Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Herlihy, Barbara; Christensen, Teresa

Second Advisor

Paradise, Louis

Third Advisor

McCollum, Vivian


The purpose of this research was to examine counselor educators’ perceptions of the gatekeeping process. To fulfill this purpose, a qualitative methodology using grounded theory procedures was utilized. Eight counselor educators participated in three rounds of individualinterviews. These counselor educators were located in the south-east region of the United States and had five or more years of experience teaching in CACREP-accredited graduate programs. Initial interviews occurred face-to-face and follow-up interviews were conducted via electronic mail. Initial face-to-face interviews were audio taped and transcribed for the purpose of data analysis. Electronic mail interviews were printed for analysis purposes. For each round of individual interviews, coding procedures were utilized to identify emergent themes. Emergent themes were organized in four general categories: pre-admission screening phase, postadmission screening phase, remediation plan phase, and remediation outcome phase. Additionally, two interwoven themes emerged related to each gatekeeping phase: support and cultural sensitivity. Verification procedures are discussed and methods to address potential limitations are presented. Implications for counselor educators, counselor education programs, related educational programs, CACREP, and ACA are highlighted. Finally, suggestions for further research are offered.


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