson Counselor Education at The Counselor Education Program at North Carolina State University has a long and rich history of contributing to the needs of North Carolina and the nation. The program is a unit within the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education, and it offers graduate programs at the master s and doctoral levels. At the master s level, the program offers three concentrations: School Counseling, College Counseling and Student Development, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The PhD program, with a combined focus on research, theory, and practice, is designed to prepare leaders for the field of counseling and counselor education. All programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

5 A Commitment to Diversity NC State promotes diversity and strives to create an inclusive climate for all of our students. The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education is committed to having a community of students and faculty that is diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, religion and spiritual identity, and abilities or disabilities. Students often find the diversity within our department to be one of its greatest strengths. Class discussions, group projects, and alumni panels allow students to appreciate the perspectives of others in the community. In addition to having academic talent, students are expected to demonstrate commitment to the empowerment of marginalized populations and the promotion of equity and fairness in the world. Some students choose to earn elective credits while working or studying in other countries. In recent years, students have completed internships or courses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras, Ghana, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. Financial Aid The department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education seeks to provide financial assistance to all students who need it. Graduate students can apply for assistantships in our department as well as in other departments. Fellowships can be awarded based on merit and/or financial need. By joining the department s lists, you will receive information about these opportunities. You can also visit NC State s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more Information: Employment Many graduate students in the department have full-time jobs in Raleigh or neighboring cities. The projected job growth in Raleigh between 2012 and 2017 is one of the highest in the country (14%), with 75,000 new jobs expected to be added in the city. NC State employs more than 7600 people, and Wake County Public Schools is the second largest school district in North Carolina with over 17,000 employees. If you are planning to work while you are in graduate school, the department will make every effort to accommodate your schedule. Courses typically start after 4 PM and some classes are taught online. The department currently has students who commute from Durham, Chapel Hill, and other nearby communities. Meet Our Faculty The Counselor Education faculty are available to speak with prospective master s and doctoral students. Every admitted student receives an advisor who assists with her or his plan of study. Dr. Stanley Baker Dr. Edwin Gerler Dr. Marc A. Grimmett Dr. Helen Lupton-Smith Dr. Sylvia Nassar-McMillan Dr. Sejal Parikh Dr. Jose A. Picart Dr. S. Raymond Ting Please visit the CICE website if you would like to contact our faculty or learn about their teaching assignments and research interests (ced.ncsu.edu/cice/counselor-education). For general questions, please contact Pauline Ellefson, Program Assistant in Counselor Education. Graduate students in the department are active in professional associations and present at local, state, and national conferences.

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