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Dollarhide honored with research award in counselor education

Janet Kiplinger Ciccone
January 05, 2016

Colette T. Dollarhide, associate professor of counselor education, recently accepted the 2015 Research in Counselor Education and Supervision Award at the annual conference of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).

Colette Dollarhide Colette Dollarhide

 

Dollarhide conducted the research with Donna M. Gibson, associate professor of counselor education, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Julie M. Moss, a counselor in South Carolina’s Richland One School District.

The national award honors a significant research project within the past five years that specifically addresses issues concerning the education and supervision of counselors.

Their scholarship is among the most cited research about the growth of professional identity for counselors, said Melissa Luke, associate professor of school counseling at Syracuse University and one of five who nominated the trio for the award. “The studies are on their way to becoming seminal in that area.”

“Colette and her colleagues showed great insight in choosing their research focus,” said Eric Anderman, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Studies, which houses the Counselor Education program. “Contemporary research is building on the findings of these influential studies.”

Significance to the field

The growth of professional identity for counselors is at the forefront of national awareness within the counseling profession. Professional identity is considered essential to counselor effectiveness with clients.

“Their research findings provide counselor programs with a specific framework to align the curriculum in a developmentally appropriate way,” said Dodie Limberg, assistant professor of counselor education at South Carolina State, one of the nominators. “Further, the findings offer supervisors additional understanding of what their supervisees may be experiencing as they transition into their roles as counselors.”

Nominator Catharina Chang, professor of counseling and psychological services at Georgia State University, said the research is especially relevant as states amend their educational requirements to meet licensure expectations of accrediting organizations. Consistent professional identity is also vital as the field works to receive third-party reimbursement for counseling services.

The scholars’ project produced three articles that were published in flagship counselor education journals, and a fourth article that is currently in press:

  • This study was the first to establish that counselors in training move through three distinct stages as they develop their professional identities. It won the 2010 Outstanding Article Award from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.
    • (2010) “Professional Identity Development: A Grounded Theory of Transformational Tasks of New Counselors,” in Counselor Education and Supervision, 50, 21-38.

Read the journal article.

  • This study was the first to document the transitions experienced by doctoral students in counselor education and was one of the top 10 most-often-downloaded articles of 2013. These transitions involve the integration of prior professional identity as a counselor with the identities of doctoral student, then as counselor educator.

(2013)  “Professional Identity Development of Counselor Education Doctoral Students” in Counselor Education and Supervision, 52, 137-150.

Read the journal article.

  • This study was the first to examine, using similar methodology, the developmental transitions among practicing counselors, finding that professional identity continues to evolve as the practitioner moves through challenges in the profession.

(2014) “Professional Identity Development: A Grounded Theory of Transformational Tasks of Counselors,” in Journal of Counseling and Development, 92(1), 3-12.

Read the journal article.

  • In this study, pretenure and tenured counselor educators were invited to participate in the examination of professional identity as a counselor educator. The researchers found that the transitional tasks faced by counselor educators involved relationships in supporting identity, perceived autonomy in the role of professor and responsibility to and for the profession of counselor education.

(2015). “Professional identity development of tenured and tenure-track counselor educators.” Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, 2(2), 113-130.

Read the journal article.

 

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