Enhancing Multicultural Awareness: Understanding the Effect of Community Immersion Assignments in An Online Counseling Skills Course

Valerie Couture


Counselor education programs provide counselors-in-training (CITs) with courses focused on counseling skill development to increase the CITs’ interpersonal counseling abilities and increase multicultural awareness. The research study presents findings from the author’s exploration of online students’ experiences in an experiential community immersion assignment. For analysis, the data was divided into three timeframes: (a) pre-experience, (b) active-experience, and (c) post-experience. In the pre-experience timeframe two themes emerged: (a) overwhelming nervousness and (b) judgmental thoughts. In the active-experience timeframe two themes emerged: (a) welcoming environment and (b) normalization of the minority population. During the post-experience reflections three common themes emerged: (a) similarities between groups, (b) motivation to create relationships, and (c) increased empathy. The study concluded the participants reported an overall increase in multicultural awareness through their community immersion experiences.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v10n5p201


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email: ijhe@sciedupress.com

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