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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Miki Koyama
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Title: The Collective Voices of Asian International Doctoral Students in Counseling Psychology in the U.S.: Recom-mendations for Faculty and Training Programs
Dr. James M. Croteau, Chair
Dr. Mary Z. Anderson
Dr. Donna M. Talbot
Dr. Susan Weinger
Date: Monday, November 9, 2009 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
3306 Sangren Hall
There is growing interest among scholars to understand the training experiences of international students in counseling psychology and/or applied psychology in general. However, very few empirical studies have specifically investigated international doctoral students in counseling psychology. The purpose of the present study is to create an opportunity in which the voices of Asian international students in APA-accredited doctoral counseling psychology programs in the U.S. could be expressed and to convey the collective voices of Asian international students to counseling psychology programs.
Twelve Asian international doctoral students within U.S. doctoral counseling psychology programs participated in initial and follow-up phone interviews. Participants were asked to illustrate their overall training experiences, speak about helpful and unhelpful aspects of their training, and identify recommendations for faculty and training programs. A phenomenological approach to data analysis was conducted to identify the essence of Asian international students’ overall training experiences in the U.S.
Twelve key themes emerged. These themes illustrate what Asian international students want faculty to understand or do in order to provide satisfying training experiences. Participants hoped that faculty would have greater understanding of the significance of peer relationships, the impact of Asian cultural backgrounds, the internal adjustment and acculturation processes for students, the experience of using English, and the impact of racism. Additionally, participants encouraged faculty to listen to students’ voices, cultivate positive relationships with students, meet student needs in culturally sensitive ways, address the applicability of U.S. counseling psychology training to other cultures, attend to students’ career development, appreciate students’ strengths, and recognize the benefits of recruiting Asian international students.
Findings of the present study provide a valuable opportunity for faculty to listen to Asian international students’ candid voices about their overall training experiences. Notably, almost all of the participants expressed hesitations about communicating their honest voices to faculty, and the majority of participants stated that they had never given feedback or recommendations about their training experiences to faculty. Thus, data that emerged from this study provide new and rarely revealed insights as well as useful implications for counseling psychology programs to improve the training experiences of Asian international students.