Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Shari L. Jorissen


Professional identity development occurs during graduate training through mentoring, modeling, and academic training by counselor educators. If counselor educators are to transmit this professional identity, they must possess a robust professional identity themselves. Professional identity development theory suggests that the strength of this professional identity may be threatened by a lack of belonging in academia for nontenured or contingent faculty. A correlational research design using a purposeful convenience sample was used to examine the relationship between academic role, employment status, years of experience, and professional identity among counselor educators. The participants (n=50) were counselor educators who subscribe to the CESNET-Listserv. A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to relate demographic variables to scores on the Professional Identity Scale in Counseling (PISC). There were statistically significant relationships between employment status and overall PISC score (p = .044) and Engagement Behavior subscale (p = .013), while academic role was related to Professional Roles and Expertise (p = .041) and Philosophy of the Profession (p = .024) subscales at statistically significant levels. Years of experience was related to the Philosophy of the Profession (p = .046) subscale at a statistically significant level. The potential social change from this study is that a better understanding of factors related to counselor identity in educators may positively influence graduate school mentoring, modeling, and training and thereby strengthen professional identity in counseling students, which in turn may improve the quality of future services to clients.