Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dooley, Katherine

Committee Member

Sheperis, Carl

Committee Member

Looby, E. Joan

Committee Member

Underwood, Ray Joe

Committee Member

Jacquin, Kristine

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Counselor Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education


The counseling profession requires its professionals to be ethically aware, culturally aware, and personally aware. Counselor Education departments strive to create environments that foster multicultural interactions and environments that provide sufficient safety for persons to be self-expressive and self-reflective. Such environments support the personal growth required to be effective counselors and agents of change. The purpose of this research was to measure the climate for sexual minorities in Counselor Education programs. Using the Climate for Sexual Minorities in Counselor Education Programs Survey (CSMCEPS) to collect information from faculty and graduate students, this research attempted to describe the level of acceptance across Counselor Education programs in North America. In addition, this research looked for (a) differences in responses based on geographic regions; (b) differences between the perceptions of sexual minority individuals and heterosexual individuals; and, (c) differences between faculty members? perceptions of the climate and graduate students? perceptions. In general, the results of this study showed that the climate for sexual minorities in counselor education programs was positive. The stance of the counseling profession would dictate that the outcome should have been positive and, as mentioned previously, there is evidence that self-selection biased the sample. Given the professions ethical stance and the bias of the sample, the results should have been overwhelmingly supportive and affirming of sexual minorities and this was not the case. The data indicated that the environment could only be considered mildly accepting, but should not be considered affirming. To answer the research questions around differences in responses based on demographic data there were several ANOVA completed. There were differences found between student and faculty responses and between institutions that are not funded by religious affiliation and those that are. There were no significant differences found between respondents who identified as sexual minorities and those who identified as non-sexual minorities. There were no significant differences based on regional differences nor were there differences based on CACREP accreditation. The lack of differences may be indicative of sample bias.