|Nielsen, Twyla Ann
|A growing population of older persons in the United States will require not only additional
counselors but counselors who are trained to work with an aging adult population. Recent trends
indicate that counselor education programs have moved away from gerocounseling as an academic
track as well as eliminating units on aging from courses currently offered to counselors-in-training.
Some graduate counselor education programs offer individual courses in aspects of gerontological
counseling. If the counseling profession is to meet the rapidly increasing needs of a growing older
population, more attention must be given to training counselors to meet the needs of this population.
The purpose of this study was to assess graduate counseling students, from counselor
education programs, regarding the students’ willingness to participate in gerocounseling training
and identify specific topics of interest that the graduate counseling students would most be
interested in counseling aging adults. Forty-four counselor education programs were contacted in
the North Central Region of the Association of Counselor and Education Supervision (North
Central ACES) and 211 students responded to the electronic survey through Survey Monkey.
The results showed that graduate counseling students are very interested in gerocounseling
and working with older adults. Students were willing to take additional coursework but not to the
extent that it would delay graduation. Students indicated that they felt prepared to counsel older
adults; however, none of the graduate counseling students surveyed had completed their field
experience which could impact that sense of preparedness.
As the aging population increases, so does the need for counselors who can help older adults
with life transitions. It is important that counselor education programs have faculty that identify as
gerontology specialists, that graduate counseling students have specialized coursework and are
performing research specific to counseling older adults.
|North Dakota State University
|NDSU Policy 190.6.2
|Graduate Counseling Students' Interest in Gerocounseling A Quantitative Study
|Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
|Human Sciences and Education
|Human Development and Family Science
|Brunt, Ardith R.