University career counselors’ perceptions of counseling international students



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In 2014, according to the Institute for International Education (2015), 4% of the total United States student population studying at colleges and universities were international students. This increase in international student enrollment on college campuses has continually increased since 2005 and is projected to continue to increase. There is a lack of research examining career counselor perceptions regarding services to racial and ethnic groups, particularly international students (Carter, Scales, Juby, Collins, & Wan, 2003). Furthermore, there is currently no research literature that reflects the perceived preparedness and effectiveness of career counseling services to international students from a counselor’s perspective. The purpose of this study was to uncover and understand how university counselors view working with international students. Participants were career counselors working at career centers. These counselors were interviewed regarding their perceptions of working with international students in the career center setting and how their academic training prepared them to meet the needs of this growing population. The results identified several themes including: (a) stressors and barriers, (b) rapport building, (c) managing expectations, (d) understanding career needs, (e) utilizing resources, (f) training, and (g) knowledge of work authorization options. The results of this study reveal that university career counselors need increased awareness and training to address the unique career needs of international students.



University Career Counselor, Career Counseling International Students, Career Services, Professional Development, Counselor Training