Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Fisher, Teresa A.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Higher education


This study explored the overall lived experiences of international doctoral candidates in and graduates of counselor education and supervision programs in four regions of the U.S. The study used a phenomenological interpretative approach that focused on exploring the subjective nature of the participants' perspectives in-depth. Seven participants, who were selected from six U.S. counselor education and supervision (CES) programs, participated. The researcher guided this study based on Vygotsky's sociocultural learning theory. The findings indicated that growing as a counselor educator was a journey of empowerment, but at the same time, was a very stressful and challenging process. The findings also identified the participants' specific professional developmental needs and barriers that complicated the participants' professional identity development. Their challenges included, but not limited to, a lack of cultural understanding and a lack of culturally-responsive learning environments. The findings also revealed the participants' contributions to the CES programs, and the roles of their support systems, self-care, and interpersonal interactions to navigate the cultural and educational barriers. The study offers insights into CES programs and to counselor educators to understand the cultural dynamics of international students and to foster culturally-oriented learning environments. The study also provides important implications for validating and integrating international students' lived experiences and diverse cultural backgrounds into CES programs. The study also provides important implications for program curricula including flexibility and multicultural skills training as well as suggestions for future research.


Advisors: Teresa A. Fisher.||Committee members: Cynthia Campbell; Scott A. Wickman.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


226 pages




Northern Illinois University

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