Vistas Online 2011

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 Need for a Constructivist Approach in Supervising Second Career Counseling Students: The Intersection of Life Experience and Counselor Development

Stephen Burton


Embarking on the journey of a second career counselor is a time of purposeful transition, discovery, and reorientation for increasing numbers of older students entering into university graduate counseling programs. While traditionally, most students have been found to enter graduate school programs by their 30th birthday, current trends in enrollment demographics show that from 1995 to 2005, university graduate student enrollment for students 40 years and older has increased 27% (Redd, 2007). Education based graduate programs are the most common discipline of study for non-traditional older graduate students with a trend of continued projected increasing enrollment according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES; 2009). Closely tied to this trend are the reasons that inform and motivate adults to embark on a journey into new careers in the counseling field including life-span generativity factors, a long-held interest in the subject, personal development, career development, and a desire to fulfill latent ambitions (Bamber & Tett, 2000; Blaxter, Dodd, & Tight, 1996; Lacefield & Mahan, 1988; O'Donnell & Tobbell, 2007; Patterson, 2008). While the trend of increasing numbers of second career counseling students is acknowledged in current counseling literature, very little research has been undertaken thus far that examines the phenomenon of second career counselors from the perspective of meeting the unique educational and supervision needs of these students in order to leverage and extend the benefits they bring to university counseling programs, as well as understand and address possible associated risk factors.

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