Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type

Empirical Research Article


gatekeeping, counselor educators, grounded theory

Subject Area

Counselor Education


Counselor educators practice gatekeeping to graduate only students who are ethical and competent, yet students with problems of professional competence (PPC) continue to graduate. Gatekeeping challenges include personal, pedagogical, administrative, ethical, and legal concerns, and gatekeeping has been characterized as a taxing emotional and social process. Specific knowledge about counselor educators’ internal experiences during gatekeeping is limited. Researchers asked how do counselor educators experience their internal reactions during gatekeeping processes for PPC? Researchers interviewed counselor educators about their gatekeeping experiences and analyzed data using grounded theory methods. The authors propose a grounded theory of striving to be an effective gatekeeper that describes participants’ internal experiences of gatekeeping and will benefit counselor educators, students, and the public good.



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