Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wickman, Scott A.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


The need for diligent gatekeeping practices in counselor education is well documented in professional literature, ethical guidelines, and standards of practice; although much has been written about gatekeeping, an extensive examination of the literature did not reveal any studies on how and where counselor educators are learning to be gatekeepers. Therefore, this study sought to ascertain what counselor educators identify as meaningful learning experiences and critical incidents that facilitated their sense of efficacy and preparedness as gatekeepers and to examine how counselor educators acquire and develop the competence to become proficient gatekeepers in the counseling profession. Phenomenological interviewing and analysis identified themes related to gatekeeper development such learning, training, competence, barriers, improvements, and conceptualizing gatekeeping. From these themes, a Constructivist Model of Gatekeeper Development emerged. Implications and further directions for research are suggested. Personal reflection on contextual influences such as COVID-19 Pandemic and Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement are also discussed.


208 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type