Date of Award

Fall 10-1-2015

Degree Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Counselor Education

First Advisor

Rafael Outland

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to begin a dialogue among helping professionals about the lack of diversity training in the Mental Health Counseling and Social Work fields. The researcher's goal was to evaluate helping professionals’ level of cultural competency by the time they completed formal diversity training in their master's program. The literature review reflects the main topic areas of diversity training that should be addressed before a master's student enters the professional world. The research study consisted of eight helping professionals working at the Catholic Family Center in Rochester, New York. The participants completed qualitative surveys, created by the researcher, to gather narratives of their experiences with diversity training. The study concluded that the participants felt culturally competent beginning professional jobs; following graduation of their masters programs. However, the narratives reflected that the diversity training was happening as informal training; outside the classroom and in the real lives of the participants. Based on the limitations of this study future research could include a bigger/ more diverse sample size, and a different method of data collection like interviews with participants.

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