VISTAS Career Counseling and Development

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

The Needed Development of Multicultural Career Counseling Skills: If Not Now When? If Not Us Who?

Lee Covington Rush


As referenced by Pope (2000) and further articulated by Herr (2001), the evolution of career development constructs and career interventions emerged within and as a consequence of the social milieu of the times. Thus, career development was originally built upon the work of Frank Parsons in the early 1900. Parsons’ model (1909) developed in the “climate of rapid urbanization, child labor issues, the rise of industrialization, the influx of immigrants, and the emergence of the human and behavioral sciences” (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey 2009, p. 15). This model or Parsonian approach included three main steps: developing a thorough understanding of yourself; developing a knowledge of what is required for success [in an occupation]; applying true reasoning in terms the previous two steps (Niles et al., 2009). This construct is referred to as Trait and Factor Theory and represented one of the seminal points in what would become career development theory and career intervention processes. According to Gysbers, Heppner, and Johnston (2003) the foundation of career theory and research that was developed in the early and mid 20th Century incorporated a western European worldview including: (a) individualism and autonomy, (b) affluence, (c) structure of opportunity open to all, (d) the centrality of work in people’s lives, and (e) the linearity, progressiveness, and rationality of the career development process (p. 53). If indeed career constructs were conceptualized on a western European model and exigency of the times, then their applicability with persons of color, women, and other marginalized groups is at best questionable.

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