Career Counselors As Advocates and Change Agents for Equality (Career Counseling in the Next Decade)
This analysis of the career counseling profession’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats emphasizes the importance of the profession’s contributions to fostering equality in a democratic society. Career counseling professionals and their National Career Development Association are well positioned to expand their concentration on fostering the career development of individuals to encompass advocacy about public policy and agency in changing systems. Advances in the use of technology, attention to multicultural issues, and advocacy of holistic models have the potential to enrich the career counseling profession’s contributions to individual development and social equality. When I began working on this project in the summer of 2002, I did several things in addition to analyzing the career counseling and development profession and the National Career Development Association (NCDA) to identify their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. First, I reflected on the more than 40 years I have been involved in NCDA since, as a graduate student, I joined the Twin Cities Vocational Guidance Association in Minnesota in the early 1960s. Second, I identified significant events, happenings, and milestones that I used regularly to introduce counseling students to the career counseling field in my Career Development courses at the University of Minnesota. I called the statement From Vocational Guidance to Career Development over Nine Decades: Past, Present, and Future. Third, I reviewed salient literature related to changes in the career counseling field, some by my late mentor and colleague, Henry Borow, and others by former and present leaders whose work has influenced my work.