Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2011


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Joseph Maola

Committee Member

Robert Furman

Committee Member

Richard Hoffman


Career development, Career Development Inventory, Career exploration, Counselor education, Counselor student


This study examines the difference in the level of career development among beginning counselor education students, practicum students, and graduating counselor education students. Career development was measured using the Career Development Inventory, which is available only online via the Vocopher website. Career development is a process that takes place over an individual's lifespan and each career decision makes an impact on future decisions, as well as the roles an individual will play. As an individual progress though the career stages, he or she makes career decisions and must master the tasks of each stage in order to successfully transition into the next stage. Career maturity, a concept used to define an individual's readiness for making sound career decisions, is used to gauge whether an individual has adequate information and the appropriate attitude to make decisions that allow progression into other stages of career development, and ultimately find career success. Research suggests that students who are in the exploratory stage of career development tend to have higher career development scores than those who newly enter the establishment stage of career development (McCaffrey, Miller &Winston, 1984). The career development of counselor education students appears to proceed upon a somewhat predictable path. This study revealed that when students begin a counselor education program, he or she may be in the exploratory phase of career development and at some point, just prior to or during the practicum experience, students appear to transition into the establishment phase of career development. Evidence for this career stage transition is found in the lower means scores of the beginning counselor education students as compared to the mean scores from the practicum and graduating students. Implications from the results of this study and suggestions for further research are presented.