Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type



dissertation, dissertation completion, counselor education programs, CES, CACREP

Subject Area

Counselor Education


In this qualitative phenomenological study, the purpose was to explore the experiences of recent online Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)-accredited counselor education and supervision (CES) graduates concerning their dissertation completion process. Past research had shown a dissertation noncompletion rate 10%–20% higher in distance education programs compared to traditional institutions. Participant recruitment was facilitated by criterion sampling and snowball sampling and included seven recent graduates of online CACREP-accredited CES programs. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. Data analysis conducted using Smith et al.’s six-step data analysis process yielded three significant themes: dissertation task engagement, stakeholder interaction, and impact of the environment. Implications of the findings extend to improvements in dissertation readiness and socialization, meaningful experiences, and dissertation completion rates.



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