Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Kristy Carlisle

Committee Member

Chris Sink

Committee Member

Kristine Sunday

Committee Member

Stacey Havlik


College and career readiness has become a national priority for post-secondary student success, and school counselors play an essential role in implementing programs that develop college and career knowledge and skills. However, recent studies suggest that many high school graduates report feeling unprepared for continued success and many school counselors report feeling underprepared to address college and career readiness concerns with K-12 students. This qualitative study explored school counselor educators’ and high school counselors’ experiences addressing the topic of college and career readiness during their CACREP accredited school counseling graduate program with a specific focus on the American School Counselor Association’s Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College- and Career Readiness for Every Student resource. Twelve school counselor educators participated in a semi-structured interview and shared their experiences addressing college and career readiness strategies and resources within their CACREP accredited school counseling program. Additionally, four high school counselors who have recently graduated from a CACREP accredited master’s program and a high school college and career counselor participated in a focus group and discussed their experiences related to the topic.

A diverse research team engaged in a thematic analysis supported by Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-step approach to develop the following five themes: conceptualizing college and career readiness, challenges addressing CCR in school counseling graduate programs, multicultural influences, ASCA’s MBSS in practice, and challenges with ASCA and the MBSS. In addition, the research team also identified 24 subthemes to support the themes. The findings suggest that many school counselor educators also report feeling underprepared to address the topic of college and career readiness with school counseling graduate students indicating that additional college and career readiness training is needed for all school counseling professionals. Implications for school counseling professionals and organizations, limitations of the study, and potential areas of future research were also addressed.


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