Tad P Santos

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2012


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Joseph Maola

Committee Member

Maura Krushinski

Committee Member

Evelyn Kitchens-Stephens


Multicultural counseling, Counselor education


This was a study of student perceptions and retention of multicultural counseling awareness and knowledge. All of the graduate students of a medium sized, private university in Pennsylvania, in the counselor education program (included marriage and family, school counseling, and community counseling tracks) were required to take the Multicultural Issues and Strategies in Counseling course. This study examined whether or not graduate students retain multicultural counseling knowledge and awareness from the completion of a beginning course in multicultural counseling through to graduation. This investigator hoped to contribute to the field of counselor education by examining if multicultural counseling competencies are retained or if adjustments should be considered in the counselor education program to insure that the skills and competencies are present at graduation. This study was also conducted to help determine if a measuring instrument for multicultural counseling knowledge and awareness would be a useful measurement tool in counselor education programs. The instrument used in the study is the Multicultural Counseling Knowledge and Awareness Scale (MCKAS, Ponterotto et al., 1997), a 32-item self-report inventory that measures perceived multicultural counseling knowledge and awareness.

The primary research question is: "Do graduating counseling students retain their level of perception of multicultural counseling knowledge and awareness from the completion of the Multicultural Issues and Strategies in Counseling Course through graduation. There is approximately a 2-year period between completion of the course and graduation. The investigator also examined if there was an interaction effect of gender on the retention rate. The question was whether or not there is a difference between retention levels for male and female students.

It was determined that graduating students demonstrate the same levels of knowledge and awareness of multicultural competency as students who complete the course. This study was a follow-up to a study conducted by Kitchens-Stevens (2005) that determined that students' skills in these areas improve from taking the course; this study demonstrated that they retain these skills to graduation. It was also determined that gender is not an interaction variable; men and women demonstrated no differences.