THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG COUNSELING PROGRAM ACCREDITATION, COMPLETION STATUS IN COUNSELING PROGRAMS, AND THE RACIAL ATTITUDES OF COUNSELORS-IN-TRAINING

Open Access
Author:
Garraway, Garbette
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
March 22, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Spencer Niles, Committee Chair
  • Jerry G Trusty, Committee Member
  • Keith B Wilson, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • counselor education
  • counselors-in-training
  • racial attitudes
  • multicultural counseling competencies
  • counseling program accreditation
Abstract:
ABSTRACT The acknowledgement in the counseling profession that practitioners may be limited in their provision of services to client from ethnic and racial groups different from their own precipitated a multicultural perspective to counseling. Out of that perspective developed the operationalization of competencies that counselor should have for providing effective multicultural counseling to clients from diverse backgrounds. Although empirical evidence indicates that the racial attitudes of counselors might also affect the services that they provide to clients, the focus of research has remained on counselors’ multicultural counseling competencies and the multicultural courses through which they are intended to be acquired primarily. This study focuses instead on counselor training programs and racial attitudes. Specifically, the purpose is to investigate whether there is a relationship between the racial attitudes of counselors-in-training and the amount of credit hours they have taken in their counseling programs. A cross-sectional research design will be used to investigate the relationship between racial attitudes and amount of credit hours taken. Scores obtained on the Quick Discrimination Index by counselor trainees at the master’s level will serve as the criterion (dependent) variable while amount of credit hours will be the predictor (independent) variable. A questionnaire specifically constructed for this study will collect data related to demographics and the coursework that participating counselor trainees have taken. Inasmuch as racial attitudes are influenced by personal and social variables, the investigation will account for the effect of the independent variables of age, gender, race/ethnicity, exposure to multicultural/diversity courses or workshops, and amount of experience as a practitioner. Furthermore, seeing that some counseling programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) while others are not, the study also includes accreditation as an independent variable. It is expected that results from the study will have implication for the pedagogical goals and curricular content of counseling programs. Also, inasmuch as research indicates that counselors with multicultural counseling competencies provide more effective service than those without, the results of this study could lead to future studies that examine whether counselors can hold prejudicial racial attitudes but still provide effective multicultural counseling services due to their multicultural counseling competencies.