Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Develop an advocacy statement that addresses the importance of diversity and advocacy as it relates to career counseling. When creating your advocacy statement, be sure to address the key | Wridemy

Develop an advocacy statement that addresses the importance of diversity and advocacy as it relates to career counseling. When creating your advocacy statement, be sure to address the key


Develop an advocacy statement that addresses the importance of diversity and advocacy as it relates to career counseling. When creating your advocacy statement, be sure to address the key components of advocacy, including a discussion of how you might advocate for clients and students across micro, meso, and macro levels of society. Much like a theoretical orientation statement, your goal is to describe your commitment to social change and advocacy for all clients and students in a fair and safe manner.

  • Note: Your advocacy statement should be one to two paragraphs in length. A meaningful statement requires more than a simple sentence stating your beliefs or aspirations. Your advocacy statement should be a tool to begin dialogue between you and your clients/students to explain the ways you work in your role as a counselor to address the needs of clients/students who may be marginalized on the basis of some aspect of their social identity.

Describe how your clients or students might be challenged by various sociocultural factors on their career development. Then, in 2-3 pages,

  • Describe three culturally sensitive ways in which you might apply career development theories while also addressing these socioculural factors.
  • Include specific advocacy strategies to address the client’s/student’s needs at the appropriate levels.

You must cite at least 2 peer-reviewed articles to justify how you are addressing the sociocultural factors and the specific advocacy strategies you selected.

Reflection Paper: Working With Marginalized Communities

Student Name Here

Walden University

Reflection Paper: Working With Marginalized Communities

Provide a brief introduction to your paper here. The title serves as your introductory heading, so avoid a heading titled “Introduction.” Here, you will briefly identify the topic of your reflection, which is ways in which sociocultural factors might influence the career development of your future clients or students, and how you might address these factors as their counselor. Start first by writing a sentence or two introducing the reader to the topic of the reflection. For example, briefly highlight the types of sociocultural factors that influence career development, and the counselor’s role as an advocate in mitigating these factors. Then, follow up with a statement describing the specific purpose of this particular assignment. In other words, describe how your clients or students might be challenged by various sociocultural factors, the culturally sensitive ways you might apply career theories with these clients, and the ways you might advocate on their behalf. When describing your purpose, be sure to review the directions for the assignment (located in the classroom) to ensure you are attending to each element of the reflection. Remember, you need a minimum of three sentences to make a paragraph. At the end of your introduction, include a sentence outlining which topics will be discussed and in which order.

Advocacy Statement

This section of your paper should consist of one to two paragraphs. In these paragraphs, you should develop an advocacy statement that addresses the importance of diversity and advocacy as it relates to career counseling. When creating your advocacy statement, be sure to address the key components of advocacy, including a discussion of how you might advocate for clients and students across the micro, meso, and macro levels of society. Much like a theoretical orientation statement, your goal is to describe your commitment to social change and advocacy for all clients and students in a fair and safe manner. This statement should be written as if speaking directly to a client or student.

Culturally Sensitive Career Counseling

The paragraphs in this section should be a discussion of the setting you hope to work in as a counselor, the types of career needs that are characteristic of the population in this setting, any sociocultural factors that might influence career development and counseling in this population, and culturally sensitive considerations you might make while working with this population. For example, students at a high school in a rural community might experience specific career development and counseling needs related to geographic isolation, limited resources, reduced accessibility to higher education, and limited exposure to various occupations, which are factors unique to rural communities (Ball, 2009). Culturally sensitive career counseling on the school counselor’s part might include a focus on balancing personal goals with family obligations and values during career planning as well as numerous career exploration activities to expose students to different occupations. In clinical mental health settings, examples of culturally sensitive strategies for working with racial and ethnic minorities might include being intentional about exploring ways in which barriers, such racism and classism, influence career decision-making and how the intersection between race and gender influence role expectations and perceived career options.

Beyond specific interventions, when thinking about culturally sensitive career counseling, be sure to also consider the other aspects of multicultural counseling such as awareness of one’s own values and beliefs, knowledge of the client’s worldview, and cross-cultural communication. For example, your race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religious background may differ from your clients or students. If so, how might these differences affect the counseling process, and how might you address them? The Multicultural and Advocacy Dimensions (MAD) model reference in the Ratts (2011) in this week’s learning resources provides a useful framework for identifying these considerations.

Advocacy Strategies

Be sure to consult the Ratts (2011) and (2017), articles assigned in Week 5, when developing this section of your paper. In this section of the paper, state the specific advocacy needs of the population you have selected. Then, identify specific advocacy strategies to further address the sociocultural factors you identified for your future clients in the section above. Remember, advocacy is focused specifically on addressing barriers clients experience in the community due to some aspect of a marginalized identity. According to Ratts (2017), individuals with marginalized identities in the United States include people of color; women and transgender or gender non-conforming individuals; the LGBTQ population; individuals in poverty; youth and elders; individuals with physical or mental disabilities; and individuals from religious minorities. Please do not use identities outside of those listed above for the purpose of this paper. When developing specific advocacy strategies, think about how you might intervene on each level of influence discussed in Ratts (2017) (i.e., intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and public policy).

Continuing with the examples from above, advocacy strategies the school counselor in the rural high school might consider include developing school-community partnerships to increase access to various career information or employment opportunities on the institutional level, or hosting career fairs at which families are invited in order to increase support for students on the interpersonal level. In the clinical mental health setting, advocacy strategies might include participating in lobbies to create laws that encourage more equitable hiring practices on the public policy level, or exploring the psychological effects of racism on the intrapersonal level.


Your conclusion section should recap the major points you have made in your paper. However, perhaps more importantly, you should interpret what you have written and what the bigger picture is. Remember, your paper should be 2–3 pages, not counting your title page and reference page. Be sure to include references throughout your paper as necessary.

Always include references on a separate page. APA is very specific about punctuation and how elements of the reference are presented. Every citation should have a reference and vice versa. Use the APA manual to verify your format. Below you will find many examples for you to follow. A formal paper for Walden will require you to use all relevant resources provided in the classroom and one or more scholarly resources from peer-reviewed journals in the Walden library.



(Please note that the following references are intended as examples only.)

Anderson, E. (2007). The best career activities ever. The Journal of Ultimate Career Counseling, 19, 4319–4392. Retrieved from

John, G., & Locke, D. (1973). Career development at any age. Thousand Oaks, CA: Fairy Tale Publishing.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2007). How to cite a video: The city is always Baltimore [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2010). Name of program [Video webcast]. Retrieved from

Smith, G., & Johnson, N. (2008). Career counseling: Why we need it and can’t live without it. Career Counseling for Everyone, 25(7), 14–31. doi:10.8220/CTCE.52.1.23-91


330 The Career Development Quarterly December 2013 • Volume 61

© 2013 by the National Career Development Association. All rights reserved.

Received 07/21/12 Revised 10/14/12

Accepted 10/17/12 DOI: 10.1002/j.2161-0045.2013.00059.x

Articles Building Career PATHS (Postschool Achievement Through Higher Skills) for Young Women With Disabilities

Lauren Lindstrom, Bonnie Doren, Cindy Post, and Allison Lombardi

The PATHS (Postschool Achievement Through Higher Skills) curriculum is designed to address the career development needs of young women with disabilities and other barriers. Participants (N = 110) in a pilot test of the curriculum showed increases in vocational self-efficacy, social efficacy, and awareness of disability/gender issues related to career planning, whereas those in the comparison group did not make similar gains. Qualitative findings from focus groups (N = 68) revealed that PATHS participants improved in self-confidence, self-awareness, ability to identify strengths, knowledge of multiple career options, and the capacity to set goals and plan for future careers.

Keywords: career development, gender identity, disability, school-to-work transition

Career development for young women with disabilities is a complex and multifaceted process that is affected by individual, family, school, and community experiences (Hogansen, Powers, Geenen, Gil-Kashiwabara, & Powers, 2008; Lindstrom & Benz, 2002) For young women with disabilities who are preparing to transition from high school to adult roles, career options may be constrained by disability barriers and gender stereotypes, thereby creating a double jeopardy situation (Asch, Rousso, & Jefferies, 2001; Ferri & Conner, 2010 ) that restricts career develop- ment and limits postschool employment and educational opportunities.

A number of longitudinal studies (Fabian, 2007; Hasnain & Balcazar, 2009; Rabren, Dunn, & Chambers, 2002) have documented gender dif- ferences in career outcomes for young adults with disabilities. After leaving high school, young women with disabilities are less likely to be employed than are their male peers, regardless of disability type. In a study of 4,571 urban youth with disabilities, Fabian (2007) found that young women were

Lauren Lindstrom, Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services, and Bonnie Doren and Allison Lombardi, College of Education, University of Oregon; Cindy Post, Lane Education Services District, Eugene, Oregon. Bonnie Doren is now at Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Allison Lombardi is now at Department of Educational Psychol- ogy, University of Connecticut. This study was funded by a development grant from the National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Lauren Lindstrom, Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services, College of Education, University of Oregon, 5260 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5260 (e-mail: [email protected]).

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The Career Development Quarterly December 2013 • Volume 61 331

25% less likely to secure jobs than were young men during the 1st year after leaving high school. Compared to their male peers, young women with disabilities were also more likely to be employed part time and earn lower wages, and less likely to work in high-skill/high-wage jobs or obtain benefits (Doren, Gau, & Lindstrom, 2011; Rabren, Hall, & Brown, 2003; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, & Levine, 2005).

Career development for young women with disabilities is influenced by a number of individual and structural barriers. Individual attributes, such as low self-esteem, limited self-efficacy, and a lack of self-advocacy skills can restrict the ability of these individuals to fully explore a wide range of career options (Lindstrom, Harwick, Poppen, & Doren, 2012). Families also play a key role in career development of young adults with disabilities. Pow- ers, Hogansesn, Geenen, Powers, and Gil-Kashiwabara (2008) found that parents may have low aspirations or be overly concerned for their daugh- ters’ safety, thus limiting their community experiences and potential career options. In addition, young women in high school who have disabilities often experience restricted opportunities for career exploration and may not play an active role in the transition planning process (Ferri & Connor, 2010; Trainor, 2007). They are also less likely than are their male peers to enroll in vocational courses or participate in community work experiences (Hogansen et al., 2008; Wagner et al., 2005). Finally, when young women with disabilities enter the workforce, they may encounter sexual harassment, disability discrimination, lack of female role models and mentors, and other barriers to career advancement (Noonan et al., 2004; Smith, 2007) This restricted set of opportunities and experiences translates to a narrow range of career interests and aspirations (Gottfredson, 2005), ultimately resulting in poor long-term educational and employment outcomes.

Curriculum for Postschool Achievement Through Higher Skills (PATHS)

The PATHS curriculum is a school-based intervention that is designed to address the poor postschool transition outcomes and lack of career develop- ment opportunities for young women identified for special education services, including those with learning, developmental, and physical disabilities. PATHS is intended to address gender inequities in vocational outcomes through a comprehensive career development curriculum that targets internal and external barriers and introduces a wide range of career options.

Development Process of PATHS PATHS was designed and tested through an iterative development process. First, our research team analyzed existing state and national data sets to identify gender differences in high school services, transition planning, and postschool outcomes for young men and women with disabilities. Next, we conducted focus groups and individual interviews with (a) young women with disabilities who were enrolled in college and high school, (b) special education teachers, (c) school administrators, and (d) employers. The focus groups and interviews provided in-depth information about the barriers experienced by young women and the supports needed to prepare them to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce (Lindstrom et al., 2012). These data helped to inform the content and overall design of the PATHS curriculum. We then used a design experiment process to develop

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332 The Career Development Quarterly December 2013 • Volume 61

the curriculum in conjunction with special education teachers and school counselors in four high schools. After revising all of the PATHS lessons and activities, we conducted a pilot study with 110 participants in six high schools. Through this iterative process, we created a unique curriculum that is designed to improve educational and career outcomes for young women with disabilities and other barriers.

Curriculum Components PATHS is a gender-specific curriculum that is designed to be delivered in group settings to ninth- to 12th-grade female students with identified dis- abilities and other barriers. PATHS is divided into four modules covering key concepts that previous research suggests can influence career development for young women with disabilities in transition from school to postschool environments. The modules are self-awareness, disability issues, gender identity, and career and college planning. Each lesson includes overall learn- ing objectives, vocabulary, materials needed, structured core activities (e.g., discussions, activities, group projects), and additional resources for teachers. The 77 daily lessons are interactive and designed to be taught in sequence during 50-minute class periods over an 18-week semester.

Module 1—self-awareness. This module is used to introduce students to the curriculum and to present concepts for building self-efficacy and self- confidence. It includes team building and self-awareness activities as well as lessons that are focused on practicing critical skills for postschool success, such as communication, decision making, goal setting, time management, and anger management. At the conclusion of the module, young women work through a sequence of lessons that are designed to help them identify and understand personal strengths and abilities. Each student has an op- portunity to discover her own pattern of using reliable strengths over time; these strengths are then used to create a plan for a new company or product.

Module 2—disability issues. Lessons in this module are designed to increase general disability knowledge and awareness as well as promote respectful treatment and communication about people with disabilities. Although the majority of students who participated in the PATHS pilot study had learn- ing disabilities, the lessons offer a broad overview of a variety of disabilities and allow all students to explore disability issues and social barriers. For example, one lesson introduces “famous people with disabilities,” provid- ing a number of role models from politicians to popular singers who have identified disabilities. The module also includes discussions and activities related to disability knowledge, information on legal rights and responsi- bilities in education and employment settings, and a set of lessons that are focused on communication and disability disclosure. Through these activi- ties, young women learn to advocate for themselves and identify disability accommodations they need in work and education settings.

Module 3—gender identity. The purpose of this module is to introduce topics related to being a woman in the workforce, including gender roles and expectations, occupational segregation, and the gender wage gap. The lessons provide an overview of the changing roles of women, models of women in leadership roles, and information about responding to sexual harassment in education and employment settings. Young women participate in activities related to exploring the impact of gender on career choice, learn about nontraditional occupations, and discuss healthy and unhealthy rela- tionships. Adult women working in a variety of occupations serve as guest

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The Career Development Quarterly December 2013 • Volume 61 333

speakers for several lessons, providing female role models and expanding career options that participants can consider.

Module 4—career and college. The final module is focused on planning and preparation for employment and/or postsecondary education. In this module, young women are able to integrate the skills and knowledge learned in the first three modules about self-awareness, disability, and gender identity. They begin to explore career options and plan for the future, now having a more complete view of themselves (Gottfredson, 2005). Several lessons in this module use a free, online web-based career exploration tool called Drive of Your Life (www. Other career and college preparation activities include interest inventories, résumé building, interview practice, reviewing skills for job success, visits to college campuses, and post-high school planning.

Implementing the PATHS Intervention The PATHS curriculum was pilot tested in six high schools during one academic year. Schools were recruited through a county-wide network of high school transition programs serving youth with disabilities. Participating schools were located in suburban and rural communities; between 29% and 68% of all enrolled students qualified for free and reduced lunch. (See high school demographic information in Table 1.) After our initial discussions with school administrators and counselors, a special education teacher, school counselor, or other qualified paraprofessional (e.g., transition specialist) was designated from each participating high school to teach the curriculum. All PATHS instructors attended an initial 1.5-day workshop prior to teaching the curriculum, followed by three 2-hour training sessions throughout the 18-week implementation period. School staff recruited young women with disabilities in Grades 9–12 who needed support for transition and career planning. Twenty-five young women without identified disabilities and who school staff considered to be at risk (see Participants section for a description of this variable) were also referred for the PATHS class. After they provided informed consent, instructors implemented the daily lessons using the activi- ties and materials outlined in the curriculum. Young women attended the PATHS class daily and received high school credit upon completion. Our research team made weekly visits to all six high schools to observe PATHS classes, collect fidelity data, obtain ongoing feedback from teachers, and assist in solving any implementation problems.


Demographics for High Schools Participating in PATHS (Postschool Achievement Through Higher Skills) Intervention

High School


Enrollment Race/Ethnicity

A/PIAI/A Black Hisp. White

Free/Reduced Lunch

n %

Suburban Rural Rural

Suburban Rural/remote


1,013 339 457 532 160 399

Note. Total Enroll = total student enrollment; AI/A = American Indian/Alaskan; A/PI = Asian/ Pacific Islander; Hisp. = Hispanic.

Community/ Location

Total Enroll

32 14 25 11 2 21

45 5 16 5 0 8

51 4 3 11 3 3

126 41 25 48 8 19

793 275 388 457 146 348

365 203 219 276 110 115

36 60 48 52 68 29

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334 The Career Development Quarterly December 2013 • Volume 61

Outcomes The pilot study used a pre–post control group design to test the promise of the curriculum to increase critical knowledge and skills linked to important transition and career outcomes (Lombardi & Doren, 2012). Young women were selected to either participate in the curriculum (intervention group) or to receive the typical transition services that were available in their high schools (comparison group). Students were not randomly assigned; instead, they were referred to the PATHS program through nominations by a school counselor or teacher and were then assigned to the intervention or comparison group on the basis of scheduling needs and restrictions. Students in the comparison group received typical career and transition services within their high schools, including (a) career exploration, using online resources; (b) job shadowing or job site visits; (c) vocational assessments; and (d) individualized transition planning as a component of the typical individualized education program (IEP) process for students with identified disabilities.

Participants Young women participating in the pilot study were enrolled in high school and ranged in age from 14 to 21 years. On average, there were 10 participants in each PATHS class.

The sample included young women with disabilities who had been identified for special education (n = 85, 77%) and those designated at risk in their high schools (n = 25, 23%). In terms of race/ethnicity, participants self-identified as White (64%), Hispanic (15%), multiple races/ethnicities (13%), African American (3%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (2%), American Indian/ Alaskan Native (1%), and Asian (1%). Primary disabilities for the young women identified for special education services included specific learning disability (74%), autism spectrum disorder (8%), multiple disabilities (7%), intellectual disability (5%), other health impairment (2%), visual impair- ment (2%), hearing impairment (1%), and orthopedic impairment (1%). A student was considered at risk if she faced one or more significant barriers, including academic (e.g., frequent absenteeism, suspension, or dropout history), family/living (e.g., homelessness, difficult family circumstances, foster care), employment (no prior work or volunteer experience), high-risk behaviors (e.g., previous/current substance abuse, prior arrests/jail time), and health (mental health or chronic health issues).

Pre–Post Survey We completed a pre–post survey with all young women in the interven- tion and comparison groups. Using a compilation of validated measures, we designed the survey to assess skills that were relevant to the four PATHS curriculum modules. Following is a brief description of the measures included in the PATHS survey.

Self-awareness, advocacy, and support. We used two subscales from the Arc’s Self-Determination Scale (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995) to measure constructs related to self-awareness. The Autonomy subscale measures the frequency that adolescents with disabilities perform independent tasks related to adult life. The Self-Realization subscale measures self-awareness and self-acceptance (e.g., “I know how to make up for my limitations”). Subscales from the Student Engagement Inventory (Appleton, Christenson, Kim, & Reschly, 2006) were used to measure perceptions of peer support

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The Career Development Quarterly December 2013 • Volume 61 335

and aspirations (e.g., “I am hopeful about my future”). The Teacher Sup- port Scale (Metheny, McWhirter, & O’Neil, 2008) was administered to the intervention group to measure the perceptions of support from the PATHS teacher (e.g., “helps me understand my strengths”).

Gender identity and disability issues. We developed and tested a curriculum- based measure with items that were mapped to the curriculum content regarding disability and gender issues. This measure was designed to assess students’ level of confidence regarding knowledge related to disability aware- ness (e.g., “identify different types of disabilities”) and gender awareness (e.g., “describe differences between traditional and nontraditional careers”).

Career and college preparation. We administered the Vocational Skills Self- Efficacy Scale (VSSE; McWhirter, Rasheed, & Crothers, 2000) to measure students’ confidence in completing tasks related to job preparation skills, time management, and goal setting. Cronbach’s alpha for the VSSE is .97 for a sample of high school sophomores. The Career Outcome Expectancy Scale (COE; McWhirter et al., 2000) was also used to measure participants’ level of agreement with career expectations, satisfaction, and feelings about the future (e.g., “I will be successful in my chosen career”). Cronbach’s alpha for the COE is .83 for a sample of high school sophomores. Finally, we used the Self-Advocacy subscale from the College Students With Disabilities Campus Climate survey (Lombardi, Gerdes, & Murray, 2011) to measure individual actions related to disability advocacy in educational environments. Cronbach’s alpha for this measure is .87. The Social Efficacy subscale from the College Self-Efficacy Inventory (Solberg, O’Brien, Villareal, Kennel, & Davis, 1993) was used to measure level of confidence in performing various tasks associ- ated with student success. Because these subscales were intended for college students, we made two minor adjustments: For all items, we replaced (a) the word professor with teacher and (b) the word university with school.

Overall, young women who participated in the PATHS curriculum showed significant gains in vocational skills self-efficacy, social efficacy, awareness of disability and gender issues, and bonding with the PATHS teacher. Young women in the comparison group did not make gains in these areas and showed significant decreases in career outcome expectations. Using effect size, constructs that showed a small effect for students in the intervention group after completing the PATHS class were social efficacy (d = .22), teacher bonding (d = .29) and vocational skills self-efficacy (d = .38). We also found a medium effect for gender and disability awareness (d = .60) for students in the PATHS intervention group. Complete pre–post survey results for the intervention and comparison groups are presented in Table 2.

Focus Groups At the conclusion of the pilot test, members of our research team conducted seven focus groups with all available young women who completed the PATHS curriculum at the six high schools (n = 68, 93% of intervention group participants). We also conducted a focus group with all participating PATHS instructors, using a structured interview protocol. Focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. We analyzed the focus group transcripts, following the multiple-stage process recommended by Miles and Huberman (1994). First, we coded the data by assigning concrete labels to individual units of text. Next, we completed a cross-case analysis to docu- ment major themes that emerged across all seven participan

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