Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen E. Craig

Second Advisor

Dr. Gary H. Bischof

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves


Preparing future faculty, counselor education, excellent teachers, teacher preparation


Teaching is a deeply held value for counselor educators. Nonetheless, counselor education programs have historically provided only minimal attention to preparing doctoral students to actually teach. Furthermore, little of the research in the field of counselor education addresses the way counselor educators are prepared to teach. Using qualitative methods, this author engaged counselor educators identified as excellent teachers in an examination of meaningful experiences that contributed to their development as faculty in counselor education. By exploring experiences that prepared them to teach, excellent teachers provided the next generation of faculty members with rich descriptive strategies for teacher preparation in counselor education.

This study applied the term excellent to counselor education faculty who are: (a) recipients of the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision’s (NCACES) Outstanding Professional Teaching Award, or (b) identified by Counselor Education department chairs as excellent teachers. Ten counselor educators, recognized for their excellence in teaching, participated in this study. Data was collected during initial and follow-up interviews with participants. Phenomenological methods of data analysis were used to formulate a collective description of meaningful experiences related to the development of excellent teachers in counselor education. Three common themes were identified in this study: (1) Teacher-training: the meaningful training experiences that prepared participants to teach; (2) Influential instructors: previous instructors and the meaningful qualities that made them influential; and (3) Personal style as teachers: meaningful qualities used by participants to describe their personal style as a teacher. The common themes support the existing literature in counselor education on the benefits of real-world teaching experiences for doctoral students in counselor education. Findings also support higher education literature on the need for teacher-mentors as models of excellent teaching. Implications of the findings for counselor education research and practice are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access