Career Counseling for African Americans

Career Counseling for African Americans

Career Counseling for African Americans

Career Counseling for African Americans

Synopsis

This book is the first edited volume devoted exclusively to career counseling with African Americans. African Americans are now at parity with the graduation rates of White Americans, yet disparities in employment continue to abound. At the same time the job market is changing and in need of more highly qualified workers, society must begin to understand the career and employment needs of Black Americans if it is to more effectively utilize this available market resource.

Recent data indicates that stronger economies have a competitive edge if they have a more diverse workforce. More effective career counseling must be provided for African Americans so that they can become more thoroughly integrated in the world of work, thus creating stronger economies for society and more satisfying and challenging lives for this segment of the United States. Career Counselors need to be trained to effectively interact with African Americans. This volume begins to shed more light on just how to do that.

This book presents nine significant topics focusing on career counseling for African Americans:

• basic issues and concepts;

• career assessment;

• career counseling with African Americans;

• career counseling with dual career African American couples;

• career transition issues;

• affirmative career counseling with African American women;

• career counseling in non-traditional career fields;

• the impact of the glass ceiling on the career development of African Americans; and

• future directions in career counseling theory, research, and practice with African Americans.

Excerpt

A significant question this volume attempts to answer is how counselors will help African Americans prepare for making career choices in the future. The models, strategies, methods, and information on career counseling described and elaborated in this volume attempt to show the way.

This text presents nine significant topics focusing on career counseling for African Americans: basic issues and concepts; career assessment; career counseling with African Americans; career counseling with dual-career African American couples; career transition issues; affirmative career counseling with African American women; career counseling in nontraditional career fields; the impact of the glass ceiling effect on the career development of African Americans; and future directions in career counseling theory, research, and practice with African Americans.

Each chapter takes a distinctive approach to the career-counseling needs of African Americans. These range from a focus on basic issues in career counseling for African Americans, issues related to career assessment, and the special needs of a broad range of African American diversity (e.g., special occupational factors, career transition issues, dual-career families, and future directions).

Chapter 1 by Brown and Pinterits discusses basic issues and concepts in career counseling for African Americans and sets the stage for the more specifically focused chapters to follow. Brown and Pinterits note that there has been little systematic study of career development counseling with African Americans. Most of what we do know is based on research whose participants were college-age students from relatively high economic status. Thus, there is very limited knowledge pertaining to factors affecting the career paths of African American youths from lower socioeconomic status (SES). In this context, Brown and Pinterits present general issues that must be considered in conducting career counseling with African Americans. Second, issues relevant to career intervention, content, process, and assessment are discussed.

Ward and Bingham in chapter 2 present some special challenges for career counselors, especially for those who are grounded in what may be called a traditional view of career assessment. These challenges include: the heterogeneity of African Americans in the United States; the practice of "one-size-fits-all" career services; the United States' ambivalence about its history of slavery; the impact of racism and segregation on the career development of African Americans; and internal and external structural barriers facing African Americans in relation to careers. In addition, Ward and Bingham present a broadened definition of career assessment in order to free the counselor from focusing the career assesment . . .

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