This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of Advocacy Participation on the Multicultural Counseling Competency of Counselor Trainees




Isom, Elliot

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


This study examined the impact of an advocacy project on the multicultural competency of counselor-trainees. Forty-one counseling students across two course sections of multicultural counseling were given a reliable assessment of cultural competency in counseling at the beginning of the semester and at the end. One group completed an advocacy project during the semester, and the other completed the accredited curriculum model. Students participating in the advocacy project completed reflections that documented their experiences. Reflections were prompted with questions taken from the American Counseling Association Advocacy Competencies. Seventeen reflections were examined for the experiences of counselor-trainees completing the advocacy project. The reflections were written by counseling students in either school counseling or clinical mental health counseling programs. The analysis revealed that both groups held increases in their multicultural competency from the beginning to end of the class. Additionally, there existed no difference in scores between the groups. From the analysis of reflections, a consistent theme of strategies and awareness for overcoming personal barriers emerged. Students understood that in order to serve as competent advocates they needed to address and develop their own knowledge, personal characteristics, or bias.