Analysis of counselling student employment destinations

using action research to enhance the counselling curriculum and improve employability

Zoe Powell-Martin, Julia McLeod, Jennifer Scally, Kate Smith, Sally Lumsdaine

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Aims

This study tracked student employment destinations and explored perceptions around employability and the benefits offered by the existing counselling curriculum. The aim of the study was to enhance the Abertay University postgraduate counselling programme; maintain links with former students who work within the target industry, and develop CPD aimed at this group.

Method

Ethical approval was granted by Abertay Research Ethics Committee. Information was gathered from student registry and 401 graduates, for whom current emails were known, were contacted and invited to complete an on-line questionnaire about their career trajectory and the relevance and benefit of aspects of the post-graduate curriculum. Participant response rate was high with just under 50% of those contacted responding. Responses (192) were analysed and Student trajectories were tracked. The links between course content and benefits to employability were explored.

Results

The results demonstrated the breadth and depth of employment undertaken following graduation. Just over 90% of respondents continued to use the skills and knowledge gained either by working as a counsellor or by using embedded counselling skills within their work.
The majority of those working as counsellors did this voluntarily with only a small number (23.37%) being paid for the counselling they do. Despite this, however a high percentage of respondents (77.78%) believed that the course(s) studied enhanced employability with an even higher number (91.62%) feeling that studying counselling helped them in their working life in general. Interestingly nearly 92% of respondents indicated that the skills and knowledge gained also helped them in their day-to-day life.

Research Limitations

The questionnaire was disseminated by a senior and well respected of member staff. The personal nature of this initial contact may have influenced willingness to respond in a negative way, equally only those that had a positive experience on the course may have responded thereby potentially skewing the findings of this research project.

Conclusion

The findings of this project suggest that the current course does prepare students for employment however further investigation is needed to understand where and how the skills and knowledge gained at university have transferred into the workplace and beyond.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
EventBCAP Research Conference 2019: Shaping counselling practice and policy: the next 25 years - Hilton Belfact, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 May 201918 May 2019
https://www.bacp.co.uk/events/rc17-1805-research-conference-2019-belfast/

Conference

ConferenceBCAP Research Conference 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period17/05/1918/05/19
Internet address

Fingerprint

employability
action research
counseling
curriculum
counselor
student
graduate
questionnaire
research ethics
working life
research project
workplace
career
contact
staff
industry
university
experience
Group

Cite this

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title = "Analysis of counselling student employment destinations: using action research to enhance the counselling curriculum and improve employability",
abstract = "Aims This study tracked student employment destinations and explored perceptions around employability and the benefits offered by the existing counselling curriculum. The aim of the study was to enhance the Abertay University postgraduate counselling programme; maintain links with former students who work within the target industry, and develop CPD aimed at this group. Method Ethical approval was granted by Abertay Research Ethics Committee. Information was gathered from student registry and 401 graduates, for whom current emails were known, were contacted and invited to complete an on-line questionnaire about their career trajectory and the relevance and benefit of aspects of the post-graduate curriculum. Participant response rate was high with just under 50{\%} of those contacted responding. Responses (192) were analysed and Student trajectories were tracked. The links between course content and benefits to employability were explored. Results The results demonstrated the breadth and depth of employment undertaken following graduation. Just over 90{\%} of respondents continued to use the skills and knowledge gained either by working as a counsellor or by using embedded counselling skills within their work. The majority of those working as counsellors did this voluntarily with only a small number (23.37{\%}) being paid for the counselling they do. Despite this, however a high percentage of respondents (77.78{\%}) believed that the course(s) studied enhanced employability with an even higher number (91.62{\%}) feeling that studying counselling helped them in their working life in general. Interestingly nearly 92{\%} of respondents indicated that the skills and knowledge gained also helped them in their day-to-day life. Research Limitations The questionnaire was disseminated by a senior and well respected of member staff. The personal nature of this initial contact may have influenced willingness to respond in a negative way, equally only those that had a positive experience on the course may have responded thereby potentially skewing the findings of this research project. Conclusion The findings of this project suggest that the current course does prepare students for employment however further investigation is needed to understand where and how the skills and knowledge gained at university have transferred into the workplace and beyond.",
author = "Zoe Powell-Martin and Julia McLeod and Jennifer Scally and Kate Smith and Sally Lumsdaine",
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language = "English",
note = "BCAP Research Conference 2019 : Shaping counselling practice and policy: the next 25 years ; Conference date: 17-05-2019 Through 18-05-2019",
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Powell-Martin, Z, McLeod, J, Scally, J, Smith, K & Lumsdaine, S 2019, 'Analysis of counselling student employment destinations: using action research to enhance the counselling curriculum and improve employability' Paper presented at BCAP Research Conference 2019, Belfast, United Kingdom, 17/05/19 - 18/05/19, .

Analysis of counselling student employment destinations : using action research to enhance the counselling curriculum and improve employability. / Powell-Martin, Zoe; McLeod, Julia; Scally, Jennifer; Smith, Kate; Lumsdaine, Sally.

2019. Paper presented at BCAP Research Conference 2019, Belfast, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Analysis of counselling student employment destinations

T2 - using action research to enhance the counselling curriculum and improve employability

AU - Powell-Martin, Zoe

AU - McLeod, Julia

AU - Scally, Jennifer

AU - Smith, Kate

AU - Lumsdaine, Sally

PY - 2019/5

Y1 - 2019/5

N2 - Aims This study tracked student employment destinations and explored perceptions around employability and the benefits offered by the existing counselling curriculum. The aim of the study was to enhance the Abertay University postgraduate counselling programme; maintain links with former students who work within the target industry, and develop CPD aimed at this group. Method Ethical approval was granted by Abertay Research Ethics Committee. Information was gathered from student registry and 401 graduates, for whom current emails were known, were contacted and invited to complete an on-line questionnaire about their career trajectory and the relevance and benefit of aspects of the post-graduate curriculum. Participant response rate was high with just under 50% of those contacted responding. Responses (192) were analysed and Student trajectories were tracked. The links between course content and benefits to employability were explored. Results The results demonstrated the breadth and depth of employment undertaken following graduation. Just over 90% of respondents continued to use the skills and knowledge gained either by working as a counsellor or by using embedded counselling skills within their work. The majority of those working as counsellors did this voluntarily with only a small number (23.37%) being paid for the counselling they do. Despite this, however a high percentage of respondents (77.78%) believed that the course(s) studied enhanced employability with an even higher number (91.62%) feeling that studying counselling helped them in their working life in general. Interestingly nearly 92% of respondents indicated that the skills and knowledge gained also helped them in their day-to-day life. Research Limitations The questionnaire was disseminated by a senior and well respected of member staff. The personal nature of this initial contact may have influenced willingness to respond in a negative way, equally only those that had a positive experience on the course may have responded thereby potentially skewing the findings of this research project. Conclusion The findings of this project suggest that the current course does prepare students for employment however further investigation is needed to understand where and how the skills and knowledge gained at university have transferred into the workplace and beyond.

AB - Aims This study tracked student employment destinations and explored perceptions around employability and the benefits offered by the existing counselling curriculum. The aim of the study was to enhance the Abertay University postgraduate counselling programme; maintain links with former students who work within the target industry, and develop CPD aimed at this group. Method Ethical approval was granted by Abertay Research Ethics Committee. Information was gathered from student registry and 401 graduates, for whom current emails were known, were contacted and invited to complete an on-line questionnaire about their career trajectory and the relevance and benefit of aspects of the post-graduate curriculum. Participant response rate was high with just under 50% of those contacted responding. Responses (192) were analysed and Student trajectories were tracked. The links between course content and benefits to employability were explored. Results The results demonstrated the breadth and depth of employment undertaken following graduation. Just over 90% of respondents continued to use the skills and knowledge gained either by working as a counsellor or by using embedded counselling skills within their work. The majority of those working as counsellors did this voluntarily with only a small number (23.37%) being paid for the counselling they do. Despite this, however a high percentage of respondents (77.78%) believed that the course(s) studied enhanced employability with an even higher number (91.62%) feeling that studying counselling helped them in their working life in general. Interestingly nearly 92% of respondents indicated that the skills and knowledge gained also helped them in their day-to-day life. Research Limitations The questionnaire was disseminated by a senior and well respected of member staff. The personal nature of this initial contact may have influenced willingness to respond in a negative way, equally only those that had a positive experience on the course may have responded thereby potentially skewing the findings of this research project. Conclusion The findings of this project suggest that the current course does prepare students for employment however further investigation is needed to understand where and how the skills and knowledge gained at university have transferred into the workplace and beyond.

M3 - Paper

ER -