VISTAS Counselor Professional and Career 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.

Navigating Academia: What You Didn't Learn in Graduate School

Jill R. Nelson, Kimberly J. Desmond and Clarrice A. Rapisarda


One way to improve the profession of Counselor Education is to better prepare those faculty members just entering the field so they can work towards success in the future. Boice (1992) also found that the first years of an academic career are predictive of future success. Therefore, knowing how to navigate these common issues during the first years as a faculty member is particularly important. This is also the reason why the purpose of this paper is to offer useful information to people entering the professorate about some of the stressors they may encounter. Specifically, the authors will address: finding a position with a good fit; respecting tradition; it’s o.k. to say “no” sometimes; balancing teaching, scholarship, and service. Additionally, the authors will discuss challenges facing women, diversity issues, working in union vs. non-union universities, and working with graduate assistants and advisees. Navigational tools for use during this process will be offered as well as some recommendations for how senior faculty might support new faculty during this time. The authors recognize that assisting new faculty in achieving success is one way to ensure a profession’s leadership and growth for years into the future. The information in this paper was originally presented at the 2009 Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) conference in San Diego.

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