Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Hulse-Killacky, Diana

Second Advisor

Paradise, Louis

Third Advisor

Remley, Ted

Fourth Advisor

McCollum, Vivian


This exploratory research study investigated perceptions of practicum counselor trainees to help understand how prepared they believed they were for supervision. Based upon common elements of various developmental models of supervision, this study examined counselor trainees’ perceptions of their preparedness for practicum supervision based upon: (a) expectations of supervision; (b) understanding of the structure and formats used in supervision; (c) receptivity to and use of feedback in supervision; and (d) the evaluative component of supervision. This study also investigated possible explanations as to what factors may lead counselor trainees to feel more or less prepared for practicum supervision. The participants in this study were 156 counseling students enrolled in practicum courses at 27 CACREPaccredited counseling programs across the United States during the spring semester of 2005. The instrument used in this study was the Counselor Trainee Preparedness Perceptions Survey - Practicum Supervision (CTPPS-PS) survey, developed by the researcher. The CTPPS-PS was administered anonymously online through an Internet link distributed to students by practicum instructors or in paper format. To minimize the effects of varying practicum supervision experiences incurred by the sample participants, data collection was restricted to a 30-day period during the first half of the academic semester. Findings from this research revealed significant positive relationships between counselor trainees' overall perceptions of preparedness for practicum supervision and perceived preparation for various aspects of supervision. For the various aspects of supervision, the strongest relationships were found between overall perceptions of preparedness and preparation for what is required in supervision and to accept guidance and support through supervision. The weakest relationship was between overall perceptions and preparation for supervisory evaluation. These research findings also revealed significant positive relationships between counselor trainees' overall perceptions of preparedness for practicum supervision and perceptions of practicum supervision experience to date as well as with comfort experienced with receiving feedback in supervision. Another significant finding was consistently higher overall perceptions of preparedness for trainees being supervised by part-time faculty and for trainees attending universities with doctoral counseling programs. The findings of this study may encourage counselor educators to augment their programs and courses with supervision preparation strategies so that students may begin practicum feeling better prepared than the participants in this study. For supervisors, findings from this study can form the basis for a dialogue at the onset of supervision to determine the needs of counselor trainees, and thus help mitigate potential obstacles to practicum experiences resulting from areas lacking in preparation for supervision.


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