VISTAS Counselor Education and Supervision

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.

Teaching Social Justice Counseling Skills at a Rural University: What Has the Greatest Impact?

Susan L. Dodd


The purpose of this study was to better understand preservice counselors’ interpretations of course readings and activities concerning social justice, race, and multicultural education. The activities within the cultural contexts course, to be described below, have been carefully planned over time by members of the department who are all very dedicated to issues of social justice. The geographical location of the counseling program came into play during this planning process, as the census for the region has consistently remained at 93% White ( with an estimated median household income of $36, 691 in 2011( However, there is a Native American reservation within an hour’s drive, as well as several campus organizations that are comprised of students who are racially and/or culturally unlike the majority of the region’s permanent population. The racial demographics of the student population are 77% White, with 8% of the students being Hispanic/Latino, 6% Black, and 2% Asian ( The graduate program did not reflect this level of diversity, but the students within the program could still see their races, cultures, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, etc. reflected in the greater campus community. Most students within the graduate program did not grow up in the immediate geographic area.

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