Counselor Educators' Strategies for Success
Niles, Spencer G., Akos, Patrick, Cutler, Heather, Counselor Education and Supervision
Fourteen counselor educators identified strategies for research, teaching, and service activities. Responses were analyzed for themes, which were presented as recommendations for counselor educators. Recommendations included developing a disciplined, focused, and collaborative approach to research. Strategies for effective teaching included using multiple teaching methods, taking a student-centered approach, and keeping current in one's field. Recommendations for participation in service activities included using effective interpersonal skills, appreciating multiple perspectives, and following through on one's commitments. Additional strategies for balancing time, overcoming obstacles, and coping with multiple life roles are presented.
Multiple role expectations (e.g., writing for publication, teaching, participating in service activities) confront counselor educators on a daffy basis. Not surprisingly, many counselor educators experience significant stress as they attempt to cope with these role demands. For some faculty members, the stress associated with these role expectations is exacerbated by role overload, lack of collegial support, insufficient feedback, insufficient rewards and recognition, inadequate resources for completing work tasks, and conflicting life role demands (Sorcinelli, 1994). Many graduate students in counseling and related programs wonder about how to manage a career in academia (Morgeson, Seligman, Sternberg, Taylor, & Manning, 1999).
Institutional responses to these concerns include offering orientation programs for new faculty and providing structured learning opportunities for ongoing faculty development in the areas of teaching and research. Perhaps the most typical response to helping new faculty members is to provide them with more senior faculty mentors (Sorcinelli, 1994).
Benefits of Mentoring
One way in which faculty mentors help their proteges is by sharing the insights they have acquired throughout their careers. Proteges can learn from the experiences that senior faculty share relative to how to successfully perform the tasks confronting those in the professorate. Researchers investigating the benefits experienced by proteges in the mentoring relationship report that proteges tend to be more satisfied in their work and more successful in achieving promotions than those workers without mentors (Brinson & Kottler, 1993; Dalton, Thompson, & Price, 1977; Robinson, 1994; Sorcinelli, 1994; Wright & Wright, 1987). More specifically, Phillips-Jones (1982) suggested that mentors help their proteges by sharing knowledge and expertise, providing emotional support, serving as successful role models, advocating for their proteges, and working collaboratively with their proteges in the areas of teaching and research.
Unfortunately, not all faculty members have the opportunity to work with mentors (Morgeson et al., 1999). Furthermore, Brinson and Kottler (1993) argued that the lack of access to mentoring that many minority counselor educators experience may be a significant reason for lower rates of minority faculty earning tenure as compared with nonminority faculty members (who often have more access to mentors). Counselor educators without access to senior faculty members are often forced to self-navigate their professional responsibilities, thereby placing them at a disadvantage compared with those working with mentors (Sorcinelli, 1994).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to share strategies for successfully performing the primary tasks confronting counselor educators. By sharing their knowledge and expertise related to the questions posed in this study, the participants provide an important mentoring function to other counselor educators (Phillips-Jones, 1982). Themes emerging from participant responses can be considered for adoption by counselor educators who are seeking strategies for …
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Publication information: Article title: Counselor Educators' Strategies for Success. Contributors: Niles, Spencer G. - Author, Akos, Patrick - Author, Cutler, Heather - Author. Journal title: Counselor Education and Supervision. Volume: 40. Issue: 4 Publication date: June 2001. Page number: 276. © 2007 American Counseling Association. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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