Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Counselor Education and Supervision

First Advisor

Dr. Tremaine Leslie, PhD.

Second Advisor

Dr. Carla Stewart, Ed.D.


The need to increase multicultural counseling skills is a crucial area of focus in the continued evolution of the counseling profession. This necessity is due to a number of factors, including the ongoing demographic and societal changes in the United States. The research has helped to bring awareness of the need for increased and continued professional development in the area of cultural literacy and multicultural competencies skills for beginning counselors and others in counseling-related programs. At the micro level, the research investigated new clinicians’ self-awareness of their own biases, assumptions, internalized/externalized actions, and beliefs toward other cultures. The purpose of the study was, therefore to identify the motivations of new counselors for continuing professional development of multicultural competencies. The research discussed the internal motivators and external perceptions beginning counselors had of their curricula, required professional development, and personal decisions to continue skill development. The data was collected from seven participants using semi-structured interviews and analyzed using the qualitative approach of Grounded Theory. The findings produced several primary codes, which, once further analyzed, revealed themes leading to three theoretical statements. These themes include motivations for cultural knowledge, skills, and exposure; motivations for fulfilling the standards and ideals of the counseling profession; and motivations for self-discovery and a desire to learn new skills. The thoughts and discussions the participants shared helped to reveal information that may lead to improved individual counseling relationships, improved outcomes for clients, and overall evidence-based practices.