This exploratory study sought to determine the strategies used by programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) to recruit and retain ethnic minority faculty. Seventy-three CACREP liaisons were surveyed, and the results indicated that many programs have not developed specific strategies to recruit and retain ethnic minority faculty. Mentoring was the most frequently reported strategy for retaining ethnic minority faculty. Implications for counselor education are discussed.
As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, building a diverse university faculty that more closely resembles the demographics of the nation as a whole becomes increasingly important (M. Collins, 1990; Lessow-Hurley, 1989; Makay, 1990). The most recent U.S. census (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000) indicated that Whites make up 75% of the total U.S. population, and ethnic minorities (i.e., Blacks/ African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, American Indians, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders) make up the remaining 25%. Aguirre (2000) indicated that in higher education, women and ethnic minority faculty have increased, but they remain underrepresented relative to their numbers in the U.S. population. According to recent studies (e.g., Nettles, Perna, & Bradburn, 2000), approximately 90% of the total faculty at the nation's 2- and 4-year public and private colleges are White, while the highest percentage of ethnic minority faculty are employed at public 4-year institutions (12.6%), a figure influenced by the inclusion of historically Black and Hispanic/Latino colleges and universities. Likewise, the American Association of University Professors (Alger, 2000) has reported that minority representation among tenure-track faculty in many disciplines remains alarmingly low despite minority faculty recruitment and retention efforts over the past 20 years.
Many higher education institutions have developed strategies for recruiting ethnic minority faculty within the limits of general faculty recruitment policies (Cooper & Smith, 1990; Lessow-Hurley, 1989; Makay, 1990; Miller, 1991). For instance, several authors (e.g., Cooper & Smith, 1990; Smith, 1994) have documented that universities and colleges with diverse faculty have gone to great lengths to locate prospective minority applicants and to become aware of unintentional institutional barriers in the hiring process. Others (e.g., M. Collins, 1990) have noted that departmental faculty with an understanding of minority faculty experiences at institutions dominated by White individuals are more successful at hiring ethnic minority faculty.
Most minority faculty recruitment efforts have taken place without any documented strategies or long-term strategic plans (Aguirre, 2000). Knowles and Harleston (1996) examined 11 major research universities and found that most departmental chairpersons were unaware of resources that could assist them in identifying minority candidates and had very little knowledge of personnel work beyond their experiences in their own careers. The possibility that minority candidates might be in different networks or react differently to various recruitment approaches seemed novel to them. Knowles and Harleston also found that faculty search committees received very little training or briefing on recruiting for diversity and were far removed from essential knowledge about and involvement in minority faculty recruitment. Considering this lack of information and knowledge among university faculty, Knowles and Harleston concluded that it was no surprise that increasing minority faculty had not been dramatically successful.
Several authors (Opp & Smith, 1994; Owens, Reis, & Hall, 1994) have even suggested institutional factors that serve as predictors of whether a college or university has a high percentage of underrepresented minorities on the faculty. For instance, Opp and Smith indicated that having an ethnic minority vice president of academic affairs who spent a significant amount of time on issues pertaining to minority faculty recruitment increased the chances of recruiting an ethnic minority faculty member. Owens et al. noted that academic units that (a) included minority professionals from the service area on search committees; (b) used minority media in recruitment campaigns; and (c) made use of partnerships with schools, business, and industry to seek out potential candidates were more likely to be successful when recruiting minority faculty. Owens et al. also explained that it was critical to have a commitment to institutional diversity from the highest levels of a university's administration to ensure active ethnic minority faculty recruitment. Nicholas and Oliver (1994) also indicated that those institutions that maintained ongoing dialogue with institutions with large numbers of ethnic minority students and graduates and were committed to diversifying administration, staff, and student bodies as well as faculties were highly successful when recruiting minority faculty.
It has been documented that minority faculty recruitment must be coupled with minority faculty retention efforts to ensure minority faculty presence on college campuses (Miller, 1991). That is, at the point of recruitment, an institution must also begin implementing ways to support retention of ethnic minority faculty. Although all new faculty benefit from well-planned retention strategies, additional supports that recognize the distinctive demands and pressures faced by many minority faculty are also needed (Cockrell, Mitchell, Middleton, & Campbell, 1999). For example, minority faculty members are often sought out by communities and ethnic minority students for advising or other demands. For many ethnic minority faculty who value loyalty to the community, responding negatively to requests from students or minority communities is not an option. Johnsrud and Des Jarlais (1994) suggested that universities and departments must work with their faculties to gain acceptance of the additional service demands that are placed on ethnic minority faculty so that these extra demands meet university standards for tenure and promotion. Support in the summer for research, editorial assistance with manuscripts and grants, and assignments of graduate assistants have also been offered as means to support minority faculty scholarship and to help mitigate the time pressure of community demands (Colby & Foote, 1995).
A more difficult challenge in retaining ethnic minority faculty is to change organizational culture to be more welcoming and supportive of diversity (Aguirre, 2000). Recruiting individuals and making the importance of a diverse faculty visible must be implemented along with an analysis of how the organizational culture is experienced by ethnic minority faculty. Both formal and informal norms and practices must be analyzed in order to detect barriers to minority faculty success, which in many cases lead to dissatisfying experiences and resignations (Aguirre, Hernandez, & Martinez, 1994). Annual interviews with ethnic minority faculty and exit interviews when faculty members leave can be avenues to analyzing minority faculty experiences. Johnsrud (1993) also noted that minority faculty might also encounter colleagues who question their legitimacy as academics, which thereby creates a barrier for acquiring institutional resources and rewards. According to Johnsrud, these workplace issues must be addressed for institutions and departments to retain ethnic minority faculty.
Counselor education programs are no different than other fields in higher education when discussing the recruitment and retention of ethnically diverse faculty. Over the last 20 years, multicultural counseling advocates have called for more diverse faculty representation in counselor education (Atkinson, 1983; Atkinson, Morton, & Sue, 1989; Young, Chamley, & Withers, 1990), with very little increase in the numbers of senior-level ethnic minority counselor educators. Dinsmore and England (1996), for instance, found that the percentages of counselor educators by ethnic group were significantly different from the percentages for each ethnic group in the U.S. population. They found that 15% of counselor educators were non-White, compared with a 25% non-White percentage in the general population. Dinsmore and England also found that African Americans and Hispanics were the most underrepresented among counselor education faculty by 4% and 6%, respectively. Even more disappointing was their finding that the percentage of minority faculty within each rank (e.g., instructor, assistant, associate, full professor) increased as rank decreased.
Given the importance of multiculturalism and diversity in counseling and counselor education (D'Andrea, Daniels, & Heck, 1991; Locke, 1992; Ponterotto, Alexander, & Grieger, 1995; Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992), it seems fitting that attention is given to the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority counselor educators. For example, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP, 2001) standards require that counselor education programs make "systematic and long term efforts to attract and retain faculty from different ethnic, racial, gender, and personal backgrounds representative of the diversity among people in society" (p. 17). Currently, however, there is no literature that addresses the ethnic minority faculty recruitment and retention strategies used in CACREP-accredited programs. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to determine the strategies currently being used to recruit and retain ethnic minority faculty in CACREP-accredited counselor education programs. We are hopeful that this article will serve as a means to share possible strategies that might assist counselor education programs struggling with diversifying their faculty.
CACREP liaisons representing the 134 CACREP-accredited counseling programs were identified through an accredited program list provided by that organization. CACREP-accredited programs include both master's and doctoral programs. Surveys along with a cover letter explaining the purpose of the study were mailed to the attention of the CACREP liaison, with requests that the liaisons complete the survey. A second mailing was sent 6 weeks later to those who had net responded. The overall response rate was 54% (N = 73).
Of the 73 CACREP liaisons that responded to the survey, 44 (60.3%) indicated that they had counselor education faculty from underrepresented or ethnic minority populations. The liaisons represented each region of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES): North Atlantic (n = 13), North Central (n = 19), Southern (n = 25), Rocky Mountain (n = 6), and Western (n = 10). Twenty-six liaisons (35.6%) reported that their program did net have any ethnic minority faculty, and 3 (4.1%) did net respond to that item.
Because reliable and valid surveys are obtained by making sure the survey items reflect definitions and models used in theory or experience (Fink & Kosecoff, 1998), we reviewed the literature pertaining to the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority faculty in general higher education and then more specifically in counselor education. A seven-item survey was then developed based on the literature reviewed. In addition, items were kept to a minimum to increase the return rate (Fink & Kosecoff, 1998).
Specifically, Items 1 and 2 asked the liaisons to list their ACES region and minority representation among tenure-track faculty. Item 3 was an open-ended item that required the participants to describe what their department is doing and/or has done to recruit ethnic minority faculty. Fink and Kosecoff (1998) stated that open-ended survey items resulted in more information and insight into the participant's response. Item 4 asked the participants to indicate which groups their ethnic minority faculty represent (for instance, African American woman, Latino/Hispanic man, Asian/Pacific Islander woman). The participants were also asked to identify the rank of each ethnic minority faculty member. Item 5 required the participants to list the courses taught by ethnic minority faculty members. Item 6 required the participants to list the research interests of ethnic minority faculty in their department. For Item 7, the participants were asked to identify the strategies used by their department to retain ethnic minority faculty. The list consisted of the following retention strategies: mentoring, salary incentives, reduced teaching load, leadership/decision-making opportunities, opportunities to develop courses, and graduate assistant support. Additional space was available for retention strategies not listed. This article reports the results to Items 3 and 7.
A draft of the survey was reviewed by four experienced counselor educators for readability, item clarity, and relevance to the purpose of the study. The final version of the questionnaire was based on feedback from the reviewers.
The CACREP liaisons were asked to specify strategies used by their programs to recruit ethnic minority faculty. Twenty-six (n = 26) liaisons briefly described their department's/program's strategies for recruiting ethnic minority faculty. The remaining participants either left the item blank or responded that their program had no specific strategy for recruiting ethnic minority faculty members. We categorized each of the participant responses and gave each category a code.
Table 1 includes the response categories and sample responses of the participants. The response categories were as follows: (a) advertising faculty openings in "minority" publications (e.g., Black Issues in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Hispanic Times), (b) encouraging minorities to apply in job announcements, (c) networking with colleagues about minority doctoral students, (d) contacting agencies/institutions that specialize in minority issues/populations, (e) encouraging minority master's-level students to attend doctoral program, (f) directly contacting possible applicants, (g) modifying search process, (h) recruiting at conferences, (i) salary incentives, and (j) no strategy(ies).
Table 2 includes the number of participant responses for each recruitment strategy category. Thirty-eight participants stated that their department or program had no strategy for the recruitment of ethnic minority faculty. The recruitment strategies most often reported were the following: contacting agencies/institutions that specialize in minority concerns/populations (n = 10), networking with colleagues about possible minority candidates (n = 8), and advertising faculty openings in minority publications (n = 6).
Table 3 illustrates the frequency of participants' responses regarding strategies for minority faculty retention. The participants indicated that mentoring (n = 37), providing the opportunity to develop courses (n = 29), graduate assistant support (n = 28), and leadership opportunities (n = 27) were the most frequently used minority faculty retention strategies. The liaisons were also asked to briefly describe any retention strategies that were not offered on the questionnaire. Five of the liaisons responded that their ethnic minority faculty were treated the same as other faculty, and, therefore, there were no specific strategies or activities used to ensure that ethnic minority faculty were retained. Others noted that their departments used the following retention strategies: general encouragement; talking with minority faculty about their value to the department; pretenure sabbatical; no assigned advisees; and extra monies to buy graduate assistance, travel, and supplies.
Unfortunately, the results of this exploratory study indicate that many CACREP-accredited counselor education programs do not have a specific strategy for recruiting ethnic minority counselor educators. However, this study's findings suggest that there are CACREP-accredited counselor education programs that are using specific strategies to attract ethnic minority faculty. These strategies include contacting agencies/institutions that specialize in minority issues/populations, advertising faculty openings in "minority" publications, encouraging minorities to apply, networking with colleagues about minority doctoral students, and directly contacting possible minority applicants. It is interesting that these recruitment strategies are closely aligned with the recruitment strategies mentioned by Opp and Smith (1994). Nevertheless, there were recruitment strategies documented in the literature that were not mentioned by the CACREP liaisons. For instance, educating faculty search committees on recruiting for diversity was not mentioned by any of the participants.
Although this study did not address the perceptions of ethnic minority faculty, it would be important for future research to focus on how ethnic minority faculty perceive and then respond to each of the strategies. For instance, do ethnic minority faculty candidates respond more favorably to job announcements encouraging minority applicants or letters inviting them to apply? This type of data could possibly help counselor educators in their long-term minority faculty recruitment plans and strategies. Also, future research should focus on minority counselor educator recruitment within the context of different institutional policies and cultures. By examining individual institutions and departments, there would be a more accurate picture of what barriers and assets each institution must deal with when recruiting ethnic minority faculty.
Most of the liaisons reported that mentoring is used as a means to retain ethnic minority faculty. This finding is consistent with Brinson and Kottler's (1993) and Blackwell's (1989) position that cross-cultural mentoring is of special importance for minority junior faculty. Because of the small number of senior ethnic minority faculty in counselor education who can act as mentors for younger minority faculty, minority counselor educators have no choice but to rely on senior faculty mentors of the majority culture. Although the participants in this study indicated that many counselor education programs used mentoring as a retention strategy, there is little known about how and who is implementing mentoring. Clearly, this is an area for further research and exploration.
Also worthy of noting is the finding that many of the participants reported providing extra support to ethnic minority counselor educators as a retention strategy. Twenty-eight participants reported that their programs offered graduate assistant support, 16 reported providing salary incentives, and 12 reported offering reduced teaching loads. This is promising because it has been documented that oftentimes ethnic minority faculty need extra support because of workplace dissatisfaction (Johnsrud, 1993), feelings of isolation (Johnson, 1997), lack of institutional support, and overwhelming advising (of ethnic minority students) responsibilities (Wilson, 1995). It is interesting that there were no participants who reported making changes to organizational culture as a retention strategy. Because analyzing the culture of an institution or department has been cited as critical to the retention of ethnic minority faculty (e.g., Aguirre, 2000), further exploration of analyzing an organization's culture for barriers to diversity is needed in counselor education.
Implications for Counselor Educators
Clearly, it is disappointing that the results of this exploratory study suggest that many counselor education programs do not use specific strategies to attract and retain ethnic minority faculty. However, there are still numerous unanswered questions regarding the effectiveness of the recruitment and retention strategies that are being implemented. For instance, is cross-cultural mentoring as effective as mentoring between individuals of the same ethnic group, or does publicizing a faculty position in Black Issues in Higher Education attract more minority applicants than contacting colleagues about ethnic minority doctoral students? Better yet, does a combination of strategies work best? Counselor educators may want to consider keeping data regarding their recruitment and retention strategies and outcomes. The extra work for a search committee to keep this type of data is minimal, and the impact, although seemingly small, will assist in understanding how to and how not to recruit and retain ethnic minority faculty.
Given the CACREP standards and the disproportionate number of ethnic minority faculty in counselor education, it seems fitting that CACREP officials closely assess whether programs are actively fulfilling the standard regarding diverse representation of faculty. The findings of this study indicate that not only are there CACREP-accredited programs with no ethnic minority faculty, but many programs are not using any specific strategies to recruit and/or retain ethnic minority faculty. Perhaps CACREP and individual counselor education programs should initiate committees and/or task forces to further investigate minority faculty recruitment and retention trends and strategies. In addition, future workshops and professional development activities related to minority faculty recruitment and retention would be advantageous for counselor education faculty, particularly chairpersons and those serving on search committees. Panel discussions focusing on the career experiences and concerns of ethnic minority counselor educators could assist in the development of appropriate retention strategies. In addition, panel discussions including representatives from counselor education programs that have been successful at retaining and recruiting ethnic minority faculty would be advantageous for programs that are interested in expanding their existing strategies or initiating new strategies.
This study gives a glimpse of what counselor educators are doing to ensure ethnic faculty representation. However, survey studies, such as the one described here, cannot answer all of counselor educators' questions regarding what they should be doing to further the progress of recruiting and retaining diverse faculty. Bernall (1994) suggested that the lack of ethnic minority faculty in counseling and psychology programs is due to the prevailing core attitudes and views about ethnic minorities and multicultural training. If this is true, then it is possible that counselor educators with low regard for multiculturalism in counseling are making recruitment and retention of minority faculty a low priority. Although these core attitudes and views are difficult to capture using surveys or questionnaires, because of social desirability bias (Suarez-Balcazar, Durlak, & Smith, 1994), it is imperative that counselor educators confront and challenge negative views and attitudes toward multiculturalism and diversity as a core component of counselor education. As stated previously, institutions with successful minority recruitment and retention percentages have an institutional climate that illustrates a strong commitment to diversity (R. W. Collins & Johnson, 1988; Smith, 1994).
Limitations and Future Directions
It should be noted that this study was exploratory in nature and was done for descriptive purposes only. This study was limited by the fact that all CACREP-accredited programs did not respond to the survey. Although a respectable response rate was obtained, the responses might be biased in a way that either underestimates or overestimates the recruitment and retention strategies used in counselor education programs. In addition, because CACREP liaisons were asked to list retention and recruitment strategies, it is possible that they did not report strategies used by various search committees nor what faculty members were doing individually to retain ethnic minority faculty. Despite this study's limitations, we believe it is a first step in better understanding how to diversify counselor education faculty.
In the future, the recruitment and retention strategies mentioned in this study should be further explored and discussed. Counselor educators, particularly department chairpersons, will undoubtedly benefit from more discussion regarding this topic at professional association conferences, in the counseling literature, and departmental meetings. Only when diversifying counselor education becomes a top priority will our counseling profession be more representative of the society in which we live.
TABLE 1 Response Categories and Examples of Participant Responses Regarding Minority Faculty Recruitment Strategies Category Strategy Code Advertising faculty openings in minority publications 1 ("All new or open positions are advertised in newsletters for diverse groups." "University also places generic ads in minority publications." "Advertised in Hispanic Outlook and Issues in Black Higher Education.") Encourage ethnic minorities to apply in job announcement 2 ("Statement encouraging applications from minority group members." "Advertise for minorities and women." "We have included an encouragement for minority applicants in our job postings.") Networking with colleagues about possible minority 3 candidates ("Ask colleagues at doctoral training institutions to encourage minorities to apply for positions." "The most recent search included calls to senior faculty requesting names of potential candidates who might be contacted." "Contacted a number of counselor education programs requesting names of current/past minority students who are interested in university teaching.") Contacting agencies/institutions that specialize in 4 minority concerns/populations ("We send copies of our job announcements to all historically Black colleges." "Work with our Equal Employment Office." "Send letters to chairs at African American universities.") Encouraging minority master's-level students to obtain 5 doctoral degree ("One MA student was asked to get a doctoral degree elsewhere and then hired." "University pays for PhD at other institution for minority. That individual is committed to three years here--in tenure track position.") Seek and directly contact possible minority candidates 6 ("Did a faculty search for a minority individual who could provide counseling service with minority students." "Contacted identified individuals and actively recruit to apply for positions." "Specific mailings to potential minority applicants.") Modified search process 7 ("Made sure ethnic minority group members served on search committees." "We have tried to get permission to advertise earlier." "We extended the search for an extra year in an attempt to hire an ethnic minority faculty member.") Recruit at conferences 8 ("Recruit at national conferences [APA, ACPA]." "Recruit at Winter Roundtable on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Education.") Salary incentives 9 ("Give stipends--encourage extra travel and research money support.") No strategy 10 ("We hope to employ a minority faculty member when we have a vacancy, but our first priority will be dictated by the skills the person brings to the program." "We are seeking through traditional avenues." "Not much being done.") Note. APA = American Psychological Association; ACPA = American College Personnel Association. TABLE 2 Frequency of Minority Faculty Recruitment Strategies Reported by CACREP Liaisons Number of Code Response Category Responses 10 No strategy 38 4 Contact agencies/institutions that specialize in minority concerns/populations 10 3 Network with colleagues about possible minority 8 candidates 1 Advertise faculty openings in minority publications 6 2 Encourage ethnic minorities to apply in job 5 announcement 7 Modify search process (e.g., longer search) 5 6 Seek and directly contact possible minority candidates 4 5 Encourage minority master's-level students to obtain doctoral degree 3 8 Recruit at conferences 3 9 Salary incentives 1 Note. CACREP = Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Nine participants did not respond to this survey. Some participant responses were given more than one code. TABLE 3 Frequency of Minority Faculty Retention Strategies Reported by CACREP Liaisons Number of Strategy Responses Mentoring 37 Opportunity to develop courses 29 Graduate assistance support 28 Leadership opportunities 27 Salary incentives 16 Reduced teaching load 12 Note. CACREP = Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Participants could select more than one strategy.
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Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, University of Maryland; Carla Bradley, Department of Counseling, Special Education and Child Development, University of North Carolina. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, 3214 Benjamin Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (e-mail: email@example.com).…