A Phenomenological Study: Exploring the Career Decision-Making of Women of Color in Counselor Education
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
DepartmentSpecial Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling
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This study uses a hermeneutic phenomenology approach coupled with critical race theory to examine the lived experiences of women of color in counselor education and their pursuit to the professoriate. Scholars have made longstanding efforts to document the lived experiences of women that occupy faculty roles in higher education. Race and gender are part of the multiple identities women of color acknowledge in navigating the stereotypes, and that may challenge them in the professoriate (Jones et al., 2013). Further, counselor educators have thoroughly researched the experiences of women of color in counselor education programs both as faculty and students. Within the literature, experiences have included overwhelming service commitments, racism and discrimination, sole mentorship of students of color, affirmative action hires, and a lack of opportunity to collaborate with colleagues for research, all of which contribute to the lack of tenure promotion. Despite the documented obstacles, women of color, both knowingly and unknowingly, apply and obtain faculty positions in counselor education programs across the United States. This study will unpack the essence of the lived experiences of women of color (Black & Asian) who have selected a career as faculty in counselor education and how they have come to decide on their career selection. The author provides critical examination of women of color occupying faculty positions in counselor education positions for three years or less.